Philosophy 2730F/G Lecture Notes - Totalitarianism, Profit Motive, Libertarian Socialism

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Week 3: What is the media doing? What should they do?
Chomsky: movie in class
- the arguments that philosophers make are ongoing enterprise
- over time you criticize other works which helps us find out more and become
more knowledgeable
- it is not that case that what is right and what is wrong is it a function of you
opinion or cultural group
- just because years ago there were slaves doesn’t mean it was right back then
- we have to accept that there are certain basic universal rules that apply no
matter what
- McLuhan: if we really want to understand human nature, we have to look at
the tools people use and design to understand how to get along with people
around us, he has an extremely broad definition of what is technology
- The message: you identify it by looking at the way humans look at it and how
humans act following to the introduction to the technology
- Think of it in terms of archeologists, they primarily look at tools to find out
what they did what they did back then. McLuhan is looking at this technique
and using it to understand the message of technology
- Think about how life was like before the modern mass media, how did
humans communicate? What were there restrictions?
- The rise of the free press actually facilitated democracy
- In the context of course, the relevant change that is introduced in the media:
it allows for the possibility of democracy
- In order to give there consent(government) those being ruled need to be
- If there was no media, we wouldn’t be informed
- The change that the media introduces is a whole new system of government
- Mcluhan: media changes the way we are able to govern ourselves
- The rise of mass media doesn’t mean there has to be democracy, but it now
gives us the ability to have it possible
Rules of Media:
- in order to properly inform citizens, so those citizens can make the best
informed choices in respect of political decisions, the media needs to be:
- a: objective/independent, not under the direct control of the governemtn
- b: critical, not willing to simply accept the statements/information provided
by government resources(Chomsky makes a big deal of this)
- best example: the daily show, here is what this politician said yesterday and
what they said three years ago that contradicts it
- c: neutral, not biased in favour of any of the several competing political
groups(government of otherwise) competing for dominance
- if this is what we expect of the media, it is going to be a branch of
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