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Epis' Paper on Positivism

In: Social Issues

Submitted By michelvalentin
Words 20403
Pages 82
-“Strauss versus Brains and Genes or the postmodern vengeful return of positivism.” This essay first started as an answer to what I deemed very problematic, i.e. the disputation which I found in bad faith (un-authentic to use a philosophical term or an existentialist term), of the mediatic, dashing Harvard cognitivist/linguist, Steven Pinker, in his article “Neglected novelists, embattled English professors, tenure-less historians, and other struggling denizens of the Humanities, Science is not your Enemy—a plea for an intellectual truce,” (The New Republic--August 19). Then the counter-arguments against Steven Pinker’s conception of the “human animal” developed into an essay arguing that the New Positivism, not science, or technology per say, was the enemy of humanism and its avatars as such.
The point is not to become a postmodern anti-scientific Luddite. Genomics are changing the world in ways we barely imagine yet and will re-define what it means to be human (a becoming already imagined by science fiction writers, social critics and critical thinkers such as the feminist Donna Haraway with her “Cyborg”).
The point is also not to turn “anti-brainiac.” Without a brain we would become vegetative, a vegetal…, i.e. a purely “natural body,” a “zombie.” If we make use of this “computer” allegory which is an analog but not a homologue, and which is used ad nauseam used by psycho-biologists, without a hard-drive there is no software. But is this a reason to say that the software is but the direct emanation/product/reproduction or even representation at a higher level of the hard-drive? Technology and the sciences have and are extending human potential; but they are also re-defining what it is to be human…and this is where the rub is.
The point is to re-affirm the value and importance of the humanities (its anti-humanist or post-structuralist component included)…...

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