The quintessential existentialist claim of “existence prior to essence” traverses in the opposite direction of thousands of years of thought and the commonly held subscription that the Western world has been raised on–“essence prior to existence.” Granted, those making such existentialist claims prior to the Enlightenment were burned at the stake; being branded a heretic silenced many forms of thought–existentialism being the antithesis.
Regardless, the crux of the debate centralizes around the idea of intelligent design and if man is a creation of God; further, and if so, then each of us are imprinted with a sense of meaning, destiny, essence, and / or soul prior to being born. Existentialist reject this position and believe that man is a construct of nature and the creator of his own life. As Sartre puts it, man “appears on the scene, and, only afterwards, defines himself… Not only is man what he conceives himself to be, but he is also only what he wills himself to be after being thrust toward existence” (Sartre, 15). This concept requires that each man becomes aware of what he truly is and that he takes responsibility for his existence (Sartre, 16).
In this mini-documentary, Sean Hammond explores the philosophy behind artist intention and its value when understanding works of art. Filled will interviews and illustrative examples ranging from music, painting, sculpting, and literature; the primary question centralizes around which matters more when evaluating art - the audience interpretation or artist intention?
If you experience trouble with playback, pause the video and allow it to buffer for a few moments.
Created for information and educational purposes only. This project was conducted under the University of Nevada Las Vegas Department of Philosophy, Philosophy of Aesthetics 452, by Professor Ian Dove. He said I nailed it. *insert thumbs up*
In Ortega’s A Few Drops of Phenomenology, he approaches reality as one approaches a painting in an art gallery. Scenes of life play out on the canvas and depending on where one is standing—the image reveals entirely different meanings, considerations, and understandings. Reality becomes nothing but perspective, and the vibrance of life only increases as one approaches it.
To fully appreciate art, one must immerse themselves in it–and the same holds true for Ortega’s perspectivism of life and reality. Emotional distance is the only thing that separates lived reality from observed reality, and all perspectives are intimately depended upon one’s experience and participation with lived reality.
With the likes of Siri, Alexa, and Google jibber jabbering a response to our commands, and the inspiration of science fiction bringing to life replicants, droids, Johnny 5, Wally, Terminators, Hal, and Bender; witnessing these seemingly human heaps of metal naturally leads to the contemplation of what if they were real? Given our personal and institutional dependence on technology; you, me, and Joey Baggadonuts–along with Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Nick Bostrom and Daniel Dennett–feel compelled to image what a machine with human-like tendencies might be like.
In theory, universally everyone seems to agree that human-like machines are a possibility—after that, everything is on the table from civilization becoming a god-like utopia, to the annihilation of mankind, to AI being an overly complex benign tool. Each of these wild, colorful, and downright insightful predictions begin at the cusp of the technological horizon, or otherwise known as the singularity.
In Marx’s Manifesto of the Communist Party, he draws the battle line distinctly between the oppressor and oppressed. While he notes that there have been many revolutions over the centuries, the system that creates oppressors has never been abolished; but rather has been adopted and perpetuated by the new powers. “The modern bourgeois society that has sprouted from the ruins of feudal society has not done away with class antagonisms. It has but established new classes, new conditions of oppression, new forms of struggle in place of the old ones” (Marx 204). The bourgeois, in Marx’s view, has rid itself of “natural superiors” (feudal, patriarchal, and ideological) but replaced these superiors with a single, unconscionable exploitation in the form of “cash payment” and Free Trade (Marx 206). In turn, this monetary system has converted lawyers, priests, poets, and scientists into paid wage laborers (Marx 206).
As discussed in the prior post on alienation, the bourgeois have turned the weapon of capitalism upon themselves and are bringing death to itself through the exploitation and objectification of the working wage paid class—or the proletariats. The proletarians are the class of bourgeoisie, the modern working class, “who live so long as they find work, and who find work only so long as their labor increases capital” (Marx 211). These workers sell themselves as a commodity, in a highly competitive and shrinking marketplace—a model that is unsustainable.