Whooshup Reorganization

To reflect what this blog has become, the format has changed to emphasize the enormous number of useful links to resources we provide. To go to the whooshup blog and conversations about these resources, just scroll to the bottom of the lists of resources!

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Question Concerning Humanities

The New York Times reports that at colleges and universities across the country, the humanities are under scrutiny to justify their salt. "Technology executives, researchers and business leaders argue that producing enough trained engineers and scientists is essential to America’s economic vitality, national defense and health care." Evidently, what it means to be a human being is less important at the college level than cranking out workers to run our technological life-machine. Higher ed bean counters everywhere are engaged in a process of enframing a curriculum to respond to these perceived vocational ends. But what of the spirit of man? Where are these questions to be asked (and perhaps answered) if colleges and universities either cannot afford or choose not to keep the doors open to an examined life?

Heidegger in his essay on technology hears from Holderlin:

"But where danger is, grows
The saving power also"

Which he rephrases:

"...poetically dwells man upon this earth."

Is there a gate through which thought must pass for man to take a stand on his own being? Is it a question of thinking through a homeric gate of horn or ivory?

Heidegger concludes his essay "For questioning is the piety of thought". I would hope all this means that so long as creative thought is not entirely extinguished in society in general, or vacated by higher education in particular, that the relation between man and technics will continue to evoke something more than a simple ordering of a grocers ledger. And perhaps this questioning will occur less in a physical classroom, and more in the virtual environment.

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