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The great enhancement debate
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Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being. (Albert Camus)
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    Noam Chomsky - vs. Michel Foucault

    A short part of a larger talk, what is interesting however is the distinct difference between those two thinkers, whilst Foucault implies that it will be wrong to profile and or define a future society, Chomsky claims that it will be irresponsible to not define at least the direction into which we are proceeding.

    Sun, Nov 9, 2008  Permanent link
    Categories: Noam Chomsky , Michel Foucault
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    Spaceweaver     Sun, Nov 16, 2008  Permanent link
    Very interesting short exchange. Yet, regretfully both Chomsky and Foucault fail to address what, in my eyes, is the crux of the issue they both try to elaborate. The issue is of course the intimate interrelation between the state of society as reflected by the operation of its institutions, and the mental/emotional state of the individuals participating in society. It is easy to criticize social institutions, it is much more difficult to address the state of mind of the individual humans who are the organs of society. It seems to me (and Foucault makes a better point here) that social institutions, especially those that are meant to operate according to criteria which is not a derivative of one or other political disposition, are merely abstractions or collective realizations of the much more fundamental characteristics of human mental states and what we believe we know about such states. What should be addressed is how we can manifestly upgrade our individual mental/emotional states, and how can society become an instrument of such activity.
    connor     Sun, Nov 16, 2008  Permanent link
    I agree, I feel that the conversation lacks resolution. I think that the dialogue is too controlled by the 'debate', limiting their discussion from making it to the point the you mention.

    The audience reaction shots are great, though. :]
         Sun, Dec 28, 2008  Permanent link
    Haha, yeah, in part 2... The structure of formalized debate ironically seems to generally represent the oppressive restrictions on things moving forward. I wonder what Foucault would have had to say if he was given more than 2 minutes. I think that he thought that his 2 minutes remaining being unjust said a lot, but now he's dead. Can't really give him any more time now.

    Chomsky mentions "the arbitrary limiting effects of coercive institutions". Are time limits a subtle form of coercion?

    Formalized debates never really seemed to have much constructive appeal to me. Anyone else think so?
    meganmay     Thu, Jan 1, 2009  Permanent link
    What should be addressed is how we can manifestly upgrade our individual mental/emotional states, and how can society become an instrument of such activity.

    Space Collective wins the debate.

    during my upbringing debate was never a valued form of discourse, and i've come to think of it as one of the more unproductive means of advancing ideas, if nothing else because debate is explicitly structured around the notion that disagreement will prevail. I prefer conversation.