[-empyre-] Ontology again

sdv at krokodile.co.uk sdv at krokodile.co.uk
Wed Oct 24 03:25:21 EST 2007


All that your argument around the "institution of technoscience still 
appears to operate on the subject-object split" resolves to is that it's 
a site of political struggle.

Ontology hummm, earlier in this thread using Michel Serres as the 
starting point I argued that we are responsible and accountable because 
we are in effect "masters and possessors of nature". It seems 
appropriate to repeat myself: Latour asks Serres: "So, then, science and 
technology remove the distinction upon which morals are based ?" is by 
implication answered "Yes" - whereas the more interesting and important 
answer is one that recognizes that the Cartesian philosophical question 
that emerged during the invention of capitalism and science of "How can 
we dominate the world ?" has been replaced with the question of "How do 
we control our domination of the planet, how do we master our own 
mastery ?"  What this produces is the recognition that the modern 
scientific turns;  genetics, climate change, life, death and so on raise 
questions of control. And questions of control mean that we must accept 
our mastery and make those decisions.  From  now on then we are 
controlling things which previously controlled us, because we dominate 
the planet we become accountable for it.  If you have the ability to 
manipulate the genetic structures, gender, what is normal and 
pathological then you are going to have to decide every thing; gender, 
eye color, skin color, intelligence, Everything. And I mean Everything 
from choosing what is allowed to evolve to deciding what can become 
real.  At the time I suggested that we cannot address this by reducing 
the discussion to an ethical problem, though in practical terms it is 
probably essential. But still I suspect the following is necessary to 
radically democratize our philosophical,  ontological structures to 
enble us to address the implications. The starting point for any 
acceptable philosophical position is an engagement with equality.

"I get the impression that you tend to find the most promising 
definition of whatever interests you and then assume that this is THE 
operative definition, for everyone...."

I'm an engineer and philosopher, it is true that there may be 
pessimistic engineers but not that many and further i agree with Deleuze 
about philosophy as a toolbox. Is this eclectic and optimistic enough 
for you ?


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