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Which clippings match 'Human Consciousness' keyword pg.1 of 1
12 JUNE 2015

Belief in the here and now: a Humanist perspective

Written & produced by the British Humanist Association, and narrated by Stephen Fry. Animated by Hyebin Lee. Thank you to Alom Shaha, Craig Duncan, Andrew Copson, and Sara Passmore That's Humanism logo design by Nick Cousin

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TAGS

2D animationafterlifeanimated short filmbelief systemsbeliefs • biological death • British Humanist Association • consciousnesscontemplating mortalitydeathdisembodimentdyingend of life • eternal life • existentialismfaith • faith in nature • fulfilmentheaven • here and now • human consciousnesshumanism • Hyebin Lee • life • making the most of life • material realitymaterial worldmortalitynothingnessobjective realityrationalist perspectiverealm of existence • reincarnation • spiritualityStephen Fry

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
01 MARCH 2013

Interpretation is reactionary, impertinent, cowardly and stifling

"Interpretation in our own time, however, is even more complex. For the contemporary zeal for the project of interpretation is often prompted not by piety toward the troublesome text (which may conceal an aggression), but by an open aggressiveness, an overt contempt for appearances. The old style of interpretation was insistent, but respectful; it erected another meaning on top of the literal one. The modern style of interpretation excavates, and as it excavates, destroys; it digs 'behind' the text, to find a sub–text which is the true one. The most celebrated and influential modern doctrines, those of Marx and Freud, actually amount to elaborate systems of hermeneutics, aggressive and impious theories of interpretation. All observable phenomena are bracketed, in Freud's phrase, as manifest content. This manifest content must be probed and pushed aside to find the true meaning –the latent content –beneath. For Marx, social events like revolutions and wars; for Freud, the events of individual lives (like neurotic symptoms and slips of the tongue) as well as texts (like a dream or a work of art) –all are treated as occasions for interpretation. According to Marx and Freud, these events only seem to be intelligible. Actually, they have no meaning without interpretation. To understand is to interpret. And to interpret is to restate the phenomenon, in effect to find an equivalent for it.

Thus, interpretation is not (as most people assume) an absolute value, a gesture of mind situated in some timeless realm of capabilities. Interpretation must itself be evaluated, within a historical view of human consciousness. In some cultural contexts, interpretation is a liberating act. It is a means of revising, of transvaluing, of escaping the dead past. In other cultural contexts, it is reactionary, impertinent, cowardly, stifling."

(Susan Sontag, 1966)

Susan Sontag (1966). "Against Interpretation: And Other Essays". Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.

TAGS

1966 • aggressiveness • appearance • behind the text • contempt for appearances • cowardly • dead past • destroy • doctrine • dreamsexcavationhermeneuticshistorical interpretation • historical view • human consciousness • impertinent • individual lives • interpretationinterpretation of signsKarl Marx • latent content • liberating actmanifest contentmeaning • neurotic symptoms • observable phenomena • phenomenaphenomenon • philosophy and interpretation • reactionary • revising • revisionism • revolutions • Sigmund Freud • slips of the tongue • social events • stifling • subtext • Susan Sontag • textstheories of interpretation • transvaluing • troublesome text • true meaning • wars • women in cultural theorywork of art

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 JANUARY 2012

The Empathic Civilisation: our (collective) empathetic consciousness

"Never has the world seemed so completely united–in the form of communication, commerce, and culture–and so savagely torn apart–in the form of war, financial meltdown, global warming, and even the migration of diseases. ...

The human–made environment is rapidly morphing into a global space, yet our existing modes of consciousness are structured for earlier eras of history, which are just as quickly fading away. Humanity, Rifkin argues, finds itself on the cusp of its greatest experiment to date: refashioning human consciousness so that human beings can mutually live and flourish in the new globalizing society…

As the forces of globalization accelerate, deepen, and become ever more complex, the older faith–based and rational forms of consciousness are likely to become stressed, and even dangerous, as they attempt to navigate a world increasingly beyond their reach and control. Indeed, the emergence of this empathetic consciousness has implications for the future that will likely be as profound and far–reaching as when Enlightenment philosophers upended faith–based consciousness with the canon of reason."

(Jeremy Rifkin)

[A noble effort to explain the consequences of post–traditional society framed through a biological deterministic lens.]

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TAGS

biological determinism • blood-ties • civilisationcollective consciousness • collective resources • earlier eras • empathetic consciousness • empathic sociability • empathy • emphatic development • European Enlightenmentevolutionary determinism • evolutionary psychology • evolutionary theoryexistentialismfaith • faith-based consciousness • globalisationglobalising society • globalising world • glocalhuman beingshuman consciousnesshuman narrative • human race • human-made environment • humanity • Jeremy Rifkin • man made • modes of consciousness • narcissismpost-traditionalpost-traditional society • rational forms of consciousness • reductionismreductionist perspectiveRSA Animateselfhoodsocialisationthe past • think globally and act locally

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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