Monthly Archives: October 1985
Sketch for a thesis (no grade, discussion only)
Doubt-Desire in the Technological Age
Fall 1985, RPI
‘Since Copernicus,` Nietzsche wrote in 1887, ‘man rolls from the center into “x.” Few of Nietzsche’s contemporaries had the scope to comprehend the full significance of this declaration, just as there were few ears that would listen and comprehend the meaning of Nietzsche’s Madman declaring “God is dead” in the marketplace of 19th century consciousness. Laughed at, the Madman would cry, “I’ve come too soon,” before making
his hasty and melancholy retreat back into the depths of unconsciousness. But today, nearly a century later, we feel the full profundity of the Madman’s words and are becoming at least partially cognizant of their meaning.
Today only the half-conscious Fool or the “civilized barbarian” (ie,technocrat) chooses to ignore the depth’s of the world’s turmoil. We seem to have finally arrived at a place in history that is diametrically opposed in spirit to the long~idealized Golden-Age, in which the basic human doubt-desire dialectic was resolved in the centrifugal force, the
outward-projecting movement of Golden Age consciousness: the conflicts arising out of man’s relationship to nature were expressed as a constellation of anthropomorphic symbols which gave his life meaning. But in this our reductive Technological Age the doubt-desire dialectic is resolved or, rather, it is dissolved in the centripetal movement of an overly rationalized, overly explained natural world that no longer provides man with meaning because it no longer needs to be doubted.