Posted by: glue | October 3, 2010

Augmented Conscience

Limit (die Grenze)

Hannah Arendt’s project to rewrite Kant’s three Critiques for a twentieth-century public sphere is a relay for avatar.  The proposed functionality addresses the condition of experience that Arendt stated with the greatest clarity and authority:  “Whatever the source of moral knowledge might be — divine commandments or human reason — every sane man, it was assumed, carried within himself a voice that tells him what is right and what is wrong, and this regardless of the law of the land and regardless of the voices of his fellowmen” (Arendt, “Some Questions of Moral Philosophy”).  Socrates understood this voice as his daimonion, and Kant formulated it as the categorical imperative.  Arendt’s point is that this assumption has been refuted by contemporary history, in which the Camps and Bomb constitute emblems for the possibility that human conduct could eradicate not only Justice, but Life itself.  Kant believed, she reminded us, that a world without Justice was not worth saving in any case.  Kant’s measure was self-respect, a pre-electrate stand.  The proposal of avatar is to design a practice, within the electrate prosthesis, that returns this voice (daimonion) to human experience.  Online citizens by means of avatar undergo the event of measure, of limit.

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