Assignment two : LUSENET : Walsh Intro to Philosophy : One Thread

The most significant idea in "I Married an Empiricist" came from Joseph Weizenbaum. Kaplan mentions Weizenbaum's idea that "the tools we create come to dominate us." We invent products with the intent of improving our lives, but this does not happen. New technology enters the market as an expensive novelty that is used only by people with the interest and cash flow to purchase the gadget. Eventually, as costs fall, marketers convince the general public that they must have the new product. Television is a good example of unnecessary technology tht dominates our lives. Mankind survived for thousands of years without television; now our generations are being defined by television's role in our lives. We are dominated by an electric box that has replace real human interaction.

I most disagree with Richard Cohen's opinion of self-reflection. Cohen says "Imitating Heidegger's response of active listening to the call of what he abstractly names "being" makes it too easy to forget our responsibilities to others, makes it too tempting to lose ourselves in the masturbatory world of endless self-reflection. If we all live purely through the experiences of others and for the benefit of others, then no one can reap the benefits. We wouldn't take the time to appreciate what others do for us, we'd all be too busy supporting each other. Self-reflection is absolutely necessary. Our self is the only contact we have with the real world. We define reality by the experiences of our self. Only through self-reflection can we interpret our place in the world.

-- Anonymous, January 25, 2000

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