Roger Berkowitz: “Earth Alienation from Galileo to Google”
Introduced by Thomas Bartscherer
Part of the ROSTRUM series, hosted by The Language and Thinking Program at Bard College languageandthinking.bard.edu/
Roger Berkowitz is the Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center for Ethical and Political Thinking, and an Associate Professor of Political Studies and Human Rights. He spoke on the Bard campus in August 2010.
In The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt distinguishes humans from animals by their ability to create artificial worlds. Without the power of artifice, humans would be at the mercy of nature, thus no different from animals. The problem that confronts man in the 20th and now 21st centuries, Arendt explains, is that we face the danger that we might so fully create and make our artificial world that we endanger that quality of human life which is subject to fate, nature, and chance. She names this danger earth alienation, which she argues has its beginnings with Gallileo's discovery of the telescope. In this talk, I explore the origin and meaning of earth alienation from Gallileo to Google.