Dr Jolynna Sinanan and Dr Justin Clemens both return to the Garage for July! With the topic ‘The Human Condition: Discuss’.
We’ll be beginning around 4PM on Sunday the 28th and will be providing the usual beer, soup and donations jar.
Human Beings Cannot Bear Very Much Reality*
by Dr Justin Clemens
In ancient Athenian law, a citizen’s testimony could not be admitted if extracted by torture; on the other hand, a slave’s speech could ONLY be accepted if extracted through torture. What does this mean? Aside from anything else, that nothing a slave says or thinks can count in any way for the polity under the normal circumstances of domination. But it turns out that humans often seem to like to put themselves in such situations, even to go about creating such situations for themselves. Peter Sloterdijk has noted that humans are in fact the only animals that constitutionally put themselves in cages, a feature Sigmund Freud called ‘the economic problem of masochism.’ Not only do humans not tolerate reality, then, but they genuinely do what they can to make things worse. ‘Basanos’ was the Greek for ‘touchstone’ and later ‘torture’: is this then one of the swipe-cards for the human condition?
Have a look at our our lectures page for Jo and Justin’s previous talks.