“Πασαί Τέχναι βροτοίσιν εκ Προμηθέως”: Prometheus and Epimetheus: Fields of Fore­sight and Hind­sight in World­mak­ing

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • The Volatility and Stability of WorldMaking as Techné

Presentation Title:

  • “Πασαί Τέχναι βροτοίσιν εκ Προμηθέως”: Prometheus and Epimetheus: Fields of Fore­sight and Hind­sight in World­mak­ing

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Panel: The Volatility and Stability of WorldMaking as Techné

    The con­cept of Techné has been in­ter­twined with world­mak­ing from an­tiq­uity to the pre­sent. The na­ture of this re­la­tion­ship has not been con­stant, how­ever. Run­ning through from Or­pheus, Hes­iod, Aeschy­lus, Aris­to­tle, and Zeno the Stoic, among oth­ers, these con­cepts were per­sis­tent el­e­ments of a com­plex but highly co­her­ent world­view. Within this out­look, techné sig­ni­fied not only the tech­niques of mak­ing, but, more im­por­tantly, the sig­nif­i­cance of mak­ing. This was un­der­stood as some­thing di­rected, as a vec­tor, not as just a point. More­over, this vec­tor of mak­ing was it­self em­bed­ded in a field of val­ues that con­sti­tuted the very mean­ing of “civ­i­liza­tion.” Con­tem­po­rary ap­proaches to techné, be they philo­soph­i­cal or prac­ti­cal, omit much of this di­rect­ed­ness and em­bed­ded­ness, too often re­sult­ing in tech­nique void of mean­ing, the cre­ation of works that are mu­tu­ally can­cel­ing, and a con­tri­bu­tion to the mak­ing of a world and worlds that are more bro­ken than whole. This paper will dis­cuss how the an­cient in­sights are rel­e­vant – and in­deed im­per­a­tive – to our predica­ment with re­spect to con­tem­po­rary world­mak­ing, both as art and as life.

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