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September 08, 2016


Dr. M


You write: " Abstract thought (or as Langer called it, use of symbolism) is a key component of humanities; it’s the very thing that allows us to think critically, to analyze everything instead of blindly accepting what’s directly in front of us as the full truth." that shows you are following her logic. I would put it slightly differently. Everyone uses "abstract thought" whether they realize it or not. The intelligent person (humanist, scientist, whatever) is simply more aware of how that abstraction is working, how this process is "pre-loaded" into the language we inherit and how we do it ourselves all the time. This is almost the same thing as saying that we are more aware of the inescapability of metaphor, that there is no "pure" speech that escapes the play of figuration and tropes and the best we can do is be as conscious and conscientious as possible about what metaphors we are using, their implications, how they shape thought, how they "distort" and "filter" data in both good and bad ways.

Grade: 2

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Media Ecology Quote of the Day

  • “Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials. . . . When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility. ― Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

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