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Human Nature and the Ethics of Progress: Power and Purpose in 20th Century Religion, Science and Art
Throughout 20th century culture, various efforts todefine the nature of progress directly contributed to competing visions of human nature. Theologians,scientists and artists struggled with one another,each group announcing different versions of the humansubject based upon its definition of progress.Progress in all groups was a deeply ethical concept,one...
Throughout 20th century culture, various efforts todefine the nature of progress directly contributed to competing visions of human nature. Theologians,scientists and artists struggled with one another,each group announcing different versions of the humansubject based upon its definition of progress.Progress in all groups was a deeply ethical concept,one that crossed the disciplinary boundaries assumedto exist between the cultural domains. By advocatingparticular visions of human nature, each groupoffered an ethical vision for human action. Thisdynamic is visible in a comparative approach toliberation theology, robotics, and the contemporaryart of Wolfgang Laib and the group Survival ResearchLaboratories. Just like the theologians, scientistsand artists make ethical claims as to what is theultimate good for humankind and both offer varietiesof salvation to compete with that of the theologians.Dr. Geraci's work shows that in religion, science andart, expectations for progress were key tounderstanding how these various groups andindividuals constructed the ethical values of theemerging human subject.
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