Education, Knowledge Economy and Digital Futures
Edited By Michael Peters, Tina (Athlone C.) Besley and Daniel Araya
8. Beautiful Minds and Ugly Buildings: Object Creation, Digital Production, and the Research University—Reflections on the Aesthetic Ecology of the Mind Peter Murphy 161
• 8 • PETER MURPHY The Object World Knowledge is a form of objectivation. It involves the positing of objects in the world. Any such knowledge is contained principally in objects that exist in the world rather than in the mind. There is something to the notion that humankind creates itself, though not in a Romantic sense. Thus I do not mean that humankind creates its own organs, any more than it legislates the laws of physical nature. What humanity does do, though, is create its own environment that it overlays on nature. It creates its own ecology. This artifice, often literally composed in bricks and mortar, is the product of the mind, yet it is external to the mind. The human world is the mind objectivated. This world is outside each of us. We encounter it. We stumble over it. It has a reality that is independent of each one of us. At the same time, though, it is laced with meaning. Chairs or roads are not simply phys- ical artifacts, though they are that; they are simultaneously meaningful objects. This is because humanity’s environment, and the knowledge that is embodied in that ecology, is shaped by human actions and objectivations that are symbolic. This environment is part-physical, part-biological, and part-social; each part of it is transformed in some way by human works, whether it is nature into landscape or the human body into posture and stance. Simply because we make this world does Beautiful Minds and Ugly Buildings Object Creation,...
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