Artifice and Agency

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Next Week's Reading and Discussion

As I mentioned already, next week we will be tackling Chapter 3 of Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition.

This is the "Labor" chapter in which Arendt engages in a provocative and sometimes quite idiosyncratic critique of Marx made possible by her own distinction of labor from both work and action. For Tuesday, we will be discussing the first four sections of the "Labor" chapter (hopefully this reading is already well underway), pp. 79-108; and then for Thursday we will be reading the final three sections, pp. 109-135.

In addition, I think it is a good idea to read at least some of the actual Marx with which Arendt is presumably in conversation here. And so, I am assigning the text you will find if you follow this link.

This will take you to Marx and Engels' The German Ideology, which Arendt cites very regularly in her discussion. The link will take you to Part I., Chapter 1, Section 2 "First Premises of Materialist Method," and I want you to be prepared to discuss this section and the next two as well, "History: Fundamental Conditions" and "Private Property and Communism," which essentially means reading from where the link takes you to the end of that section of the online document.

By the way, people, I want to hear more from you on the blog! Questions, comments, concerns, criticisms! And remember that your first assigned paper will soon be due. You will generate a 2-3pp. reading of a section or problem or figure or theme or what have you in the Arendt or in the Marx I have assigned so far, up through next week. Another possibility is that you might find an interesting argument by following one of the links on our blogroll into campaigns of environmental and network design. If you choose to write about something you find online, you need to let me know first so I can talk to you about it a bit.


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