The Machine Has No Tradition

The Abigail Adams Institute
June 16 - 22, 2024

The distinctive feature of life today is that our lives appear to be technologically liberated from nature. We live in human-made physical, social and virtual environments. The human condition is unbundled, disrupted, and made optional, even as supposed human distinctives like speech, creation, and rationality are automated, simulated, and replicated.

The spectre of technology raises afresh the question: what is a human being, and what does it take to stay one?

In this immersive weeklong seminar, we will grapple with the essence of technology and life in a technological society. We will explore how technology is reshaping our souls and our society and what a humanistic approach to technology might look like. We will engage with the best that has been said and thought about technology, while also hearing from both technology creators and practitioners of endangered human traditions.

The seminar will balance a focus on the increasing technological mediation of human consciousness on the one hand, and the shifting material foundations of social life on the other. We shall dive into the transformation of economy, psychology, politics, gender, religion and culture: in short, the transformation of humanity.

Readings will include Martin Heidegger, Rene Girard, Ivan Illich, Karl Marx, Marshall McLuhan, Carl Schmitt, & Others.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2024