Mediation and Antimediation
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Media Studies
Course Number: NMDS 5281
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
This seminar will examine the concept of mediation from the vantage point of philosophy. In classical thought, medius is that which is in the middle or in between, that which is intermediate, either by nature or by degree. But being-in-the-middle is always tenuous, fragile, and never stable. It may imply a total connection between two things (immediacy, immediation) as well as a total disconnection (antimediacy, antimediation). In this seminar, we will focus on those moments when metaphysical claims about self and world, subject and object, or the ideal and real, are also claims about mediation. Classical examples such as Plato's cave, Aristotle's division of techne and poiesis , Cartesian mechanism, and Kant's notion of the thing-in-itself, all rely on some notion of mediation. By contrast, there are also a range of counter-positions, in which mediation can tip to one side or the other, leading to immediation or antimediation, with examples ranging from Medieval mysticism, Renaissance alchemy, German Idealism, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, to modern thinkers such as Bataille, Benjamin, Weil, and Nishitani, to selected examples in contemporary media theory.
Open to Graduate students.