10/25 Dead or Alive (+Aram Bartholl from F.A.T. Lab)

1. Your short paper assignment is due. I handed out the assignment in class, and here’s the doc:

2. Reading: We’ve talked about the nuances of humanness, animacy, sentience (more on that with robots!), and this week we’re considering the distinction between alive and dead. You’re reading two chapters from Richard Greene and K. Silem Mohammad, Zombies, Vampires and Philosophy (handout). I also encourage you to watch a Zombie or Vampire movie this week, but it’s not required.

Response questions:
–The authors are using various pop cultural representations of the condition of “undeadness” to think about humanness and personhood.
–What are some of their criteria and distinctions that you find useful in thinking about what ‘aliveness’ might mean in the context of the illusion of authenticity–and why?
–Are there criteria or distinctions that you radically disagree with or find inadequate–and why?

3. Take a quick look at Aram‘s site. His work will enrich our discussion in a few weeks when we start talking about unreal and real environments.

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