Starting tomorrow, Advantage Harari: Are we humans best seen as "the rational animal," a formulation Aristotle is widely said to have advanced?
Or is it possible that we humans have been "seeing ourselves from afar?" Is it possible that Professor Harari has offered a more helpful framework of understanding?
Within Harari's paradigmatic portrait, we humans run on "gossip" and on the invention and promulgation of compelling group "fictions." A striking lack of "tolerance" is mentioned as part of the mix.
Not that it matters at this late date, but which portrait better captures the essence of our war-like, floundering species? Which portraitist is more essentially accurate—Aristotle or Professor Harari?
Starting tomorrow, we'll look at examples from our current discourse which seem to say "Advantage Harari!" Last week, we considered Harari's dissent—his implied rejection of that self-flattering, deeply-entrenched "rational animal" portrait:
Tuesday, February 12: Obama, Gates praise major best-seller! "Rational animal, my asp," Israeli professor declares.Do our modern, upper-end journalists really behave like "rational animals?" Or is it possibly time to abandon that picture?
Wednesday, February 13: How accurate are Harari's claims? For our purpose, that isn't the point!
Thursday, February 14: At times, Harari's assessments are dark! How accurate are those assessments?
Friday, February 15: Lady or tiger? Rabbit or duck? In search of a new paradigm!
We'll consider those questions all week.
Tomorrow: Completely ignoring the Green New Deal, Rachel Maddow—Our Own Rhodes Scholar—just keeps locking them up!