TH6. Philosophical Anthropology’s Mängelswesen


Not all thinkers of the spine have followed Burroughs and Morgan in emphasizing the ruinous effects of human evolution; some have positively celebrated the consequences of standing, and echoed Kant’s suggestion of a deep link between bodily uprightness and the human’s triumphant dominion over the planet. However, to avoid returning to the naive self-aggrandisement of Gregory of Nyssa, almost all have had to accept that uprightness may well be a poison (as Burroughs no doubt would be quick to protest) as well as a cure. It is because we can stand that we can fall, and because we stand for ourselves falling is our fault, and it is precisely this self-accountability that first forces us to produce the technical prostheses that unleash our power over the globe: this is a dynamic that is merely repeated (recapitulated?) in the age of the atom bomb by the fact that the technoscientific power to redesign our world in our image is simultaneously the power to destroy it. As ever, all of this flows from the ancestral spine.…