Indeed, relativism and the moral nihilism with which it is often affiliated, seems to be in retreat everywhere. For many observers and critics, this is a wholly positive development since both have the corrosive effect of undermining ethical certainty. I think there are two motivations behind this disdain for relativism and moral nihilism:
Philosophy[ edit ] Simulacra have long been of interest to philosophers. In his SophistPlato speaks of two kinds of image making.
The first is a faithful reproduction, attempted to copy precisely the original. The second is intentionally distorted in order to make the copy appear correct to viewers. He gives the example of Greek statuarywhich was crafted larger on the top than on the bottom so that viewers on the ground would see it correctly.
If they could view it in scale, they would realize it was malformed. This example from the visual arts serves as a metaphor for the philosophical arts and the tendency of some philosophers to distort truth so that it appears accurate unless viewed from the proper angle.
Where Plato saw two types of representation—faithful and intentionally distorted simulacrum —Baudrillard sees four: What is essential is that we find in these systems no prior identityno internal resemblance".
Recreation[ edit ] Recreational simulacra include reenactments of historical events or replicas of landmarks, such as Colonial Williamsburg and the Eiffel Towerand constructions of fictional or cultural ideas, such as Fantasyland at The Walt Disney Company 's Magic Kingdom.
The various Disney parks have by some philosophers been regarded as the ultimate recreational simulacra, with Baudrillard noting that Walt Disney World Resort is a copy of a copy, "a simulacrum to the second power".
Examining the impact of Disney's simulacrum of national parksDisney's Wilderness Lodgeenvironmentalist Jennifer Cypher and anthropologist Eric Higgs expressed worry that "the boundary between artificiality and reality will become so thin that the artificial will become the centre of moral value".
First, there are the players who participate in the sport the realthen the onlookers merely witnessing it, and finally the commentary on the act of witnessing the sport.
Visual artist Paul McCarthy has created entire installations based on Pirates of the Caribbean and theme park simulacra, with videos playing inside the installation. Caricature[ edit ] An interesting example of simulacrum is caricature.
When an artist produces a line drawing that closely approximates the facial features of a real person, the subject of the sketch cannot be easily identified by a random observer; it can be taken for a likeness of any individual.
However, a caricaturist exaggerates prominent facial features, and a viewer will pick up on these features and be able to identify the subject, even though the caricature bears far less actual resemblance to the subject.
Iconography[ edit ] Beer For example, an iconographic representation of a cloud formation sheltering a deity in a thanka or covering the auspice of a sacred mountain in the natural environment may be discerned as a simulacrum of an "auspicious canopy" Sanskrit: Chhatra of the Ashtamangala.Indeed, relativism and the moral nihilism with which it is often affiliated, seems to be in retreat everywhere.
For many observers and critics, this is a wholly positive development since both have the corrosive effect of undermining ethical certainty. A simulacrum (plural: simulacra from Latin: simulacrum, which means "likeness, similarity") is a representation or imitation of a person or thing.
The word was first recorded in the English language in the late 16th century, used to describe a representation, such as a statue or a painting, especially of a god.
This little book by Alain Badiou is an intervention in the contemporary discourse on Ethics. Badiou targets "negative ethics", arguing that it is limited to forms of damage or violence minimization.
Editors' Introduction Arne De Boever, Jason E. Smith, Jessica Whyte and Ashley Woodward. FEATURES "March 18, ," from Alain Badiou, Malebranche: The Seminars of Alain Badiou (Being 2 - the Theological Figure, ) Alain Badiou, translated by Jason E. Smith.
Existentialism. Existentialism is a catch-all term for those philosophers who consider the nature of the human condition as a key philosophical problem and who share the view that this problem is best addressed through ontology.
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