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Poetisches Ent-werfen. Vilém Flussers Bildungsbegriff?

This paper examines Vilém Flusser´s work for its an educational view. The untranslatable German term Bildung will be the point of reference for this paper. Following this approach, the question is how humanity can be humanity, how humanity can conserve or transform the idea of humanity in a culture of digitality. In the first chapter, the terms “critique” and “doubt” are discussed since these serve as a basis for Bildung. In the context of Flusser's thought, critique and doubt even serve as the basis of human beings in general. The ability to criticize one´s society is what constitutes a human. The second chapter then introduces Flusser's ideas of project, a matter of “ent‑werfen” – loosely, “pro-jecting” oneself into society. Flusser is following Heidegger's idea of “ent‑werfen,” which is in turn related to the idea of poesis. Poesis as a project will then be discussed as a means human beings have of changing their society. Poesis means to create the world. The conclusion focuses on the German idea of Bildung with a reference to Flusser. It shows the outstanding relevance of his thinking as well as the special relevance of Flussers works for the concept of Bildung.

Poetisches Ent-werfen (PDF 184.81 KB)

Astúcias do Design

Today there is a plurality of design concepts and trends. After a brief presentation of such multifaceted perspectives, this article aims to discuss Vilém Flusser’s concept of design in order to emphasize its originality, which unfortunately has not been sufficiently brought into the light, especially by those who are both practically and/or theoretically involved with design. Moreover, it is a concept that, for its originality, adds complexity to that which is the backbone of design: the notion of project.

Astúcias do Design (PDF 141.38 KB)

Vilém Flusser: Brasil y la búsqueda del sujeto-proyecto

Vilém Flusser’s intellectual and academic development took place during thirty one years he lived in Brazil. This period was especially relevant in the consolidation of his philosophical projects. This essay works on the hypothesis that Flusser’s analysis of the human condition in the post-historic, post-human, and post-modern ages, as well as the phenomenological search of what he named the new kind of human being, has its roots in this Brazilian period. One of the most read and analyzed subjects of the last European period of this author – the transformation of the subject into a project – acquires new meanings if it is considered and approached from the internal logic of the philosophical bond between these two stages or periods.

Brasil (PDF 293.12 KB)

Die Welt im Netz

This text is taken from Karen Joisten's monograph entitled Philosophie der Heimat - Heimat der Philosophie (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2003), more specifically from chapter 6, "Die Welt im Netz," 273-316. Flusser Studies is re-printing sections 6.3, 6.5, and 6.6 and publishing for the first time section 6.1. in English ("Vilém Flussers Trans-Anthropozentrismus und die Wende 'Vom Subjekt zum Projekt'"). The author's focus lies primarily on Flusser's late works in that she analyzes his vision of a "new human being" in a post-industrial age who is no longer bound by the limits of history and ready to enter into a creative autonomy.

6.3 Das Projizieren (PDF 236.26 KB)

Wir müssen die Frage nach der Freiheit neu formulieren. Von der unwürdigen Entscheidungsfreiheit zur Freiheit als Projektion – eine Spurensuche bei Vilém Flusser

Most theories about freedom depend on the idea of freedom of choice. If you can make your decisions without pressure from the within or without, then you are free. Here freedom of choice is the condition for the freedom of will and action. However for Flusser, freedom of choice is undignified for the human being. With this statement as my starting point, I examine Flusser’s concept of freedom. I will first summarize Flusser’s history of the development of world views and human consciousness, and then reconstruct the different concepts of freedom within them. Then I will analyze Flusser’s opinion about the notion of freedom within a quantitative world view.  Freedom has in this context different definitions: intention, game with chance, projection, creative involvement, or responsibility. This essay performs a critical exploration of the relationship of these definitions to each other and the clarification of Flusser’s specific characterization of freedom.

Frage nach der Freiheit (PDF 212.44 KB)

Das handlungsfähige Projekt? oder: Die Frage nach der Subjekthaftigkeit des Projekts in der Menschwerdung. Zwischen Geste, Projektion und Verantwortung

In the thinking of Vilém Flusser, the question of subjectivity is linked to the question of being human (Mensch-Sein) or becoming human (Mensch-Werden). The human subject should be considered as dependent on media’s cultural and anthropological conditions. In this context, changes in media conditions lead to changes of the human subject. Flusser calls this process a media-cultureanthropological evolution. According to this thesis, the human being is no longer defined as a subject in relation to an object but rather as a “project in a (second) incarnation” (Menschwerdung). The human subject is progressively freed from its dependency on an objective world. Therefore, the dichotomy of subject and object disappears and our existential condition of being in the world (In-der-Welt-Sein) change. We give up the idea of a given and still standing world in favor of an inter-subjective construction, in which the “I”, “You,” and “It” turn out to be projections. The question is: are we still able to talk about the ability to act (Handlungsfähigkeit) in the context of a post-historical project? Isn’t acting a genuine gesture/expression of the understanding of the “subject of objects,” and of agency in the “objective world”?