"Encyclopedic Minds: Max Bense and the Problem of Being Human in a Technological Age” Lecture by Dr. William Stewart (ND '12), Harvard University


Location: Max Kade Seminar Room (128 Decio) (View on map )

Does technology demonstrate the capacities of human creativity or does it merely reveal the breadth of our mental and physical deficiencies? The answer, as understood by the philosopher of technology Max Bense (1910–1990), is both: human intellect expresses itself through technological invention, which is capable of being at once a condition for and a threat to humans' very existence. In our own age of ubiquitous screens, feeds, and algorithms, Bense’s argument for an “encyclopedic intellect” offers a thought-provoking ideal for a socially responsible approach to technology, one that probes the ambiguous morality of the technological while attempting to bridge the divide between quantitative and qualitative reasoning.