Read Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise, with a Report by the Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste by Vilém Flusser Free Online
Book Title: Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise, with a Report by the Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste|
The author of the book: Vilém Flusser
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 3.75 MB
Edition: Univ Of Minnesota Press
Date of issue: September 6th 2012
ISBN 13: 9780816678228
Read full description of the books Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise, with a Report by the Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste:How far apart are humans from animals—even the “vampire squid from hell”? Playing the scientist/philosopher/provocateur, Vilém Flusser uses this question as a springboard to dive into a literal and a philosophical ocean. “The abyss that separates us” from the vampire squid (or vampire octopus, perhaps, since Vampyroteuthis infernalis inhabits its own phylogenetic order somewhere between the two) “is incomparably smaller than that which separates us from extraterrestrial life, as imagined in science fiction and sought by astrobiologists,” Flusser notes at the outset of the expedition.
Part scientific treatise, part spoof, part philosophical discourse, part fable, Vampyroteuthis Infernalis gives its author ample room to ruminate on human—and nonhuman—life. Considering the human condition along with the vampire squid/octopus condition seems appropriate because “we are both products of an absurd coincidence . . . we are poorly programmed beings full of defects,” Flusser writes. Among other things, “we are both banished from much of life’s domain: it into the abyss, we onto the surfaces of the continents. We have both lost our original home, the beach, and we both live in constrained conditions.”
Thinking afresh about the life of an “other”—as different from ourselves as the vampire squid/octopus—complicates the linkages between animality and embodiment. Odd, and strangely compelling, Vampyroteuthis Infernalis offers up a unique posthumanist philosophical understanding of phenomenology and opens the way for a non-philosophy of life.
Read information about the authorVilém Flusser was a philosopher born in Czechoslovakia. He lived for a long period in Brazil and later in France, and his works are written in several different languages.
His early work was marked by discussion of the thought of Martin Heidegger, and by the influence of existentialism and phenomenology. Phenomenology would play a major role in the transition to the later phase of his work, in which he turned his attention to the philosophy of communication and of artistic production. He contributed to the dichotomy in history: the period of image worship, and period of text worship, with deviations consequently into idolatry and "textolatry".
Flusser was born in 1920 in Prague into a family of Jewish intellectuals. His father, Gustav Flusser, studied mathematics and physics (under Albert Einstein among others). Flusser attended German and Czech primary schools and later a German grammar school.
In 1938, Flusser started to study philosophy at the Juridical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague. In 1939, shortly after the Nazi occupation, Flusser emigrated to London to continue his studies for one term at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Vilém Flusser lost all of his family in the German concentration camps: his father died in Buchenwald in 1940; his grandparents, his mother and his sister were brought to Auschwitz and later to Theresienstadt where they were killed. The next year, he emigrated to Brazil, living both in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
In 1960 he started to collaborate with the Brazilian Institute for Philosophy (IBF) in São Paulo and published in the Revista Brasileira de Filosofia; by these means he seriously approached the Brazilian intellectual community. During that decade he published and taught at several schools in São Paulo, being Lecturer for Philosophy of Science at the Escola Politécnica of the University of São Paulo and Professor of Philosophy of Communication at the Escola Dramática and the Escola Superior de Cinema in São Paulo. He also participated actively in the arts, collaborating with the Bienal de São Paulo, among other cultural events.
Beginning in the 1950s he taught philosophy and functioned as a journalist, before publishing his first book Língua e realidade (Language and Reality) in 1963. In 1972 he decided to leave Brazil.
He lived in both Germany and the South of France. To the end of his life, he was quite active writing and giving lectures around media theory. He died in 1991 in a car accident, while visiting his native Prague to give a lecture.
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