FRANK NELSON DOUBLEDAY LECTURE SERIES FOR 1972-73 by Saul Bellow

FRANK NELSON DOUBLEDAY LECTURE SERIES FOR 1972-73

TECHNOLOGY AND THE FRONTIERS OF KNOWLEDGE

KIRKUS REVIEW

They're still hacking away at that tired subject, technology.

Saul Bellow proclaims the virtues of the individual aesthetic experience and how technology threatens it (he interprets Ulysses in this light). Arthur C. Clarke sounds off for the "other side" -- time machines, extraterrestrial civilizations, etc. And biologist Peter Medawar doesn't have much to offer in suggesting correspondences between technological development and organic evolution -- his one constructive idea is lifted from Karl Popper (technology as the "third world" of actual and conceivable thoughts based on the other two worlds of physical objects and mental states). Historian Edmundo O'Gorman explores the thesis that "man's aspiration to be happy is his desire to be exempt from want, or, to say it more technically, to become a non-necessitated entity" -- and considers how a technological revolution and a change in self-definition are inseparable. Sociologist Daniel Bell provides a comprehensive overview of technology and its effects on our knowledge of ourselves, pursuing the subject historically and analyzing contemporary possibilities.

O'Gorman and Bell make this a worthwhile volume -- the others beat dead horses (automobiles?).

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1974




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