Things Can be Otherwise – Session 1

Introduction to Philosophy:

  1. History and theory of art and design
  2. Why art and design matters
  3. Knowledge is the consumption of truth
  4. Reflection on your learning across all parts of your course.

‘Facts are manufactured. Enquiry is an ongoing, interactive process.’

Enquiry as an interactive process:

  1. Knowledge – A single, final truth or network of differences.
  2. Technology – Enacts my will or co-creates my being or what is possible in the world.
  3. Writing – As a brain sneeze – as difficulty – as empathy – as looking – as sculpture
  4. The Self – Mind, body and soul… There is no such thing.


This was my first Things Can be Otherwise session, which mostly involved a lot of introductions to the module and its content and the style of work that we will be learning and also an introduction to my lecturer; Prof. Clive Cazeaux.

Having never studied Philosophy before, I did find it rather interesting particularly the style of questions that were asked such as; ‘Are we tools? Are we shaped by tools?’ It throws what you think you know into the air and forces you to re-question the very nature of one’s self. With this question, it is known that we are shaped by our environments and I believe that technology is embedded within most environments in today’s society. Therefore to an extent I do believe that we are shaped by technology. It has changed the way we can meet and interact with people, it has changed the way we go about doing things in our day to day lives and it has changed the way we learn.

However, I do not believe that we are fully shaped by tools, I think that we are also shaped by our family, the area in which we grow up, our friends and the world itself. Many people connect with nature and enjoy being immersed in its beauty, which would not occur if we were solely shaped by technology.

We also reviewed a timeline form the Modern era through to the Postmodernism era.

  • Modern 1637 – R.Decartes, ‘I think, therefore, I am’
  • Modernity 1760 – 1830 – Industrial Revolution
  • Modernism 1870 – 1950 – Artistic reaction to mechanisation and mass production; Claude Monet
  • Postmodernism 1960 – Reaction to modernity and modernism; T. Adorno and M. Horkheimer, Dialect of Enlightenment.

Modern 1637 – R. Decartes; the departure from religion and the idea that human beings are independent with souls that can think for themselves.

Modernism – Art trying to find a new way to work without the need of machines or can’t be captured by machines.

Postmodernism – try to question the modern era. Reaction to excesses of modernity and modernism.

As an introduction into the subject area, I have found it to be interesting, although challenging as it is forces one to think differently about topics that otherwise go unthought of.






Author: marislathamgraphics

I am a student at Cardiff Metropolitan University studying BA Hons Graphic Communication.

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