Designing intelligence and civic power: maritime political economy from Athens to Australia

Murphy, Peter (2005) Designing intelligence and civic power: maritime political economy from Athens to Australia. In: Camilleri, Joseph A., Kahn, Joel S., and Murphy, Peter, (eds.) Australian Perspectives on Southeast Asia, the United States, and the World: the PASN inaugural week lectures. Ateneo de Manila University, Manila, Philippines, pp. 39-72.

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[Extract] Whenever mothers chide their children to sit up straight, they are repeating something very basic to the human species. For homo sapiens, upright posture was the criterion that defined being human. Darwin thought so. Uprightness meant walking upright on two legs. The bipedal nature of the human species gave it great locomotive abilities. It would literally walk itself across the face of the earth. Because it only used two legs for locomotion, it was left with two hands free--all the better to grip things. The counterpoint of the thumb and index finger of the hand gave homo sapiens a highly dexterous grip. Alone, either locomotion or grip would have been interesting species abilities but not necessarily brilliant ones. In combination, though, they were astounding. The locomotive creature looked forward, behind, and upwards to the heavens. Crossing distance encouraged visual capacities of foresight, insight, and hindsight. Intensified through use and need, these became imagination, reason, and memory-the basis for cognition. Cognition in turn became the basis for creating objects that did not exist previously in the world. Imaging, reasoning about, and remembering the shape of objects emerged from the forward, behind, and upwards movement of the peripatetic creature. The human grip allied with this object-orientated mind proved a powerful force for object creation. The combination of objectivating mind and objectivating hand allowed the human species not only to make their own objects, but also to create an artificial environment in which the human species could live.

Item ID: 23232
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-971-92296-6-7
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2014 05:55
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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