Defensa de las Humanidades Digitales, o vino viejo en odres nuevos

Discurso de Leon Wieseltier en el acto de graduación de los “fellow humanists” de la Brandeis University, publicado como “A Defense of the Humanities”, en The New Republic (19 mayo 2013):

We live in a society inebriated by technology, and happily, even giddily governed by the values of utility, speed, efficiency, and convenience. The technological mentality that has become the American worldview instructs us to prefer practical questions to questions of meaning – to ask of things not if they are true or false, or good or evil, but how they work. Our reason has become an instrumental reason, and is no longer the reason of the philosophers, with its ancient magnitude of intellectual ambition, its belief that the proper subjects of human thought are the largest subjects, and that the mind, in one way or another, can penetrate to the very principles of natural life and human life.

[...]

So keep your heads. Do not waver. Be very proud. Use the new technologies for the old purposes. Do not be rattled by numbers, which will never be the springs of wisdom.

In upholding the humanities, you uphold the honor of a civilization that was founded upon the quest for the true and the good and the beautiful. For as long as we are thinking and feeling creatures, creatures who love and imagine and suffer and die, the humanities will never be dispensable.

From this day forward, then, act as if you are indispensable to your society, because – whether it knows it or not – you are.