Man

 

Vitruvian Man, Leonardo Da Vinci, Circa 1490 CE, Gallerie dell'Academia, VeniceHomer’s Odyssey begins with the word ‘Man’ [Andra, from the Attic-Greek Aner, as in the English Anthropo]. His saga starts here.

The word ‘Man’ derives from a root [as in the Sanskrit Manush, Manas] that says: ‘That which has Mind’ or more literally, ‘That which thinks’.

How is ‘Man’ different say, from a Mattress? Man is different because Man alone has Mind. This has been the traditional answer since antiquity.

The defining attribute of Man is his Mind. And with this Mind, Man constructs his World as Model. And its central character is his model of himself as ‘Man’.

A toy-car is a model. So is a doll’s-house. But the most important models are mental-models, the ones we build inside our heads using Sign and Symbol, Logic and Language and Thought.

A ‘Model’ is a creation, a re-construction of the original, not the real-thing but its re-presentation. A Model of Reality, not the Real McCoy.

In the hands of an accomplished architect, the complex architecture of building a house made up of ‘Subjects’ and ‘Objects’ can be an intricate, layered piece of Art.

The sprawling and sophisticated intellectual frame that directs and defends our entire contemporary way of thinking and living. Our ‘Man-Made Modeled World’.

 


Sounds simple enough once you make the sharp distinction of a ‘Man-Made Modeled World’. Exit the Model and you are done. Not quite.

It’s a helpful initial pedagogic divide. But ultimately needs to be abandoned, left by the roadside. There really is no ‘Man’ here making up a ‘Modeled-World’, and no ‘Man’ needing or trying to exit it [See Maya].