What relevance do you believe Gilgamesh has for humans today? Do you think this epic served a purpose in Mesopotamian cultures from the perspective of Dr Harari’s argument of shared fiction/imagined order, and if so, how? What questions do you have about the epic?
Although Sapiens is not officially part of your subsequent reading, we will refer back to the concepts discussed by Dr Harari throughout this course. To recap a few of the principles, we have read:
That the truly unique feature of Homo sapiens’ language is the ability to transmit information about things that do not exist and the ability to speak about fiction.* That the approach that views cultures as infecting human hosts and living on even after death is called memetics (in the humanities, post-modernism; in the social sciences, game theory).That the ability to transmit information about things such as tribal spirits, nations, limited liability companies, and human rights allows for cooperation between very large numbers of strangers and rapid innovation of social behavior.
That the imagined order is inter-subjective, embedded in the material world, and shapes our desires, therefore we are convinced that our particular order is not imagined.That the three universal orders are economic, imperial, and religious. As you read through the summaries of Mesopotamia, Africa & Egypt, and the Hebrews, the concepts listed above should start to make sense beyond the theoretical/philosophical.
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