Lecture: Men and Media, 1975
Speaker: Marshall McLuhan
Location: York University
My topic is “Man and Media,” a topic which relates to an aspect of media on which I have been working a good deal lately.
The preface to a new book of mine begins, “All of man’s artifacts, of language, of laws, of ideas, hypotheses, tools, clothing, computers – all of these are extensions of our physical bodies.” This power to extend ourselves was used as a theme by Hans Haas in his book The Human Animal. In it he considers this human ability to create additional organs as an enormity from the evolutionary standpoint – an advance laden with unfathomable consequences. My new book on the laws of the media will contain observations on the operation and effects of human artifacts on man and society, or, as Hass notes, “a human artifact is not merely an implement for working upon something but an extension of our body effected by artificial additional organs to which, to a…