by David Denby, author, journalist, film critic
Have we lost the metaphysical? And how do we regain it?
One of my humanities moments happened while I was watching old reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation
. There is a character in that show named Data, an android who is constantly seeking his own humanity. At one point the crew of the Enterprise
finds the sister of a fellow crew member who had previously died in the line of duty. Many of the characters in the show describe how the sister reminded them of their lost friend, but Data puts it the best. He supposedly doesn’t experience emotions, but his description of his own…