This article investigates the types of intentionality involved in human–technology relations. It aims to augment Don Ihde’s analysis of the relations between human beings and technological artifacts, by analyzing a number of concrete examples at the limits of Ihde’s analysis. The article distinguishes and analyzes three types of “cyborg intentionality,” which all involve specific blends of the human and the technological. Technologically mediated intentionality occurs when human intentionality takes place “through” technological artifacts; hybrid intentionality occurs when the technological actually (...) merges with the human; and composite intentionality is the addition of human intentionality and the intentionality of technological artifacts. (shrink)
Examination is made of a range of cyborg solutions to bodily problems due to damage, but here with particular reference to aging. Both technological and animal implants, transplants and prosthetic devices are phenomenologically analyzed. The resultant trade-off phenomena are compared to popular culture technofantasies and desires and finally to human attitudes toward mortality and contingency. The parallelism of resistance to contingent existence and to becoming a cyborg is noted.
Selinger and Engstrom, A moratorium on cyborgs: Computation, cognition and commerce, 2008 (this issue) urge upon us a moratorium on ‘cyborg discourse’. But the argument underestimates the richness and complexity of our ongoing communal explorations. It leans on a somewhat outdated version of the machine metaphor (exemplified perhaps by a frozen 1970’s Cyborg). The modern cyborg, informed by an evolving computational model of mind, can play a positive role in the critical discussions that Selinger and Engstrom seek.
This paper aims to show how recent cinematic representations reveal a far more pessimistic and essentialised vision of Human/Cyborg hybridity in comparison with the more enunciative and optimistic ones seen at the end of the twentieth century. Donna Haraway’s still influential 1985 essay “A Cyborg Manifesto” saw the combination of the organic and the technological as offering new and exciting ways beyond the normalised culturally constructed categories of gender and identity formation. However, more recently critics see her later (...) writings as embodying a Faustian deal between the individual and hegemony, where technology does not enhance but merely returns the subject to a level of normalisation. As such cybernetics is only configured as a form of prosthetic rehabilitation, to ‘re’-able the ‘dis’-abled, that ultimately re-establishes earlier essentialised subject positions through that same evolutionary process. The Six Million Dollar Man, which ran from 1974 to 1978, exampled a symbiosis between the organic and the technological where the broken human body is not just re-made via mechanical prosthesis but through a process of Cyborg hybridity which actually makes it better, faster, stronger than before. In contrast, contemporary films such as Avatar (Cameron 2009), Transformers II: Revenge of the Fallen (Bay 2009) and Iron Man II (Faveraeu 2010) portray an inherent anxiety toward the cyborg body disavowing of any human/cyborg interaction beyond re-establishing their own discrete and separate subject positions. Although human/cyborg symbiosis constructs the possibility for potentialised bodies beyond those previously imagined, contemporary, popular, film represents them as separated and essentialised. This article looks at what cultural anxieties might produce such an about turn in such representations how this positions human identity in a time of increasing technology and, as a result, asks “whatever happened to The Six Million Dollar Man?”. (shrink)
As new communication technologies transform everyday life in the 21st century, personal, family, and other social relations are transformed with it. As a way of exploring the larger question, "how exactly does communication technology transform love and how love is lived?" here I explore the cell phone, instant messaging and other communication technologies as electronic extensions of maternal bodies connecting (cyber)mother to (cyber)children. -/- Feminist explorations of the marketing and use of cell phones, as well as other communication technologies, have (...) largely remarked on the pernicious gender ideologies intertwined with technological innovation and application. If, however, we take seriously Haraway’s (1991) claim that postmodern humans are cyborgs, the distinction between human animals and machines breaks down in ways that invite us to revision the questions we ask about technology. Thus instead of inquiring about the oppression engendered by the production and consumption of communication technologies, here I explore the ways in which technology functions as an extension and modification of human embodiment that transforms our experiences of intimacy and our ability to create, maintain and transform loving relationships with others. More specifically, I examine cyborg mothering as transformative of loving relationships between women and children. (shrink)
The Gendered Cyborg brings together material from a variety of disciplines that analyze the relationship between gender and technoscience, and the way that this relationship is represented through ideas, language and visual imagery. The book opens with key feminist articles from the history and philosophy of science. They look at the ways that modern scientific thinking has constructed oppositional dualities such as objectivity/subjectivity, human/machine, nature/science, and male/female, and how these have constrained who can engage in science/technology and how they (...) have limited our ideas of the possibilities for both humanity and science. Later sections contain readings that present key feminist theories about representation to examine how gender and technoscience are represented in areas of particular contemporary interest: the new human reproductive technologies, science fiction, film and the Internet. The readings constantly ask "Is this for women, for human beings?" Contributors: Alison Adam, Anne Balsamo, Lynda K. Bundtzen, Barbara Creed, Mary Ann Doane, Dion Farquhar, Jennifer González, Evelynn M. Hammonds, Donna Haraway, Fiona Hovenden, Luce Irigaray, Linda Janes, Gill Kirkup, Nina Lykke, Sadie Plant, Rosalind Pollack Perchesky, Londa Schiebinger, Vivian Sobchack, Deborah Lynn Steinberg, Nancy Leys Stepan, Nina Wakeford, Kathryn Woodward. (shrink)
The era of the Cyborg is now upon us. This has enormous implications on ethical values for both humans and cyborgs. In this paper the state of play is discussed. Routes to cyborgisation are introduced and different types of Cyborg are considered. The author's own self-experimentation projects are described as central to the theme taken. The presentation involves ethical aspects of cyborgisation both as it stands now and those which need to be investigated in the near future as (...) the effects of increased technological power have a more dramatic influence. An important feature is the potential for cyborgs to act against, rather than for, the interests of humanity. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that Donna Haraway's figure of the cyborg needs to be reassessed and extricated from the many misunderstandings that surround it. First, I suggest that we consider her cyborg as an ethical concept. I propose that her cyborg can be productively placed within the ethical framework developed by Luce Irigaray, especially in relationship to her concept of the “interval between.” Second, I consider how Haraway's “cyborg writing” can be understood as embodied ethical (...) writing, that is, as a contemporary écriture feminine. I believe that this cyborgian “writing the body” offers us a way of both creating and understanding texts that think through ethics, bodies, aesthetics, and politics together as part of a vital and relevant contemporary feminist ethics of embodiment. I employ the term “poethics” as a useful way to describe such a practice. (shrink)
The paper takes as its starting point Donna Haraway’s suggestion, “The actors are cyborg, nature is coyote, and the geography is elsewhere”. It discusses first the understanding of the cyborg promoted by Haraway as illustrating an ontological non-humanist disposition, rather than a periodizing claim. The second part of the paper examines some instances of low-tech cyborg identities, which have emerged in developing countries (elsewhere) as a consequence of development initiatives. The paper argues that the quite literal attempts (...) to develop cyborgs in such countries gives rise to developments not foreseen or controllable by the development industries. If cyborg identities are developing and minds and bodies shaped in the frictions between culture, technology, economy, and development projects and activities then what are the implications for cognitive studies. In the final part of the paper this question is considered and it is suggested that cognitive studies would do well to expand their analytical foci to take into account cyborg bodies and minds found “elsewhere”. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that there are moral reasons to embrace the construction of self-designing and sex/gender-neutral cyborg athletes. In fact, with the prospect of advanced genetic and cyborg technology, we may face a future where sport (as we know it) occurs in its purest form; that is, where athletes get evaluated by athletic performance only and not by their gender, and where it becomes impossible to discriminate athletes based on their body constitution and gender identity. The (...) gender constructions within sports and sports culture are solid, however. Here, I argue that the rough distinctions we use to define people in terms of sex/gender tend to create and recreate old-fashioned and discriminatory sex/gender-boundaries. A morally reasonable way of meeting this issue, is to say that the problem is not the individuals who (for one reason or another) transcend certain gender categories, but the categories in themselves. (shrink)
: This paper discusses how Herbert Simon's initial interest in decision making became transformed into a focus on understanding human problem solving in response to the concrete conditions of the Cold War and the practical goals of the military. In particular, it suggests a connection between the seachange in Simon's interest and his shift in patronage. As a result, Simon is portrayed as a component of the scientific-military World War II cyborg that further evolved during the Cold War. Moving (...) from decision making to problem solving, Simon's cyborg science not only required large sums of money, but also managed to acquire these. (shrink)
This paper explores how embryos have been representedin law. It argues that two main models haveunderpinned legal discourse concerning the embryo. Onediscourse, which has become increasingly prevalent,views embryos as legal subjects or persons. Suchrepresentations are facilitated by technologicaldevelopments such as ultrasound imaging. In additionto influencing Parliamentary debate prior to thepassage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act1990, images of embryos as persons featureprominently in popular culture, including advertisingand films, and this discourse came to the fore in the`orphaned embryo' debate in (...) 1996. The main opposingdiscourse dismisses embryos as commodifiable objects,which fits with a trend towards legal recognition thatreproductive materials such as sperm may be classifiedas property which may be donated or sold. In thecase of cryo-preserved embryos these competingperspectives have resulted in litigation over thestatus of frozen embryos. In this paper I argue thatit might be productive to shift the debate from thispolarised dispute over whether embryos matter or not,whether they are pre-persons or commodities. Instead,I suggest that we should attempt to locate them in abiotechnological milieu, where cyborg metaphors may beutilised, and questions of how we should treat embryoswould be contextualised alongside our response toother cyborgs. (shrink)
Traditional managers have insisted in a highly structured way of institutionalizing the mechanistic, functianalized, physical management of people and artifacts. This focus on structure creates a tension between the need for rigid command on the OM hand and that for flexible response to threats on the other. The modern worker i s thereby confronted with a bewildering multiplicity of partial identities, contradictory viewpoints and corporate strategies that pull in different directions. Wood suggests a contrasting approach, the cyborg self; a (...) hybrid composition of organism and machine that celebrates the very tension that the structural approach abhors. The cyborg gives primacy to relationships us things in their own right ahead of individual terms and expressions. Thus, the cyborg stands in opposition to a focus on structure and is perhaps an introduction to the organization's postmodern focus on interactions and processes. (shrink)
This paper argues that cyborg perspectives offer real possibilities for the debate around enforced caesareans and the search for a language to encompass embodied maternal subjectivity. It is suggested, with reference to the fictional narrative of Star Trek, that cyborg figures have the power to disrupt the liberal subject and the body in legal discourse, not least because the plethora of cyborgs challenges simple conceptions of connections/disconnections between bodies. Feminist readings of case law relating to enforced caesarean sections (...) have raised questions about the notion of autonomy at the heart of liberal legalism, have argued that law is complicit with white male techno-medicine's approach to childbirth and focused upon the pregnant woman's lived experience of pregnancy. The recent Court of Appeal decision in St George's Healthcare N.H.S Trust v. S., Regina v. Collins and Others, ex parte S., where the pregnant woman's self-determination was upheld, provides a good opportunity to confront both the liberal story and the idea of connectedness between mother and unborn child. (shrink)
Cyborgs are ongoing becomings of a doubly “in-between” temporality of humans and machines. Materially made from components of both sorts of beings, cyborgs gain increasing function through an interweaving in which each alters the other, from the level of “neural plasticity” to software updates to emotional breakthroughs of which both are a part. One sort of temporal in-between is of the progressive unfolding of a deepening becoming as “not-one-not-two” and the other is a “doubling back” of time into itself in (...) which moments that were once disparate are conjoined or enjambed. Tracing the experience of Michael Chorost during a four year period of coming to terms with his cochlear implant, related in Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human , the essay pinpoints shifts in awareness, perceptual belief, and being-with others that unfold within the in-between of person and machine. (shrink)
Understanding humans requires viewing them as mechanisms of some sort, since understanding anything requires seeing it as a mechanism. It is science’s job to reveal mechanisms. But science reveals much more than that: it also reveals enduring mystery—strangeness in the proportion. Concentrating just on the scientific side of Selinger’s and Engström’s call for a moratorium on cyborg discourse, I argue that this strangeness prevents cyborg discourse from diminishing us.
Brain-machine interfaces are a growing field of research and application. The increasing possibilities to connect the human brain to electronic devices and computer software can be put to use in medicine, the military, and entertainment. Concrete technologies include cochlear implants, Deep Brain Stimulation, neurofeedback and neuroprosthesis. The expectations for the near and further future are high, though it is difficult to separate hope from hype. The focus in this paper is on the effects that these new technologies may have on (...) our ‘symbolic order’—on the ways in which popular categories and concepts may change or be reinterpreted. First, the blurring distinction between man and machine and the idea of the cyborg are discussed. It is argued that the morally relevant difference is that between persons and non-persons, which does not necessarily coincide with the distinction between man and machine. The concept of the person remains useful. It may, however, become more difficult to assess the limits of the human body. Next, the distinction between body and mind is discussed. The mind is increasingly seen as a function of the brain, and thus understood in bodily and mechanical terms. This raises questions concerning concepts of free will and moral responsibility that may have far reaching consequences in the field of law, where some have argued for a revision of our criminal justice system, from retributivist to consequentialist. Even without such a (unlikely and unwarranted) revision occurring, brain-machine interactions raise many interesting questions regarding distribution and attribution of responsibility. (shrink)
The cry that advanced machines will come to dominate human beings resounds from the time of the Luddites up to the current consternation by the chief scientist of Sun Microsystems, Bill Joy. My theme is a twist on this fear: self-deselection, the possibility that humans will voluntarily combine their own bodies with technological additions to the point where it could reasonably be said that our species has been replaced by another kind of entity, a hybrid of human and radical enhancement, (...) whether that enhancement stems from genetic alteration or the affixing of robotic parts. The paper discusses why this danger exists, focusing mainly on perilous psychological and cultural tendencies (though the amazing rate of technological change and its likely course are discussed). It then proceeds with arguments as to why such deselection is a kind of suicide and why this suicide would be a bad thing in the context of early twenty-firstcentury society. In the last section, ecofeminist theory is employed to generate a therapeutic ethic of social and political relationship that contrasts with a patriarchal model of dominative control through aggressive science. (shrink)
The ethical commitment to democracy requires creating the public space for a rational discourse among real alternatives by the population. In this article, I argue that the Internet fails in this task on 2 fronts. Inspired by the work of Jean Baudrillard, the work argues that the Internet reinforces a structure of passive political agents through its 1-way form of communication. The Internet is designed to deliver political text, not engage the public in dialogue about the direction of collective decision (...) making. Furthermore, the ideal of democratic politics relies on the notion of the "commons" as a real space for political activity, debate, and exchange. Virtual space cannot provide a substitute. Democratic politics must have as its premises real bodies, confronting real problems, in real space. The article concludes by arguing that the Internet is a place filled with political artifacts, largely without discourse and dialogue. As such, it has the potential to undermine democratic practice. (shrink)
Is machine autonomy the same as human autonomy? Answers to this question are developed inphilosophical dialogue. Becket Geist, a romanticphilosopher with scientific leanings, is irked by thearrogance of Fortran McCyborg – a Model 2000 cyborg. Nonette Naturski, a champion of naturalistic views,joins Becket in playing devil''s advocate by arguingthat Fortran''s actions are voluntary, not chosen byhim, and lacking the freedom caused by deliberatedesire. With the attempts to reduce Fortran''s status,Fortran ups the ante by arguing for yet higher status– that (...) he is an angel. The dialogue with therealization that the conversation which denied Fortranautonomous status presupposed it on some level. Angelic Machines picks up where Loss of theWorld leaves off. (shrink)
Relying heavily on Thomas Dunfee's work, this article conducts an in-depth analysis of the relationship between law and business ethics in the context of corporate information security. It debunks the two dominant arguments against corporate investment in information security and explains why socially responsible corporate conduct necessitates strong information security practices. This article argues that companies have ethical obligations to improve information security arising out of a duty to avoid knowingly causing harm to others and, potentially, a duty to exercise (...) unique capabilities for the greater social good and to buttress stable functioning of social institutions. (shrink)
This paper is prompted by the radical emergence of technology that exists in contemporary sport and culture. Of particular interest are the technologies that threaten to alter an already changing concept of the human condition, such as genetic engineering and prosthetics. However, it is fundamental to consider the more subtle technologies, which influence change in sports, such as the equipment used by an athlete and the methods of training that are unmistakably technological. Such subtle technologies, I argue, can provoke a (...) rationale for understanding sport that can allow the application of the more confronting technologies to sports. Thus, sports technologies provide contexts that would seem to make the application of such technologies as genetic engineering and prosthetic enhancements acceptable within sports and so their discussion is both timely and salient for sports persons. In many ways, such technologies are quite different from the kind that described the machinery of the Industrial Revolution. Biotechnology, molecular science, and even nanotechnology pose quite different implications for life on earth than does mechanical engineering. However, in other, more fundamental ways, they are still very similar. The rationality of the Enlightenment period and its 'faith' in science to enable truth by providing maximum efficiency would seem to have remained to this day and even to have heightened as a value of sport and society more generally. Science (mostly realised as technology, for it is the mediator of scientific language) is heralded as the truth out there, the knowledge that humanity has sought so arbitrarily in the past. With science, wisdom could be documented, processed, rationalised, criticised, operationalised, and reduced. However one may describe it, the perceived objectivity of technological application is one that is positive: technology as scientific rigour enables truth.. (shrink)