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 (...) class='Hi'>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)
The rob of knowledge workers in our society is an increasing focus of press and academic attention. Letiche suggests that knowledge workers often both work in and create "McDonaldized" simulacra, i.e. spaces for action that are less than real. He argues that the very concept of organizing is challenged by the tensions implicit in t h semi-ness of the semi-reality of subspaces. The arena for his argument is that of information technology. The language of his argument is that of identity, (...) self; logic and activity-terms more often found in European academic debate than in American management practice. Forgive Letiche's use of academic literant forms. This world of emergence and cyborgs and of warfare with cognitivist (social) Darwinism may be a bit alien to some readers, but the argument and message will not be. In the semi-real spaces of managing, creativity is bought only at a large cost to others and managers find themselves needing to determine when that price is worth paying. (shrink)
By examining the contingent alliance that has emerged between the computational theory of mind and cyborg theory, we discern some questionable ways in which the literalization of technological metaphors and the over-extension of the “computational” have functioned, not only to influence conceptions of cognition, but also by becoming normative perspectives on how minds and bodies should be transformed, such that they can capitalize on technology’s capacity to enhance cognition and thus amend our sense of what it is to be “human”. (...) We consider “a moratorium on cyborg discourse” as a way of focusing the conceptual and social–political problems posed by this alliance. (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)
Working through the lens of Donna Haraway's cyborg theory and directed at the example of Prozac, I address the dramatic rise of new technoscience in medicine and psychiatry. Haraway's cyborg theory insists on a conceptualization and a politics of technoscience that does not rely on universal Truths or universal Goods and does not attempt to return to the pure or the natural. Instead, Haraway helps us mix politics, ethics, and aesthetics with science and scientific recommendations, and she helps us understand (...) that (without recourse to universal truth or universal good) questions of legitimacy in science come down to local questions of effect and inclusion. What, in the case of my example, are the effects of Prozac? And for whom? Who is included and empowered to create legitimate psychiatric knowledge? Who is excluded and why? And, what political strategies will increase the democratic health of psychiatric science and practice? (shrink)
Starting with service robotics and industrial robotics, this paper aims to suggest philosophical reflections about the relationship between body and machine, between man and technology in our contemporary world. From the massive use of the cell phone to the robots which apparently “feel” and show emotions like humans do. From the wearable exoskeleton to the prototype reproducing the artificial sense of touch, technological progress explodes to the extent of embodying itself in our nakedness. Robotics, indeed, is inspired by biology in (...) order to develop a new kind of technology affecting human life. This is a bio-robotic approach, which is fulfilled in the figure of the cyborg and consequently in the loss of human nature. Today, humans have reached the possibility to modify and create their own body following their personal desires. But what is the limit of this achievement? For this reason, we all must question ourselves whether we have or whether we are a body. (shrink)
Thought happens. Here I sit, sipping coffee, scribbling on paper, accessing files, reading and re-reading those four wonderful, challenging, yet immaculately constructive reviews. And somewhere, and to my eternal surprise, thought happens. But where, amidst the whirl of organization, should we locate the cognitive process? One possibility is that everything worth counting as (all or part) of any genuinely cognitive process hereabouts is firmly located inside the head, safe behind the ancient fortress of skin and skull. All the rest, according (...) to this surgically neat view, is scene setting: preparing and maintaining the pitch upon which the great thinking organ performs. (shrink)
This innovative book explores one of the most important concepts in contemporary cultural debates: the sublime. Joanna Zylinska looks at the consequences of feminism and its rethinking of sexual differences, and how it has led to the sublime tradition. She argues that what is generally considered aesthetics can now be more productive thought of in terms of ethics instead. Looking at a range of diverse discourses—Orlan's carnal art, philosophies of the everyday, the French feminism of Cixous and Irigaray, and the (...) gender theory of Judith Butler—Zylinska intertwines the boundaries of cultural theory and textual practice to produce an ethics of the feminine sublime. (shrink)
In response to Peter–Paul Verbeek’s and Paul Levinson’s reviews of my article ‘In Between Us,’ I comment on four criticisms. Firstly, my approach of ‘mediation as such’ does not endorse the view of mediation as secondary to mediata (i.e., entities), but does not exclude it either. Secondly, my concepts of “transparency of use” and of “context” are to be seen as philosophical ‘tools’ and not as mutually exclusive states. Thirdly, I agree with Levinson that technologies do indeed remediate, and mostly (...) not for the worse. However, fourthly, at the same time we should always be on guard for their nefarious effects. (shrink)
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.
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)
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.
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)
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 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)
: 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)
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)
A month ago, I bought an iPhone. The iPhone has already taken over some of the central functions of my brain. It has replaced part of my memory, storing phone numbers and addresses that I once would have taxed my brain with. It harbors my desires: I call up a memo with the names of my favorite dishes when I need to order at a local restaurant. I use it to calculate, when I need to figure out bills and tips. (...) It is a tremendous resource in an argument, with Google ever present to help settle disputes. I make plans with it, using its calendar to help determine what I can and can’t do in the coming months. I even daydream on the iPhone, idly calling up words and images when my concentration slips. Friends joke that I should get the iPhone implanted into my brain. But if Andy Clark is right, all this would do is speed up the processing, and free up my hands. The iPhone is part of my mind already. Clark is a connoisseur of the myriad ways in which the mind relies on the world to get its work done. The first part of this marvelous book explores some of these ways: the extension of our bodies, the extension of our senses, and crucially, the use of language as a tool to extend our thought. The second part of the book defends the thesis that in at least some of these cases, the world is not serving as a mere instrument for the mind. Rather, the relevant parts of the world have become parts of my mind. My iPhone is not my tool, or at least it is not wholly my tool. Parts of it have become parts of me. This is the thesis of the extended mind: when parts of the environment are coupled to the brain in the right way, they become parts of the mind. The thesis has a long history: I am told that there are hints of it in Dewey, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein. But no-one has done as much to give life to the idea as Andy Clark. In a series of important books and articles—Being There, Natural-Born Cyborgs, “Magic words: How language augments human computation”, and many others—he has explored the many ways in which the boundaries between mind and world are far more flexible than one might have thought.. (shrink)
Abstract: In the past, major scientific and technological revolutions, like the Copernican Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, have had profound effects, not only upon society in general, but also upon Philosophy. Today's Information Revolution is no exception. Already it has had significant impacts upon our understanding of human nature, the nature of society, even the nature of the universe. Given these developments, this essay considers some of the philosophical contributions of two "philosophers of the Information Age"—Norbert Wiener and Luciano Floridi—with (...) regard to the nature of the universe, human nature, the nature of society, and the nature of "artificial agents" such as robots, softbots, and cyborgs. (shrink)
This article is about our relationship with things; about the abundant material geographies that surround us and constitute the very possibility for us to be the beings that we are. More speciﬁcally, it is about the question of the possibility of an ethical encounter with things (qua things). We argue, with the science and technology studies tradition (and Latour in particular), that we are the beings that we are through our entanglements with things, we are thoroughly hybrid beings, cyborgs (...) through and through – we have never been otherwise. With Heidegger we propose that a human-centred ethics of hybrids will fail to open a space for an ethical encounter with things since all beings in the sociomaterial network – humans and non-human alike – end up circulating as objects, enframed as ‘standing reserve’, things-for-the-purposes-of the network. We suggest that what is needed is an ethos beyond ethics, or the overcoming of an ethics – which is based on the will to power – towards an ethos of letting be. We elaborate such a possibility with the help of Heidegger, in particular with reference to the work of Graham Harman and his notion of ‘tool-being’. From this we propose, very tentatively, an ethos that has as its ground a poetic dwelling with things, a way of being that lets being be (Gelassenheit). We show how such a poetic dwelling, or ethos of Gelassenheit, may constitute the impossible possibility of a very otherwise way of being with things – an ethos of a ‘community of those who have nothing in common’ as suggested by Alphonso Lingis. (shrink)
The paper develops some of the conclusions, reached in Floridi (2007), concerning the future developments of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and their impact on our lives. The two main theses supported in that article were that, as the information society develops, the threshold between online and offline is becoming increasingly blurred, and that once there won't be any significant difference, we shall gradually re-conceptualise ourselves not as cyborgs but rather as inforgs, i.e. socially connected, informational organisms. In this (...) paper, I look at the development of the so-called Semantic Web and Web 2.0 from this perspective and try to forecast their future. Regarding the Semantic Web, I argue that it is a clear and well-defined project, which, despite some authoritative views to the contrary, is not a promising reality and will probably fail in the same way AI has failed in the past. Regarding Web 2.0, I argue that, although it is a rather ill-defined project, which lacks a clear explanation of its nature and scope, it does have the potentiality of becoming a success (and indeed it is already, as part of the new phenomenon of Cloud Computing) because it leverages the only semantic engines available so far in nature, us. I conclude by suggesting what other changes might be expected in the future of our digital environment. (shrink)
Germinal Life embarks on a fascinating tour of ethology, biology, ethics, literature and cyborgs. Opening with a linking of Richard Dawkin's theory of the extended phenotype and Deleuzian thought, Ansell Pearson introduces the idea of germinal life to challenge traditional notions of ethology and philosophy. By revisiting nineteenth century Darwinism and the origins of germ science, Keith Ansell Pearson develops a stunning reading of Deleuze's key texts. He also introduces highly original interpretations of classic modern literature, including Thomas Hardy's (...) Tess and D.H.Lawrence's Kangaroo before connecting these themes with cyborgism and the work of the performance artist Stelarc. As a companion to Ansell Pearson's Viroid Life, which explored Nietzsche's philosophy of the human, Germinal Life provides a highly original study of the biophilosophical aspects of Deleuze's thought. (shrink)
Science, Technology and Society: A Sociological Approach is a comprehensive guide to the emergent field of science, technology, and society (STS) studies and its implications for today’s culture and society. Discusses current STS topics, research tools, and theories Tackles some of the most urgent issues in current STS studies, including power and culture, race, gender, colonialism, the Internet, cyborgs and robots, and biotechnology Includes case studies, a glossary, and further reading lists.
Many developing countries have allocated significant amounts of funding for nanoscience and nanotechnology research, yet compared to developed countries, there has been little study, discussion, or debate over social and ethical issues. Using in-depth interviews, this study focuses on the perceptions of practitioners, that is, scientists and engineers, in one developing country: India. The disciplinary background, departmental affiliation, types of institutions, age, and sex of the practitioners varied but did not appear to affect their responses. The results show that (...) 95% of the Indian practitioners working in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology research recognized ethical issues in this research area, and 60% of them could offer specific examples, which included possible ill effects on environment and human, use as a weapon, hype, professional ethics, laboratory testing on animals, cyborgs, widening the gap between rich and poor, self-replication, and longevity of human life. The results may offer opportunities for future cross-cultural research, as well as offer examples that can be used to raise the awareness of other practitioners in India and elsewhere regarding the importance of ethical issues. (shrink)
We argue that the causal account offered by analytic functionalism provides the best account of the folk psychological theory of mind, and that people ordinarily define mental states relative to the causal roles these states occupy in relation to environmental impingements, external behaviors, and other mental states. We present new empirical evidence, as well as review several key studies on mental state ascription to diverse types of entities such as robots, cyborgs, corporations and God, and explain how this evidence (...) supports a functional account. We also respond to two challenges to this view based on the embodiment hypothesis, or the claim that physical realizers matter over and above functional role, and qualia. In both cases we conclude that research to date best supports a functional account of ordinary mental state concepts. (shrink)
The growing prominence of computers in contemporary life, often seemingly with minds of their own, invites rethinking the question of moral responsibility. If the moral responsibility for an act lies with the subject that carried it out, it follows that different concepts of the subject generate different views of moral responsibility. Some recent theorists have argued that actions are produced by composite, fluid subjects understood as extended agencies (cyborgs, actor networks). This view of the subject contrasts with methodological individualism: (...) the idea that actions are produced only by human individuals. This essay compares two views of responsibility: moral individualism (the ethical twin of methodological individualism), and joint responsibility (associated with extended agency theory). It develops a view of what joint responsibility might look like, and considers the advantages it might bring relative to moral individualism as well as the objections that are sure to be raised against it. (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)
Recent social theory has departed from methodological individualism’s explanation of action according to the motives and dispositions of human individuals in favor of explanation in terms of broader agencies consisting of both human and nonhuman elements described as cyborgs, actor-networks, extended agencies, or distributed cognition. This paper proposes that moral responsibility for action also be vested in extended agencies. It advances a consequentialist view of responsibility that takes moral responsibility to be a species of causal responsibility, and it answers (...) objections that might be raised on the basis of intentions and deserts. (shrink)
Is the endeavour to restore perceptive brain functions by electronic implants the first step on the way to create bionic cyborgs? Can we augment or multiply our senses by directly contacting computer chips to the brain? Will bio-implants influence and permanently change human psyche?Almost 50 years ago, the foundation of the new field of neuroprosthetics propelled research aimed at devising a seamless connection between the human nervous system and microelectronic implants.The complexity of sensory perception often renders the task of (...) assessing efficacy and side effects of a sensory implant impossible when computer simulation and animal experimentation alone are employed. Historical development in this field has shown that some of the evaluation has to be done in investigations performed directly in the human.The consequences of such a technology will not be confined to medicine alone. This paper describes its development, state of the art, limiting factors, and future possibilities. It offers an introduction into the elementary prerequisites of neural interfacing as a basis for argumentation in the upcoming public debate.The advancement of sensory implants for the restitution or augmentation of impaired brain function requires a moral and ethical position not only of the scientist involved, but of all the society, similar to the fields of psychopharmacology and stem cell research. (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)
Donna Haraway’s cyberfeminism has shown considerable appeal on an interdisciplinary level. Her basic premise is that by the end of the twentieth century the boundary between humans and machines has become increasingly porous, and, whether we acknowledge it or not, we are already cyborgs. She also posits this cyborg identity as an acceptable emblem for progressive politics. I disagree, and cite such writers as Susan Bordo, Sharona Ben-Tov, and Jhan Hochman to highlight some of the weaknesses of her position. (...) I argue that we have had repeated warnings about implications of yoking the human to the machine, and that Haraway’s “promising monsters” are anything but promising. (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)
The spokesperson in the Pentagon press room announces the availability of a breakthrough new technology. She says it is the first brain-implantable product of a larger project for developing cybernetic organisms (cyborgs) with new and enhanced sensory capabilities that will also have civilian uses. On the screen we see a device fitted on the forehead of a cyborg that appears to have hardwired connections to the brain on several points on the skull. The spokesperson calls the device.
The article develops a suggestion of how cybersemiotics is pertinent to ecosemiotics. Cybersemiotics uses Luhmann's triadic view of autopoietic systems (biological, psychological, and socio-communicative autopoiesis) and adopts his approach to communication within a biosemiotic framework. The following levels of exosemiosis and signification can be identified under the consideration of nonintentional signs, cybernetics, and information theory: (1) the socio-communicative level of self-conscious signification and language games. (2) the instinctual and species specific level of sign stimuli signifying through innate release response mechanism (...) and sign games, and (3) the level of structural coupling, signal recognition, and languaging, where cybernetic feedback loops evince differences. Signification and communication levels arise whenever autopoietic systems interpenetrate (I) with the language system's semiotic and the psyche's phenosemiotic processes based on imaging, emotion, and volition and (2) between the psyche's phenosemiotic and the body's endosemiotic processes. It is at these two levels that we have the ecosemiotic signification processes of nonintentional signs in nature. Humans are linguistic cyborgs as animals are sign cyborgs because signs at different levels interpenetrate and form our embodied processes. Sign producing and interpreting capability has had selective influence on both animals and humans in evolution. (shrink)
Introduction : heroes like us -- Hegel, the western and classical modernity -- The myth and the frontier -- The hero in the epochs of mythical and the bourgeois -- The end of the individual -- The end of the subject -- Romanticism, crime and agonal modernity -- The return of tragedy in modernity -- Heroes of coolness and the ironist -- Nietzsche, science fiction and hybrid modernity -- Heroic individualismus and metaphysics -- Superhumans, supermen, cyborgs -- Heroes of (...) the future. (shrink)
Hegel, the western and classical modernity. The myth and the frontier ; The hero in the epochs of mythical and the bourgeois ; The end of the individual ; The end of the subject -- Romanticism, crime and agonal modernity. The return of tragedy in modernity ; Heroes of coolness and the ironist -- Nietzsche, science fiction and hybrid modernity. Heroic individualismus and metaphysics ; Superhumans, supermen, cyborgs ; Heroes of the future.
What is, what was the human? This book argues that the making of the human as it is now understood implies a renogotiation of the relationship between the self and the world. The development of Renaissance technologies of difference such as mapping, colonialism and anatomy paradoxically also illuminated the similarities between human and non-human. This collection considers the borders between humans and their imagined others: animals, women, native subjects, machines. It examines border creatures (hermaphrodites, wildmen, and cyborgs) and border (...) practices (science, surveying, and pornography). (shrink)
"I experience language as an intensely physical process," writes Donna Haraway. "I cannot not think through metaphor... Biochemistry and language just don't feel that different to me." Since the appearance of her monumental Primate Visions and the now classic essay "A Manifesto for Cyborgs," feminist historian of science Donna Haraway has created a way of thinking about culture, science, and the production of knowledge that has made her one of the most highly regarded theorists in America. She is admired (...) for her passion and rigor, her wicked ironies, and her deep commitment to issues of gender and race, as well as species. The author of four seminal works on science and culture, Donna Haraway here speaks for the first time in a direct and non-academic voice. Thyrza Nichols Goodeve leads her subject through conversation about Haraway's intellectual development, theories and influences, the role of Catholicism in her thinking, and how her ethical stands have mirrored issues in her personal life. For readers who have admired and struggled with the rich and complex performances of her earlier works, How Like a Leaf will be a welcome inside view of the author's thought. At the same time, this work makes Haraway's contribution to modern thought available to a much wider audience who cares about the issues she addresses. This is a highly personal introduction to a major thinker's body of work. (shrink)
Donna Haraway's work has transformed the fields of cyberculture, feminist studies, and the history of science and technology. Her subjects range from animal dioramas in the American Museum of Natural History to research in transgenic mice, from gender in the laboratory to the nature of the cyborg. Trained as an historian of science, she has produced a series of books and essays that have become essential reading in cultural studies, gender studies, and the history of science. The Haraway Reader brings (...) together a generous selection of Donna Haraway's work. Included is her "Manifesto for Cyborgs," in which she famously wrote that she "would rather be a cyborg than a goddess." Other selections are taken from her three major works, Primate Visions, Modest Witness , and Simians, Cyborgs and Women , as well as some of her more recent writing on animals. For readers in cultural studies, feminist theory, science studies, and cyberculture, Donna Haraway is one of our keenest observers of nature, science, and the social world. This volume is the best introduction to her thought. (shrink)
Spanning nearly two decades, from 1980 to 1996, this Reader investigates the debates which have best characterized feminist theory. Including such articles as Pornography and Fantasy, The Body and Cinema, Nature as Female, and A Manifesto for Cyborgs, the extracts examine thoughts on sexualtiy as a domain of exploration, the visual representation of women, what being a feminist means, and why feminists are increasingly involved in political struggles to negotiate the context and meaning of technological development. With writings by (...) bell hooks, Alice Jardine, and Andrea Dworkin, this mulit-cultural Reader reflects the dynamic nature of feminist debates and the genuine diversity within current feminist theory. Capturing the sense of the rapid movement within feminist theory and criticism, Feminisms is ideal for anyone interested in feminism and the history behind it. (shrink)
The convergence of biomedical and information technology holds the potential to alter the discourses of identity, or as is argued here, to turn us inside out. The advent of digital networks makes it possible to ‘see inside’ people in ways not anticipated and thus create new performance arenas for the expression of identity. Drawing on the ideas of Butler and Foucault and theories of performativity, this paper examines a new context for human-computer interaction and articulates potentially disturbing issues with monitoring (...) health rather than wellbeing. It argues that by adopting explicitly social framings we can see beyond the idea of medical interventions for health to recognize the political implications of the new categorizations and their implementation in code. In the process, it critiques traditional ways of understanding machine-body relations within the field of technology design. (shrink)
Suppose it is 2025 and being a technophile, you purchase brain enhancements as they become readily available. First, you add a mobile internet connection to your retina, then, you enhance your working memory by adding neural circuitry. You are now officially a cyborg. Now skip ahead to 2040. Through nanotechnological therapies and enhancements you are able to extend your lifespan, and as the years progress, you continue to accumulate more far-reaching enhancements. By 2060, after several small but cumulatively profound alterations, (...) you are a “posthuman.” To quote philosopher Nick Bostrom, posthumans are possible future beings, “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards” (Bostrom 2003c). At this point, your intelligence is enhanced not just in terms of speed of mental processing; you are now able to make rich connections that you were not able to make before. Unenhanced humans, or “naturals,” seem to you to be intellectually disabled—you have little in common with them—but as a transhumanist, you are supportive of their right to not enhance (Bostrom 2003c; Garreau 2005; Kurzweil 2005). (shrink)
This paper attempts to do two things. First, it recounts the problem of intentionality, as it has typically been conceptualized, and argues that it needs to be reconceptualized in light of the radical form of externalism most commonly referred to as the extended mind thesis. Second, it provides an explicit, novel argument for that thesis, what I call the argument from meaning making, and offers some defense of that argument. This second task occupies the core of the paper, and in (...) completing it I distinguish _active _ _cognition_ from _cyborg fantasy arguments_ for externalism, and develop the analogy between the extended mind thesis in the cognitive sciences and developmental systems theory in developmental biology. The rethinking of the problem of intentionality on offer leads not so much to a solution as to a dissolution of that problem, as traditionally conceived. (shrink)
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)
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.
This book offers a collection of contemporary essays that explore philosophical themes at work in chess. This collection includes essays on the nature of a game, the appropriateness of chess as a metaphor for life, and even deigns to query whether Garry Kasparov might—just might—be a cyborg. In twelve unique essays, contributed by philosophers with a broad range of expertise in chess, this book poses both serious and playful questions about this centuries-old pastime. -/- Perhaps more interestingly, philosophers have often (...) used chess in discussions of their work. Walter Benjamin compares the marching of history to an automaton playing chess. John Dewey and Charles Sanders Peirce utilize chess to explain their pragmatism. The linguist Ferdinand de Saussure employs the analogy of chess to explain the exchange of signifiers. There are approximately 181 uses of the word chess or one of its cognates in the published works of Ludwig Wittgenstein. John Rawls explains that one might want to make a distinction between constitutive and regulative rules, which can best be understood by examining a game of chess. John Searle, deeply convinced of this distinction, explains further: "The rules of football or chess are given as an example of constitutive rules because they 'create the very possibility of playing such games.'" Hubert Dreyfus and Daniel Dennett have had extensive public discussions about the issue of artificial intelligence and chess. Dreyfus, utilizing chess examples, has written extensively on what computers still cannot do. Meanwhile, in spite of his protestations, chess-playing computers continue to fascinate those who work in the area of artificial intelligence. -/- The game of chess has endured since at least the sixth century. Its earliest variant, the Indian game of Chaturanga, was from the beginning a game for thinkers. Since its inception, scholars, statesmen, strategists, and warriors have been fascinated by the game and its variants. German philosopher Emmanuel Lasker and famed French artist Marcel Duchamp were both Grandmasters at chess. Karl Marx played chess avidly, as did Sir Bertrand Russell, Jean-Paul Sartre, and the logical positivist Max Black. Jean-Jacques Rousseau mentions in his Confessions that, at the time, he "had another expedient, not less solid, in the game of chess, to which I regularly dedicated, at Maugis's, the evenings on which I did not go to the theater. I became acquainted with M. de Legal, M. Husson, Philidor, and all the great chess players of the day, without making the least improvement in the game." More recently, philosopher Stuart Rachels reports that his father, the late philosopher and prominent ethicist James Rachels, received a bribe from a Russian Grandmaster while he was the chair of the U.S. Chess Federation's Ethics committee. -/- "Whether you’re a professional philosopher, an armchair chess player, or something in between, Philosophy Looks at Chess gives you hours of thought-provoking reading. With chapters on technology, ethics, hip hop, and backward analysis, this book carves out a new space in the literature on both chess and philosophy" -/- —Jennifer Shahade, two-time U.S. Women's Champion and author of Chess Bitch -/- "Chess and philosophy are natural mates that have been awaiting the proper introduction. This wide-ranging collection of stimulating essays is the perfect opening gambit for philosophical chess enthusiasts." -/- —Will Dudley, author of Hegel, Nietzsche, and Philosophy: Thinking Freedom. (shrink)
I distinguish the ethics of transhumanism from a related metaphysical position which I refer to as “speculative posthumanism.” Speculative posthumanism holds that posthumans might be radically non-human and thus unintelligible in human terms. I claim that this transcendence can be viewed as analogous to that of the thing-in-itself in Kantian and post-Kantian European philosophy. This schema implies an impasse for transhumanism because, while the radically non-human or posthuman would elude evaluation according to transhumanist principles such as personal autonomy or liberal (...) freedom, it is morally unacceptable for transhumanists to discount the possible outcomes of their favoured policies. I then consider whether the insights of critical posthumanists, who employ a cyborg perspective on human-technology couplings, can dissolve this impasse by “deconstructing” the opposition between the human and its prospective posthuman successors. By exhibiting its logical basis in the postructuralist philosophies of Derrida and Deleuze, I show that the cyborg perspective is consistent with both cyborg humanism and a modified speculative posthumanism. This modified account treats the alterity of the posthuman as a historically emergent feature of human and posthuman multiplicities that must be understood through their technical or imaginative synthesis, not in relation to a transcendental conception of the human. (shrink)
Can a technological culture accommodate spiritual experience and spiritual thinking? If so, what kind of spirituality? I explore the relation between technology and spirituality by constructing and discussing several models for spirituality in a technological culture. I show that although gnostic and animistic interpretations and responses to technology are popular challenges to secularization and disenchantment claims, both the Christian tradition and contemporary posthumanist theory provide interesting alternatives to guide our spiritual experiences and thinking in a technological culture. I analyze how (...) creational, network, and cyborg metaphors defy suggestions of (individual) animation or alienation and instead offer different ways of conceptualizing and experiencing communion between the material and the spiritual. (shrink)
Many feminists have found inspiration in Donna Haraway's myth of the cyborg (1990). From the standpoint of feminist bisexual identity, however, I contend that this myth evades the very issues of race and sexuality which it seems to be addressing. I examine the uses of a bisexual standpoint for a more concrete, situated approach to theorizing sexuality, arguing that reflection on racial identities must be incorporated as well.
This article proffers a critical reading of multiliteracy pedagogy and a materialism of the multimodal and machinic. A critical stance is taken against the mesmerising modes of representation that run rampant across our ocular territories. The article assesses the dangers of fetishizing technologies. To this end, Multiple Literacies Theory (MLT) is read through a Guattarian theoretical prism to emphasise four chief points: (1) the role of the unconscious, (2) the role of affect (affectus in the Spinozian sense; contrary to feeling (...) which immobilises, affect moves us), (3) the apparent becoming cyborg of the human race and (4) the desire to desire repression. The author contends that while qualitative multiplicities play a central role for MLT, it is neither inconsistent nor contradictory to consider the role of the machinic in greater detail. It is argued that more research must be directed into the cartographic, ethological and noological mechanisms at work in plastic universes of reference (new technologies and the arts) which transform the virtual and transfigure the dynamic of affect. (shrink)
This article introduces cultural studies of medicine to medical humanities readers. Rather than offer extended definitions of cultural studies of medicine or provide a detailed history of the domain, I have organized this introduction around a close reading and review of three recently published texts in the field. These three texts, dealing respectively with cyborg technology, AIDS, and the medical management of sexual identity problems, represent excellent examples of the opportunities and possibilities of applying cultural studies approaches to medical topics. (...) After working through these texts (and the semiotic theories which animate them), I devote my conclusion to a broader consideration of the role of cultural studies of medicine for both medical practice and medical humanities scholarship. (shrink)
The following paper continues discussions within this journal about how the work of Delueze and Guattari can inform radical pedagogy. Building primarily on Noel Gough's 2004 paper, we take up the challenge to move towards a more creative form of 'becoming cyborg' in our teaching. In contrast to work that has focused on Deleuzian theories of the rhizome, we deploy Guattari's work on institutional schizoanalysis to explore the role of group creativity in radical pedagogy. The institutional therapies of Felix Guattari's (...) schizoanalytic practice in the 1950s and 1960s and, before him, the Francophone educationalist Celestin Freinet, who founded the Modern School Movement, are explored and used to illuminate examples of some of our own attempts to set the classroom up as a space for collective engagement. We conclude by exploring how this understanding of the class as subject group may be used to mobilise action and de-stabilise the coordinates of existing academic divisions of labour. (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)
Humanity has begun to move from the natural world intothe cyber world. Issues surrounding this mentalmigration are debated in philosophical dialogue. Thelead character is Becket Geist, a romantic philosopherwith views tempered by 20th century science. He openswith a monologue in which he argues that loss of theworld in exchange for the cyber world is dark andinevitable. His chief adversary is Fortran McCyborg,a cyborg with leanings toward Scottish philosophy. The moderating force is Nonette Naturski who championsnaturalism, conservation of humanist (...) ideals, andprudent conclusions. The ensuing dialogue examineseight counter-arguments to Geist''s vision. Thearguments and Geist''s replies lead to unanticipatedchanges in position that cascade to a chillingclose. (shrink)
Neuro-technical interfaces are technical devices that bridge the electronic world to neurons with the objective to establish a long term stable contact for bidirectional information exchange. What does that mean in detail and to what kind of machine and for what purpose should the central nervous system, i.e. the brain, be connected? Science fiction literature and movies offer a tremendous variety of usually uncomfortable scenarios including cyborg and robocop super-humans and mass control. Do these implants change the psyche in general (...) and what is feasible in nowadays therapeutic and rehabilitative approaches? In this overview, the author will not answer these questions but tries to deliver an overview of the technological background, the opportunities and the limitations of neuro-technical interfaces to the central nervous system. The fundamental specifications for neuro-technical interfaces will be introduced. Different degrees of implant invasiveness will be discussed and lead to a summary of clinical systems with their application-specific complexity. Actual technological opportunities and limitations will be addressed as well as general physical limitations. Current and future scenarios of neuro-technical interfaces to the central nervous system will be presented from an engineering point of view arising some questions that might be of interest with respect to ethical and societal implications when those interfaces are transferred into clinical practice and public applications. (shrink)
The recent translation of Emmanuel Levinas’s essay On Escape complicates our view of his relationship to Hegel, and reopens the ontological question of escape. The impetus for Levinas’s essay was National Socialism’s effort to reduce subjectivity to being qua biologistic. To resist this, Levinas enlists idealism as an ally. He affirms the idealist subject’s effort to escape being, but denies that it makes good its escape. I challenge this denial by comparing Levinas’s phenomenology of escape with Hegel’s phenomenology of unhappy (...) consciousness, paying special attention to the themes of shame and the will to escape. The similarity between treatments leads me to suggest that the urge to escape emerges at least as early as medieval Christianity, thus predating the historical predicament of mid-1930s European Jewry. I conclude by interpreting space travel and the posthuman figure of the cyborg as signs that escape continues asan object of human aspiration. (shrink)
The separation of men’s and women’s competitions in the sporting world has been suggested as a necessary protection for female athletes against the superior athletic performances of male athletes. The comparison of the most elite performers in these two categories maintains the historical pattern of viewing male sport and the male athlete as the standard, and female sport and the female athlete as the inferior ‘other’. This paper argues for a transformative utilization of the separation of men’s and women’s sports (...) by female athletes and sporting organizations. Female sporting organizations may creatively change the rules and practices of the malestandard, so as to challenge the historical patterning of sport. This paper will use the image of the cyborg, and the motivation behind cyborg politics, to call for creativity in dealing with the ban on drugs in sport. (shrink)
This paper examines several philosophical issues related to emerging technologies in sport and leisure. There are a range of technologies that will likely be offered to boost performance in sport, ranging from prosthetic devices and cyborg-like implants to gene therapy and enhancement. Computer generated simulations are already in use in work and leisure, and are expected to be pervasive in the future. Technological developments such as these present a challenge to some of the traditional assumptions and cherished beliefs not only (...) about the nature of sport and leisure and how they should be conducted, but also about the very nature of reality and what it means to be human. It is hoped that this paper can shed some light on the challenges and possibilities facing sport and leisure in the upcoming high-tech future. (shrink)
This essay gives a brief overview of Transhumanism and explores a few of its central ideas in the light of Polanyi’s views about embodiment, Marxism, and reality’s hierarchal order, concluding that although Polanyi would likely appreciate the possibilities of cyborgic augmentation that feature in the Transhumanist route to the posthuman, he would utterly repudiate its metaphysics of disembodied intelligence and its underlying technological determinism.
Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium. FemaleMan_Meets_OncoMouse explores the roles of stories, figures, dreams, theories, facts, delusions, advertising, institutions, economic arrangements, publishing practices, scientific advances, and politics in twentieth- century technoscience. The book's title is an e-mail address. With it, Haraway locates herself and her readers in a sprawling net of associations more far-flung than the Internet. The address is not a cozy home. There is no innocent place to stand in the world where the book's author figure, FemaleMan, encounters DuPont's controversial laboratory rodent, OncoMouse. (...) Haraway sees the world of contemporary technoscience as a drama. Information sciences and life sciences are at the center of the dramatic action. Scenes are set in landscapes where maps of human genetic differences are stored in databases, racialized bodies are reconfigured by morphing for photographs in popular magazines, and transgenic mice important to breast cancer research are patented intellectual property. The actors are many, and not all are human. Beginning with the Modest Witness, the key figure in the Science Revolution, Haraway shows us the trouble lurking in race and gender- marked practices for attesting to matters of fact. In later scenes, Haraway explores the kinship relations among the many cyborg creatures produced in the late twentieth-century--in nuclear research, genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, computer-mediated representational practices, and mutations in biological approaches to "race.". (shrink)