Cyberculture, Cyborgs And Science Fiction

Overview

Addressing a key issue related to human nature, this book argues that the first-person experience of pure consciousness may soon be under threat from posthuman biotechnology. In exploiting the mind's capacity for instrumental behavior, posthumanists seek to extend human experience by physically projecting the mind outward through the continuity of thought and the material world, as through telepresence and other forms of prosthetic enhancements. Posthumanism envisions a biology/machine symbiosis that will promote...
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Overview

Addressing a key issue related to human nature, this book argues that the first-person experience of pure consciousness may soon be under threat from posthuman biotechnology. In exploiting the mind's capacity for instrumental behavior, posthumanists seek to extend human experience by physically projecting the mind outward through the continuity of thought and the material world, as through telepresence and other forms of prosthetic enhancements. Posthumanism envisions a biology/machine symbiosis that will promote this extension, arguably at the expense of the natural tendency of the mind to move toward pure consciousness. As each chapter of this book contends, by forcibly overextending and thus jeopardizing the neurophysiology of consciousness, the posthuman condition could in the long term undermine human nature, defined as the effortless capacity for transcending the mind's conceptual content.
Presented here for the first time, the essential argument of this book is more than a warning; it gives a direction: far better to practice patience and develop pure consciousness and evolve into a higher human being than to fall prey to the Faustian temptations of biotechnological power. As argued throughout the book, each person must choose for him or herself between the technological extension of physical experience through mind, body and world on the one hand, and the natural powers of human consciousness on the other as a means to realize their ultimate vision.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789042019485
  • Publisher: Rodopi
  • Publication date: 2/15/2006
  • Pages: 204
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Consciousness and the posthuman 1
Ch. 2 The latent powers of consciousness vs. bionic humans 20
Ch. 3 Derrida's Indian literary subtext 39
Ch. 4 Consciousness and the posthuman in short fiction 57
Ch. 5 Frankenstein : the monster's constructedness and the narrativity of consciousness 78
Ch. 6 William Gibson's Neuromancer : technological ambiguity 92
Ch. 7 Neal Stephenson's Snow crash : humans are not computers 113
Ch. 8 Haruki Murakami's Hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world : unicorns, elephants and immortality 131
Ch. 9 Cyborg revelations : Marge Piercy's He, she and it 149
Ch. 10 Conclusion : the survival of human nature 168
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