Download Cyberculture, cyborgs and science fiction: consciousness and by William S. Haney II PDF

By William S. Haney II

Addressing a key factor on the topic of human nature, this publication argues that the first-person event of natural recognition might quickly be below risk from posthuman biotechnology. In exploiting the mind's means for instrumental habit, posthumanists search to increase human event by way of bodily projecting the brain outward throughout the continuity of notion and the fabric global, as via telepresence and different kinds of prosthetic enhancements.
Posthumanism envisions a biology/machine symbiosis that might advertise this extension, arguably on the price of the usual tendency of the brain to maneuver towards natural attention. As every one bankruptcy of this e-book contends, by way of forcibly overextending and therefore jeopardizing the neurophysiology of awareness, the posthuman situation might within the long-term undermine human nature, outlined because the easy means for transcending the mind’s conceptual content.
Presented right here for the 1st time, the basic argument of this booklet is greater than a caution; it supplies a course: much better to perform endurance and improve natural attention and evolve right into a better man or woman than to fall prey to the Faustian temptations of biotechnological strength. As argued in the course of the ebook, all people needs to select for him or herself among the technological extension of actual adventure via brain, physique and international at the one hand, and the common powers of human attention at the different as a way to gain their final imaginative and prescient.

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Cyberculture, cyborgs and science fiction: consciousness and the posthuman

Addressing a key factor on the topic of human nature, this booklet argues that the first-person event of natural recognition may possibly quickly be less than hazard from posthuman biotechnology. In exploiting the mind's capability for instrumental habit, posthumanists search to increase human event via bodily projecting the brain outward throughout the continuity of notion and the cloth global, as via telepresence and other kinds of prosthetic improvements.

Extra resources for Cyberculture, cyborgs and science fiction: consciousness and the posthuman

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As we continue to extend our embodied awareness through ever more sophisticated tools, the allure of what David Tomas calls the “technophilic body” will be ever harder to resist (2000: 175). Tomas defines the technophilic body, or cyborg, as a product of both aesthetic and functional transformations, including everything from “cosmetically redesigned faces, muscle grafts and animal and/or human transplants” to radical “functional alterations to the human body’s organic architecture” (176). Although still within the realm of SF, these alterations if they occur in reality will undoubtedly have a deep-seated impact on the transpersonal, trans-cultural essence of human nature, whatever what posthuman optimists may believe (Clark 2003: 32).

If this is the case, then we can reasonable infer that spiritual experience as the most subtle dimension of human nature might easily be thwarted by artificial interference. One reason posthumanists tend to overlook or downplay the possibility that bionic modifications can have negative side effects, other than the fact that they can benefit the ill and injured, may have to do with their working definition of consciousness. As stated earlier, posthumanists generally define consciousness not in terms of awareness-as-such but rather in terms of the intentional objects of awareness.

Bionic Humans 25 consciousness, they choose to blur the distinction between real and artificial, original and simulated, organic and mechanical, regarding them as mere semantic distinctions that we can easily ignore. After all, if we consider matter alone to be the ultimate reality and consciousness-as-such its epiphenomenon, then if anything breaks down with the human-machine, scientists always be able to fix it or replace it. While this solution may seem feasible in terms of the interface between biotechnology and a bionic human, the above distinctions nevertheless do make a difference when it comes to the pure consciousness event.

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