Thursday, May 10, 2007

Inspiring book : the Prosthetic Impulse


The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future, by Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra, eds. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2006.

The prosthesis is not a mere extension of the human body; it is the constitution of this body qua “human.”
—Bernard Steigler,Technics and Time

With every tool man is perfecting his own organs, whether motor or sensory, or is removing the limits to their functioning. . . . Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God.When he puts on all his auxiliary organs, he is truly magnificent; but these organs have not grown on to him, and they still give him trouble at times. . . . Future ages will bring with them new and probably unimaginable great advances in this field of civilization and will increase man’s likeness to God still more. But in the interests of our investigations, we will not forget that present-day man does not feel happy in his Godlike character.
—Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

The first chapter can be downloaded here

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