Enhancement vs. Estrangement

Home Dialogue Page Identity Enhancement vs. Estrangement

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Michael Bess 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #5808


    I watched many cyborg-themed Japanese animations, which just like science fictions, showed stories in post-modern world, where technological enhancements are so advanced and inseparable from every aspect of life. For example, in the film Ghost in the Shell (which is listed in the Bibliography of this website),the main character has all her body replaced with cyborg except for the brain. Do you think she is still human, or such an organic-cyborg-hybrid has already estranged too far away from humanity?

    When watching those films, I always run into following questions: What constitutes a human being–individuality, identity, or sexuality? How would these concepts be challenged and how important they are? If computer made it possible to externalize memory, what roles human experience and memory play in the construction of identity and personhood? What and where is the boundary between human and machine? Ghost (soul) or Shell (body), which is more important to human beings?

  • #5831

    Michael Bess

    Here I go back to the six basic categories of traits that I described in my lecture on human nature: embodiment, cognition, affect, community, identity, and engaging the world. I think our humanity arises from the synergy among traits in all six of these areas (see Appendix F as well). I think that six-fold division, and the concept of emergence, offer a more constructive basis for thinking about the boundaries of the human than relying on the dualisms of body and mind, body and soul, ghost and shell.

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