1st Edition

Bodies and Enhancement Technology A Posthumanist Exploration of Somatechnologies

By Lucie Dalibert Copyright 2017
    232 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Against the background of debates surrounding the development and application of human enhancement technologies, this book asks how should we apprehend and conceptualise the relations between humans and augmentation technologies. Conceiving of such technologies as somatechnologies – technologies that act on interact with and transform the body – it moves beyond the notion of ‘the human’ as a generic entity to encapsulate the intimate relations between humans and technologies.

    Based on interviews with engineers, nurses, surgeons, company representatives and users of enhancement technologies, the author offers case studies of prosthetic and neuromodulation devices to show that at issue is not whether enhancement technologies threaten or improve ‘the human’, but rather how and which bodies materialise with them, thus shedding light on the relationality and intercorporeality of bodily existence and exploring norms regarding what counts as ‘human’.

    A study of how humans are constituted as bodily beings in relation to technologies, this volume develops the current discussion on human enhancement and will appeal to scholars of the philosophy of technology, the sociology of science and technology and philosophical anthropology.

    1. Introduction: The Implicit Normativity of the Human Enhancement Debate

    2. Enhancement and Posthumanism

    3. The Genealogy of the Posthuman and Posthumanism

    4. Somatechnology: Conceptualizations of Human-Technology Relations

    5. Case Studies: Prosthetics and Spinal Cord Stimulation

    6. Conclusions


    Lucie Dalibert is Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Health, Ethics and Society at Maastricht University, The Netherlands.