The Digitalisation of (Inter)Subjectivity: A Psi-critique of the Digital Death Drive, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Digitalisation of (Inter)Subjectivity

A Psi-critique of the Digital Death Drive, 1st Edition

By Jan De Vos

Routledge

256 pages

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Paperback: 9781138053052
pub: 2020-05-26
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Description

This book explores the responsibility of psychological and neuropsychological perspectives in relation to the digitalisation of inter-subjectivity. It examines how integral their theories and models have been to the development of digital technologies, and by combining theoretical and critical work of leading thinkers, is a new and highly original perspective on (inter)subjectivity in the digital era.

The book engages with artificial intelligence and cybernetics and the work of Alan Turing, Norbert Wiener, Marvin Minsky, Gregory Bateson and Warren McCulloch to demonstrate how their use of neuropsy-theories persists in contemporary digital culture. The author aims to trace a trajectory from psychologisation to neurologisation, and finally, to digitalisation, to make us question the digital future of humankind in relation to the idea of subjectivity, and the threat of the ‘death-drive’ inherent to digitality itself.

This volume is fascinating reading for students and researchers in the fields of critical psychology, neuroscience, education studies, philosophy, media studies, and other related areas.

Reviews

    Jan De Vos points to role of the mainstream psy-sciences and their simple, cardboard psychological models informing the design of our avatars and ‘smart environments’. Are we doomed or is there a prospect for a more emancipatory digital technology? Jan de Vos approaches this question, carefully avoiding the fascination by New Age post-human dreams. His book is simply for everyone who cares about our destiny – if you will ignore it, you will do this at your own risk.

- Slavoj Žižek, International Director, Birkbeck Institute for Humanities Birkbeck College, and Senior Researcher, University of Ljubljana

Jan De Vos provides a trenchant critique of the very terms by which contemporary debates about artificial intelligence and the neurobiological model of the human mind are waged. De Vos throws the sand of psychoanalysis into the well-oiled gears of this machine, providing a stark vision of the human species in the grip of its self-destructive drives. Against this dark picture he offers a renewal of radical left politics that overturns the game board, fractures the screen-based transparencies, and short-circuits the neuralinks that promise utopias of communication and consumer gratification.

- W. J. T. Mitchell, University of Chicago

Table of Contents

PART 1: INTRODUCTION

Chapter 1: The digital death drive

 

PART 2: LEARNING MACHINES: DIGITALISATION AND ITS PSY-ANTECEDENTS

Chapter 2: Alan Turing, Artificial Intelligence and its Psi-Fantasies

Chapter 3: Cybernetics and the War of the Psychologies

Chapter 4: Towards a psy-critique of the digitalisation of intersubjectivity: two case-studies

 

PART 3: EDUCATING THE PEOPLE: DIGITAL DEADLOCKS

Chapter 5: Digitalising education and parenting: the end of interpellation?

Chapter 6: The Digital (no)Future of Education

Chapter 7: Digital mass effects

 

PART 4: CONCLUSIONS

Chapter 8: What digitality should not think. A guide to imagine the end of the world

About the Author

Jan De Vos holds a MA in psychology and a PhD in philosophy and is currently affiliated to Ghent University and University College Ghent, Belgium. He is author of several monographs, amongst others, "The Metamorphoses of the Brain. Neurologisation and its Discontents" (Palgrave, 2016) and "Psychologisation in times of Globalisation" (Routledge, 2012).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY000000
PSYCHOLOGY / General