The Enlightenment Cyborg: A History of Communications and Control in the Human Machine, 1660-1830

The Enlightenment Cyborg: A History of Communications and Control in the Human Machine, 1660-1830

Weight 0.00 lbs
By Allison Muri
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2007
World Rights
240 Pages
Cloth
ISBN 9780802088505
Published Jan 2007
Online discount: 25%
 $74.00    $55.50
Description
Author
Awards

For many cultural theorists, the concept of the cyborg - an organism controlled by mechanic processes - is firmly rooted in the post-modern, post-industrial, post-Enlightenment, post-nature, post-gender, or post-human culture of the late twentieth century. Allison Muri argues, however, that there is a long and rich tradition of art and philosophy that explores the equivalence of human and machine, and that the cybernetic organism as both a literary figure and an anatomical model has, in fact, existed since the Enlightenment.

In The Enlightenment Cyborg, Muri presents cultural evidence - in literary, philosophical, scientific, and medical texts - for the existence of mechanically steered, or 'cyber' humans in the works seventeenth- and eighteenth-century thinkers. Muri illustrates how Enlightenment exploration of the notion of the 'man-machine' was inextricably tied to ideas of reproduction, government, individual autonomy, and the soul, demonstrating an early connection between scientific theory and social and political thought. She argues that late twentieth-century social and political movements, such as socialism, feminism, and even conservatism, are thus not unique in their use of the cyborg as a politicized trope.

The Enlightenment Cyborg establishes a dialogue between eighteenth-century studies and cyborg art and theory, and makes a significant and original contribution to both of these fields of inquiry.

Allison Muri is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Saskatchewan.

Raymond Klibansky Prize awarded by Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme (Canada) - Short-listed in 2008