Science

Posthuman Figures

2). Posthumanism views the human body as a prosthesis that humans learn to manipulate and replaces it with other prostheses, which is a continuation of a process. Likewise, the posthuman view looks at the human body as something that can be seamlessly articulated with intelligent machines through configuration (Hayles, 1999, p. 3). In the posthuman, absolute demarcation or even essential differences do not exist between bodily existence and computer simulation. The analysis of possessive individualism by C. B. Macpherson is significant of underlying assumption about subjectivity signaled by the posthuman. This analysis posits that the posthuman possessive quality is found in how it conceives the individual as the essential proprietor of his own person or capacities, in which he owes nothing to society. There are convenient points of departure for measuring the distance between the human and the posthuman, exemplified by this notion of "owing nothing to society" (Hayles, 1999). Hobbes and Locke have initially claimed that humans in a ‘state of nature’ owe nothing to society before the emergence of market relations. It is argued that a foundation upon which those market relations can be built, such as selling one’s labour for wages, since ownership of oneself is viewed to predate market relations (Hayles, 1999).
Posthumanism and Cultural Identity
One of the most frequent criticisms made of cybernetics is that apart from being a new science it is merely an extended analogy between men and machines. It was argued by Michael Foucault that man is a historical construction whose era is about to end (Hollinger and Gordon, 2002). Posthuman has then become a subject in cultural studies and the discourse about the body signals the emergence of the posthuman subject. There is the recognition of masculinist cyberpunk narratives of the possibilities of the elimination of the boundaries between human and machine. However, dualistic gender identity in the interactions between material bodies and technological devices has failed to dislodge (Hollinger and Gordon, 2002, p. 77). It may be furthered that a denaturalisation of the relationship between the body and cultural identity is facilitated by the multiple entanglements of the body with technology. This in turn is said to destabilise the structure and modes of reproduction of Western identity, alongside nature of culture (ibid). It is however noteworthy to mention that pertaining to cultural identity, the posthuman view supports the perspective that the wired body is perfect because the technoid life enables the human being to crack out from the dead shell of human culture (Hollinger and Gordon, 2002).
The formulation of the technoid life form through the cyborg undermines the knowledge that the human body has a productive and inscriptive capacity of its own, functioning through historical, social, and cultural practices. Culturally constituted bodies do not only experience and live, but are also gendered bodies that define their environments as much as they are defined by them. Information is the defining environment for the contemporary technological body. Thus, the posthuman context must inevitably address the complex and shifting relationship

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