Recently, with the advent of technoscience, and especially the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and communication technology and the cognitive sciences (NBIC), has come the prospect of human enhancement. Even though the latter – the technological enhancement of human beings which has coalesced in the figure of the posthuman – has been the object of a heated, polarised, and ultimately deadlocked debate between bioconservatives and transhumanists, crucial dimensions that are needed to understand what is at stake with human enhancement have been omitted. While putative enhancement technologies are assumed to be dramatically challenging, revolutionising even, for human beings, the very relations between humans and technologies and the emergence of new configurations are ignored. Rather, a generic yet highly normative and exclusive conception of the human informs the bioconservative and transhumanist understandings of human enhancement. In this context, how to apprehend and conceptualise the relations between humans and enhancement technologies so as to improve the current discussion on enhancement? This is the question that guides this thesis; and as argued in the latter, it is by addressing – and attempting to answer – this interrogation both conceptually and empirically that it becomes possible to account for what it means to be human within enhancement technologies, that is, within technologies that are increasingly getting closer to the (human) bodies they offer to modify.
|Award date||10 Apr 2014|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Apr 2014|