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News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Sławomir Kozioł, Futures of the Human Subject. Technical Mediation, Foucault and Science Fiction, Routledge, 2022

Book Description
Futures of the Human Subject focuses on the representation of the effects of technology use on human subjectivity in several recent near-future science fiction novels. Sharing the idea that human subjects are constructed in the world in which they exist, this volume inscribes itself in the wider field of posthumanism which contests the liberal humanist notion of people as self-contained, autonomous agents. At the same time, it is the first substantial study of literary representations of the human subject carried out within the conceptual framework of Foucault-inflected philosophy of technical mediation, which examines the nature of the relation between people and specific technologies as well as the way in which this relation affects human subjectivity. As such, the book may help readers to exercise more effective control over the way in which they are constituted as subjects in this technologically saturated world.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Technical Mediation, Subjectivity and Science Fiction

Early philosophy of technology and utopia/dystopia syndrome

Empirical turn

Posthuman perspective

Philosophy of technical mediation—key concepts

Technical mediation and Foucault

Modes of human–technology interaction

Ethics of technology

Science fiction

Chapter 2. The Circle: Embracing Social Media and Personal Transparency

Utopian vision of ICTs as subjectifying discourse

Self-conception, social self and the internet as archive

Subjectifying power of the algorithm

Pressure for social media activity

Gamification and the quantified self

Surveillance and personal transparency

Chapter 3. Rainbows End: New Vistas through Displays in Contacts

New life after Alzheimer’s

Materiality of discourse

Wearing: the physical mode

Cognitive enhancement

Personal interaction and multitasking

Belief circles and play

Cognitive labour and control

Chapter 4. Maddadam trilogy: Alleviating Existential Fears

Life in the Compounds

Ethical subjectification of God’s Gardeners

Makover culture

Producing patients

Becoming Crake

Slawomir Koziol is an assistant professor at the University of Rzeszów, Poland. His academic interests include science fiction, posthumanism, theories of the human subject, philosophy of technical mediation, social space and new-media art. He has published articles in Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Extrapolation, Miscelánea: A Journal of English and American Studies, Papers on Language and Literature and Science Fiction Studies, among others.

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