[ExI] Wrestling with Embodiment

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Sat Jan 21 15:43:11 UTC 2012

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty

2012/1/20 <natasha at natasha.cc>
> What the heck is Hayles (How We Became Posthuman) talking about when she
says that posthumans are disembodied?  I had thought that she meant
that posthumans will forgo a body to be Moravecean robots.  That
transhumanists don't give a rat's behind about having any body, not even a
series of codes that might be interpreted as a platform or system.  But when
I look at the concept of embodiment it is most definitely not Cartesian. 
Does it mean that our bodies form us?  That our minds are the product of the
body?  Certainly this can't be -- unless one is more artistic and defends
perceptions and sensorial interpretations of the world far above other
cognitive processes performed by the brain.
> Embodiment is a big term in the area of human enhancement.  Can someone
unpack it for me and give me a clear understanding of just what it is? 
Where did it originate?  Psychology or philosophy?
> Thanks, I am indebted to your cleverness, as I certainly don't have any on

"An easy answer that comes to mind is that Hayles is simply wrong.  I
haven't read anything she's written, so I may also be wrong.  I wonder
who appointed her the official spokesperson for all of posthumanity?

"It is much easier to imagine trans/post -humanists as them in the
classic us vs. them pattern.  A giant amorphous "other" is much easier
to hate/fear/etc than an actual person with more similarities than

"i don't know.  'just sharing my thoughts."

Yes, I see. I think that her postmodernist approach is an interesting twist
on "other" because usually "other" is the postmodernist favored, but in this
case it is the "monster" and it is "us".


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