Cyborgs : cyborgism, performance and society
Cyborgism and performance are perhaps on the face of it two different subject areas, and the many other topics covered or touched upon in this thesis on the face of it quite distinct areas of study. This thesis is a synthesis of these otherwise distinct fields of thought. The main line of argument will focus around a discussion of performance and performativity, and how performance studies presents an understanding of identity and of culture that dovetails with sociological notions, in particular those which use the language of the stage, notably social interaction and actor-network theory. The nature of cyborgism will become apparent through this discussion, particularly in discussion of the cultural phenomenon of the cyborg in fiction and in film. One of the primary concerns raised by this discussion and by the characteristics of the modern cyborg, however, will be the history, nature, and development of Modernism itself, from mediaeval times up to the present, and which will identify the Cyborg as its ultimate product. The philosophical thrust of the thesis will be to highlight the problems inherent in the Modernist, scientific materialist approach to understanding the world, and contrast it with a counter-history of philosophical approaches both vitalist and holistic, thereby casting the Cyborg as a warning and a threat.