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Title: The posthuman : hostis humani generis? : science fiction allegories/social narratives
Author: Smith, Mark Bryan Bridger
ISNI:       0000 0004 2679 5550
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2008
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Whether in the guise of the novel or non-print media such as film and television, fin-de-millennium science fiction has provided opportunities to envisage a posthuman stage of evolution. The academic response to this has been polarized. Certain elements have embraced the genre as integral to the sociocultural relationship between unfettered biotechnological advance and the limitation of the human flesh. Others have treated the topic as fanciful entertainment, leading them to ignore and sometimes ridicule research on the posthuman. The thesis seeks to utilise the contemporary science fiction allegory as an aid in developing a critique of the emerging posthuman discourse, facilitating the analysis of its socio-political dynamic, and questioning whether discourse advancement necessitates the rejection of the humanist metanarrative. The thesis is divided into six chapters. The first chapter differentiates the posthuman from established biotechnological discourses, e mg the discontinuities in global location, temporal engagement, and participant ideology. The second reflects on the contemporary human condition associated with man's technological ingenuity being a credible threat to his own existence. It then outlines the epochal technoscience of the posthuman and introduces the diametrically opposed standpoints of the posthuman as amelioration, or autoextinction. The third chapter draws upon utopian visions of the future to contextualise and assist in the critical analysis of narratives advocating posthuman technoscience. The fourth chapter reverses this, by utilising dystopian imagery as an entree into the rationale of those opposing human alteration, facilitating its critique. The fifth chapter sees the science fiction allegory as a postfoundationalist narrative, offering up a discursive mirror to the influences of providence and progress on the posthuman debate. The final chapter examines whether an a-humanist account of man's relationship with technology might help to advance the posthuman debate.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General)