Man-Machine Symbiosis In Transhumanism

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Exploring the Transhumanist Vision of Man-Machine Symbiosis in Four Modern, Hard Science Fiction Novels
Indrajit Patra
Research Scholar, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Durgapur (NITD), India

Abstract: In this paper my aim is to analyze four 21st Century hard science fiction novels, which are Charles Stross’ ‘Accelerando’, Alastair Reynolds’ ‘Revelation Space’, Iain M. Banks’ ‘Surface Details’ and Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds’ collaborative work ‘The Medusa Chronicles’ to explore various aspects of a Post-Singular, Posthuman and machine-dominated future driven by an essentially Transhumanist vision of uplifting and elevating human self by a deep and thorough man-machine symbiosis. The
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This study will attempt to look into and analyze the portrayals of the possible consequences of man-machine interaction as presented in various modern hard science fiction novels. The primary methodological framework of this paper is Marx’s theory of alienation between the individual and his work or between the individual and the machineries. Marx said that in the pre-Industrial age (before 19the century) the relation between the workers and their apparatuses were different than what they would become in the Industrial era (626). Then the machines were thought of as appendages or extensions of the laborer himself while in the post-Industrial age the machines started to assume the role of one single ‘powerful organism’ whose appendages the human beings started to become. The entire world is then set in motion by the will of the machine itself which has assumed the form of one self-aware and self-evolving automaton consisting of a number of mechanical and intellectual organs. In the Posthuman era this automaton technology naturally is bound to assume enormous proportions and will control the course of events to an unprecedented extent. This is what is depicted in most of the 21st century works of dystopian…show more content…
Problems like dealing with man-machine synthesis also expose the difficulties that we face at present as a result of our predominantly reductionist scientific approach which seeks to reduce and disassemble an object to its fundamental, reducible components and then analyze them. The problem of mind and machine can be tackled most effectively only when we are fully aware of their real nature and origin and can trace their evolution thoroughly and independently – the organic core of machines and machinic framework of biological substrates: “The problem is that embodied cognition that reduces body to a mere physical instantiation of sensory motor loops does not go deep enough in acknowledging the importance and implications of the biological embodiment for cognition” (Slawomir J. Nasuto, and Yoshikatsu Hayashi. "Anticipation: Beyond synthetic biology and cognitive robotics" Biosystems, vol. 148, October, 2016, pp. 22-31). The authors stress the need to go beyond the traditional Western dualistic conception of reality and the mechanistic
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