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Master Thesis- Michelle Oosthuyzen

Master Thesis- Michelle Oosthuyzen

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Published by Michelle Oosthuyzen
Within this thesis, I explore the influence of discourses, specifically: the foundations of our axioms about man vs. technology. And I critically question the understanding of human-technology relationship that relies on limiting boundaries and universal categories. By providing a technologicalunderstanding of human existence, this research will create room for revaluating the dominant ideas aboutwhat it means to be human in a technologized world
Within this thesis, I explore the influence of discourses, specifically: the foundations of our axioms about man vs. technology. And I critically question the understanding of human-technology relationship that relies on limiting boundaries and universal categories. By providing a technologicalunderstanding of human existence, this research will create room for revaluating the dominant ideas aboutwhat it means to be human in a technologized world

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Michelle Oosthuyzen on Jun 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/30/2014

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 Within this thesis I will deconstruct the popular human/technology dichotomy that we see constructed andreflected in frightful stories about the future of humans in an increasingly technological world. Theories of identification, signification and imagination will explain how the technological imaginary can be understoodas an important part of the discursive construction of the self. Within Western scientific and popular discourse, technology is often imagined as something external affecting human nature. When we imagineourselves to be uniquely human, we will experience the ‘dehumanizing’ effects of invading, human-liketechnologies as a threat to our human nature. I argue that this conflict itself is a discursive constructionbased in false dichotomies including nature/culture, human/non-human, real/virtual, self/other andsubject/object. By exploring the powerful, formative and political effects of the technological imaginary, Iaffirm the relevance of this research. We are all figments of materiality and of imagination and thereforenever natural, or unalterable. I will critique the Western concept of a unified, autonomous and consciousself that is created from the reflection of the (technological) other and attempt to break with dichotomiesand boundaries that have long legitimized power relations in Western history. By providing a technologicalunderstanding of human existence, this research will create room for revaluating the dominant ideas aboutwhat it means to be human in a technologized world.
Keywords:
Discourse, Technological imaginary, Subjectivity, Categorization, Power relations, Unconscious, Cyborg,Co-constitution, Anthropocentrism, Dichotomies, Deconstruction, Uncanny, Anxiety, DesireWith special thanks to: Sanne Koevoets, for your professional guidance, and to Maurits Schuijf, for everything else.
 
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Figure 1. Word Cloud: a visual representation of the word frequency in this thesis (www.many-eyes.com).

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