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Peter Asaro & Nicole C. Karafyllis

THE OBJECT OF LIFE AND THE SUBJECT OF DEATH: THEMES IN ROBOTICS AND BIOTECHNOLOGY [engl.]

Both robotics as well as biotechnology deal with artificially created life and strive to achieve a better future by optimizing customary vital life functions.  This raises three questions. Firstly: for whom is this better future envisioned? Secondly: is life as it currently is actually that bad? And thirdly: is the future life being striven for still my life? – Biological identity is no longer concerned with species but the creation of a single organism that can develop autonomously and reproduce itself. The biotechnological ideal figure of the undead is therefore a lonesome creature, at once a dream vision and horror idea. For it makes a great difference if we perceive death as something functional or as bound with the subject: death gives life meaning.

 

 

Peter Asaro is professor of media studies and film at the New School University in New York City. His work examines the interfaces between science, technology, and media, and is currently focused on the social dimensions of lethal robotics. In his film Love Machine he examines the development of robots designed to enter human social relations of love, caring and friendship and their potential to supplant human biological reproduction. www.peterasaro.org

Nicole C. Karafyllis is professor of philosophy at the TU Braunschweig as well as the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain/Abu Dhabi. She is specializes in theories of knowledge, anthropology, and the ontology of the natural and technological sciences, addressing issues of bio- and environmental ethics. For her contribution to the dialog between the humanities, the sciences and technology she was awarded the Abt Jerusalem Prize. www.karafyllis.de