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New Romantic CyborgsRomanticism, Information Technology, and the End of the Machine$
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Mark Coeckelbergh

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035460

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035460.001.0001

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Romanticism against the Machine?

Romanticism against the Machine?

(p.71) 3 Romanticism against the Machine?
New Romantic Cyborgs

Mark Coeckelbergh

The MIT Press

Chapter 3 shows how romanticism (historical Romanticism and romanticism more broadly defined) is usually seen in opposition to technology: in the past, by many Romantics themselves, but also by later interpreters and critics – including philosophers of technology. Romanticism is usually seen as an attempt to escape the machine; it is the machine’s very antithesis. Even contemporary philosophers who claim to reject a romantic view of technology tend to presuppose the romantic dialectic. It turns out that the writings of Weber, Heidegger, and Benjamin are more ambiguous with regard to technology than usually supposed. This point is also supported by a discussion of the relation between romanticism and technology in an American context. Perhaps romanticism and technology are sometimes compatible.

Keywords:   Romanticism, Machine, Romanticism and machine, dualism, Romantic dialectic, Weber, Heidegger, Benjamin, Leo Marx, Melville, Mary Shelley

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