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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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Beyond Romanticism and beyond Modernity: Toward the (Real) End of the Machine?

Beyond Romanticism and beyond Modernity: Toward the (Real) End of the Machine?

(p.253) 7 Beyond Romanticism and beyond Modernity: Toward the (Real) End of the Machine?
New Romantic Cyborgs

Mark Coeckelbergh

The MIT Press

Chapter 7 continues the project of trying to think beyond romanticism. First the previous chapters are concluded by analysing the meaning of “end” in the “end of the machine” thesis. Then it is asked how we can move beyond the assumptions made by the mentioned criticisms, which are still trapped in the romantic dialectic and in Platonic dualism. It is argued that in any case we should become more aware of, and acknowledge, the romantic horizon. The chapter explores some ways in which we could begin to take some distance from romanticism such as the notion of skilled engagement. The conclusion suggests that it is difficult to move beyond romanticism by means of language alone. Perhaps an exploration of a non-romantic and a non-romantic space also needs to involve exploring and experimenting with technologies. It is suggested that we try to invent and accompany the birth of the non-machine (for lack of a better word). The birth of non-machine thinking and non-machine culture would also require a different language, but such a different language can only come into being together with a different praxis and different technologies. Until then we remain romantic cyborgs.

Keywords:   Beyond romanticism, Language, Skilled engagement, Non-modern thinking, Disenchantment myth, Non-machine thinking

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