Show Less
Open access

Advancing the Human Self

Do Technologies Make Us “Posthuman”?

Series:

Ewa Nowak

Do technologies advance our self-identities, as they do our bodies, cognitive skills, and the next developmental stage called postpersonal? Did we already manage to be fully human, before becoming posthuman? Are we doomed to disintegration and episodic selfhood? This book examines the impact of radical technopoiesis on our selves from a multidisciplinary perspective, including the health humanities, phenomenology, the life sciences and humanoid AI (artificial intelligence) ethics. Surprisingly, our body representations show more plasticity than scholarly concepts and sociocultural narratives. Our embodied selves can withstand transplants, bionic prostheses and radical somatechnics, but to remain autonomous and authentic, our agential potentials must be strengthened – and this is not through ‘psychosurgery’ and the brain–computer interface.

Show Summary Details
Open access

II. The Evolution of Body Concept

II. The Evolution of Body Concept

Although modern man’s attention is often considered to be reoriented from spiritual and intellectual aspects towards the bodily aspects of the human (and trans- or posthuman) condition, the body reveals impressive complexity. It had been explored from early antiquity until today; in biology, the medical sciences, philosophy, art, and religion. Autocreative and technopoietic activities addressed human embodiment in its all micro and macro dimensions. Revisiting body concepts from the basic to the most complex allows one to make the body’s trans- and posthumanist ‘evolution’ more comprehensive. However, although the concepts listed above suggest the state-of-the-art in the living and lived body-related expertise has already broken the body’s opaqueness and became “transparent” to technological and medical imagery tools,146 a lot of open-ended questions are still emerging, such as the following one: Do our bodies really evolve according to the invented schemes of the posthumanist scholars? Is it just body concepts and theorizations that evolve across disciplines and explorative or experimental human practices? What position does an embodied self have today “between animal and angel, past and future, condemnation and redeeming?”147 (zwischen Tier und Engel, zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft, zwischen Verdammnis und Erlösung)? Let us revisit and revise the body concepts necessary to provide at least a provisional answer.

1. Objective Material Reality, Brute Body, Fleshness, Corporeity

The term ‘brute body’ means objective materiality or simple corporeity. Nowadays, the sense of this originally Aristotelian category reflects itself in a fleshy “container for the mind”148 or physical “hardware in which cognition is realized.”149 To Aristotle, brute body was not even a container, but “merely ←51 | 52→substratum, indeterminate,” a “material cause of something else.”150 Brute body is more than an aggregation of physical molecules, but less than a colony of cells, which, for example, make up a tissue. This term, used in technical and scientific contexts, is completely depersonalized, desubjected, deindividualized, amorphous, as it belongs to material objectivity along with dead matter, natural or artificially synthetized, mechanically – and liberally – used and reused, replaced, transformed, annihilated, etc., thus, instrumentalized. Applying such terminology to the human body implies radical reductionism and dehumanization, as illustrated by Gärtner’s “container” with no individual, or even human, features. But thinking such brute materiality in the form of a container-like exteriority would also be thinkable for radical idealism and spiritualism, dualism, materialism, and naturalism. The brute matter seems like an all-purpose, universal category, for it is “indeterminate,” plastic, easy to shape, manipulate, measure, quantificate, and distribute. “In fact ‘matter’ in the sense of ‘body’ becomes more rational an object than ‘spirit.’ ”151 Applied to the human body, the brute matter becomes material to shape and re-shape liberally, with rational and technological tools. It is just a Cartesian “res extensa or external reality,”152 and Husserl’s objective corporeity: Leibkörper, Raumkörperlichkeit, Gegebenheit, “physischer Dingleib,” “reales, substantiell–kausales Ding.”153 According to Aristotle, a formal cause is shaping the brute physical matter in analogy with marble or bronze: “This is a clear case where form denotes the essential aspect while the matter is a necessary condition for representation but is more or less interchangeable. The same form could be embodied in a different lump of bronze, or even in a different material altogether.”154

2. Living Matter and Soma Organikon

Every living being is built not just of solid, amorphous flesh matter (fleshness, according to Merleau-Ponty), but has natural, “organic equipment”155 which is to ←52 | 53→be understood as an organized aggregation156 of cells living together as a colony, or making up specific tissues (cells of the same type and function connected together), organs, and, finally, an organism as a whole. There is life in cells in terms of ongoing biochemical and physiological processes defining living matter (zoe). A single somatic cell is a microcosm with its own ‘self,’ as Jacky Stacey shows. “The cells are personified,” and a particular cell may change its identity and endanger the life of the whole body or an embodied individual.157 “Both conventional and alternative accounts represent the cell as a metaphor of the self. In the scientific accounts cell are given individual identities: like us, they desire, they fear, they have intentions, they triumph, and they are satisfied.”158

An organic body of a single living being is made up of organs, and organs are made up of living cells organized in tissues. Unlike the brute body, “an organic body is the necessary material for the presence of an active soul.”159 To Jonas, who was inspired by the concept of soma organikon from Aristotelian philosophy, even the most primitive organisms manifest some kind of an individual vegetative ‘soul.’ “Not just any amorphous matter is a potentially living body, but a very special organization of materials in very particular proportions, shapes and conditions, which represent the potential site of life, i.e., the soma organikon – something that is articulated in the mode of organs or which as a whole is an interrelated system of instrumentalities. Soul is that which assures the actualization of that potential.”160

←53 | 54→

Soma organikon was also explored by Herophilus of Alexandria, Soranus, Galen, etc. due to the hierarchy of organs, their functions, and their interrelations within the human organic body. While the Aristotelian tradition claiming the heart to be the seat of human soul was revised,161 Herophilus “places the dominant principle of the ‘soul’ in the ventricles of the brain.”162 Galen and Herophilus described the nervous system as the origin of motion and as a kind of “power which Galen himself defines as a ‘soul’, i.e., vital force, for all the motion of muscles and nerves ceases when soul departs.”163 With ancient physicians the nervous system and the psyche met together and become to a unified, central organ within the human organism. Mapping the latter, they determined organs with life-supporting roles. The liver, pulmonary system, and “the heart as the centre of the blood system and the connection between the heart and the pulse-beats”164 were considered as principal organs. Charged with six hundred vivisections and embryosections enumerated by Celsius and condemned by Tertulian, Herophilus contributed to the organic body definition as an integral, hierarchically organized, living totality.

The body’s first organizational principle was considered to be incorporated in two central organs, namely the heart and brain, and called hegemonicon: “One says the heart, another the meninges, and one that the brain contains the hegemonikon of the soul.”165 “The hegemonikon was therefore regarded as not being dependent on a single or fixed location,”166 but flexible. Interestingly, its proponents were divided in two parties: “those who maintained that the hegemonikon was found in the head (encephalocentrists) and those who argued that it was located in the heart or its immediate vasculature (cardiocentrists). Apart from Galen, on the encephalocentric side can be placed, among others, Ptolemy, Herophilus and Erasistratus, Plato (…) and certain of the Presocratics.”167

Sappho was the pioneer of the soma organikon’s wholeness, complexity, and integrity. She found the archaic, preorganic concept of sṓma as “body in pieces”168 ←54 | 55→inappropriate. Sappho’s body concept assumes interconnections between organs as parts of an organism and morphemes as parts of a body. She was one of the first to recognize the continuity between the external and internal, the somatic and mental (experiential, emotional and intellectual) aspects of organic life. Distinguishing these aspects, a beholder’s perception must not destroy the wholeness as it would be typical to monism and dualism. In a living organic being, there is “a knot of being” (der Knoten des Seins), which subverts dualism (zerhaut den Dualismus). Materialism and idealism attempt to untie the knot by pulling it to their respective sides – however, “in vain.” According to Jonas’ holistic ontology of organism “part of an organic body exists only in the whole as a part of the whole (…) Only as parts of the functioning whole do they remain what they are.”169

3. Organic Identity and Individuality

To Jonas, an organism as “the identity that constitutes itself” shows “the ceaseless creativity of self-continuation.” It is “a constant challenge to mechanical nature,”170 “open to interference, in its delicate balance of functions, which is effective only as a whole, [it is] vulnerable, and mortally so in its centre.”171 Thus “the existence of the organic individual is that of function and not of substance.”172 Jonas is convinced an individual organism maintains itself: and “in this polarity of self and world, of internal and external (…) the basic situation of freedom with all its daring and distress is potentially complete.”173

The “initially problematical nature of life”174 is that of every single living organism. Beyond its unique and finite existence, organic life is going to strive for immortality, however, not the immortality of ancient metaphysics. Metaphysical ←55 | 56→immortality “is here replaced by the immortality of the germ-plasm as a continuous existence in itself.”175

What makes the organism an individual? It is not only its unique phenotype, but its self-maintenance, internal homeostasis, intentionality, functionality, and ecological openness, i.e., an intelligent interplay with the environment, and “inwardness.” The latter represents “the outward” constantly interacting with it or using its resources. According to Jonas, that activity is “one form of the self-transcendence of organic being. (…) The transcendence, the being a self by going beyond the self, is ever more elaborate and opens up new horizons as we proceed to the higher forms, and the horizons are always horizons of transcendence, not sticking to the mere empty self-identity of a material body (…) Organic individuality and organic identity are themselves teleological facts (…) Therefore, process character, transcendence, identity by means of change, goal-directedness in terms of teleological structure of being are all one and inseparable in the ontology of the living thing.”176 Jonas’ philosophical biology radically raises the value or even the dignity of living organisms, which originates from their intrinsic teleology (whereas it is obvious to him that the molecular particles of brute matter do not show any). “For the complex organic parts (e.g., cells in a multi-cellular organism) (…) the fact is that not only their membership but their existence itself is organic, i.e. (…) a product of the teleology of the whole, which therefore cannot be derived from theirs.”177 Jonas’ reassessment of a living organism’s intrinsic value occurs on a definitory and descriptive level, beyond anthropomorphism and Cartesian reductionism. Underlying wholeness and individuality as core features of a living organism, Jonas provides a strong argument against the politicization and technicization of human and animal bodies: “for in real corporeal individuals the way in which the whole unites the parts and the parts form the whole is in all major respects diametrically opposed to what we found to be the case in a social whole.”178

←56 | 57→

What are the implications of Jonas’ plea for organically invented individuality, in particular for humans? As I explained elsewhere179 why an “Organbank” (allograft commercialization) would reduce human tissues and organs to a lower category of ordinary things180 (Bereich bloßer Dinge), here my only purpose is only to highlight that, according to the reasons articulated above, a person has an “unconditional right to one’s own organs and one’s own body” but “nobody has the right to another person’s body.”181

According to Jonas, organ donation and reception presupposes the active cooperation of the donor’s functioning organism as a source of wholesome organs. However, such interindividual cooperation is not just about the exchangeability and replaceability of tissues, and organs, including prosthetics and other kinds of crosscorporeal bodies. Jonas’ argument emerges not from the artificialism vs. naturalism controversy, but from individuality and identity as already prioritized by a living organism as a postdualist conceptualized whole: “The individuality of an organic being is self-centered (selbstzentriert, egozentrisch) and turned away from the rest of the world which is external to it (…). The whole integrates itself. (…) Sameness means self-determination (Selbigkeit ist selbstbestimmend, Selbständigkeit) (…). An individuality which lasts because of a creative process is a ‘living organism’ and not a ‘part of the world.’ ”182 However, being an individual organism does not imply isolation and full independence from “socio-material environments.”183 Intended or not, the neuroscientists repeatedly confirmed the key role of organic homeostasis184 and sameness for the conscious and autobiographical self of human beings. “The basic form of consciousness, core consciousness is placed in the context of life regulation; it is seen as yet another level of biological processing aimed at ensuring the homeostatic balance of a living ←57 | 58→organism; and the representation of the current organism state within somato-sensing structures is seen as critical to its development.”185

Serious, sometimes indefinable interdependencies (but not ‘by-play’ factors) must be involved when Jonas claims that cloning an individual organic body is impossible because its actual shape, condition, and character are determined not only by their genome which, unlike the organic body, can be cloned. “A body as a whole is so individualized and is so much myself that it remains unique and belonging to my identity in the same way in which the brain, fingerprints, or immunological reactions belong to it.”186 It is not restricted to a sum of particular organs, properties, functions, and skills. It is thoroughly holistic, and that is how it should be perceived and respected by others. “My identity is the identity of the whole organism (…) even when the higher functions which have a seat in the brain have stopped working. How else can one fall in love with a woman and not only her brain? To love the expression of someone’s face? A delicate silhouette?”187

4. Own Body

It was Aquinas who pioneered the concept of one’s own individual body, which anticipated modern phenomenological approaches. In his polemic against St. Paul’s body-aversive, spiritualist doctrine, Aquinas claims that “any separation of soul from body goes against its nature and is imposed on it. (…) soul is not the whole human being, only part of one: my soul is not me.”188 In other words, to Aquinas, my soul is not a whole and true me as it was in Pauline tradition: “For Saint Paul (of Tarsus) the true Self is the new man ‘called’ by a personal God, hence created by a vocation; he does not fall under the yoke of the Senses like the old Adam since the new life is both in and out of the world, manifested by his love.”189 Aquinas initiated the first serious discussion on the embodied personal self. His statement is clear, and refers to its Aristotelian origins: “So if soul is deprived ←58 | 59→of body, it will exist imperfectly as long as this situation lasts.”190 Although the refusal of reincarnation as incompatible with the resurrection dogma was the precise background for that discussion, Aquinas is to be recognized as a pioneer of the Western concept of one’s own body and embodied selfhood in at least two phenomenological aspects: namely as one’s own–hence–individual body, and as an embodiment inseparable from mental and spiritual lifeforms.

In the Zen and Shinto tradition before its Westernization, as Hiroyuki Noguchi puts it, the formation of the body concept, its individuality, and identity, looked rather different. A meditative treatment of the Japanese body provides several steps to “switch from mental concentration to bodily concentration” in order to “separate the self from the body,” and finally to “encounter the pure body” belonging “only to nature itself: the body ‘as is’. To encounter the body ‘as is’ means that all sensations of the flesh disappear. What emerges instead, is a body of mist or air-like quality.”191 Its new nature “is one of total passivity; it can fluctuate with the true sense of being alive.”192 However, the life experienced is not that of an individual living organism, “but the life that flows through all beings in a world where everything is alive.”193 Opening up to the life cycle should nourish and strengthen the individual life’s potentials, including the mind’s creativity. That practice is more of a therapeutic than of a sacral, esoteric, or celebrative character.

In modern Western phenomenology, one’s own irreplaceable body often appears in twofold meaning, such as to have the own body (however, not as a physical object, but, rather, “as a work of art”)194 and to be one’s own body. The first meaning still betrays a Cartesian externalist, objectivist, and mechanical touch, although exteriority remains one of the most important body aspects in phenomenology. Ownership is also found in Husserl, as he claims “my physical body to be preoriginally mine” (mein Leib als das ursprünglichst meine).195 My body was widely explored by Merleau-Ponty who claims, “I am my body, I am my life” and leaves behind us, “once and for all, the traditional subject-object dichotomy” as well as the “traditional dichotomy of body and consciousness.”196 ←59 | 60→Can my body cease to be mine? Having agreed with Jonas that “nobody has the right to another person’s body,” it is easy to recall a number of situations in which a subject is confronted with her ‘disembodiment’ or “closure of the self from the body.”197 Bettelheim and Giddens refer to body and self dissociation reported by victims of tremendous horror in death camps. Biopolitical and disciplinary discourse powers may deprive persons of their inalienable right to their body. A changed feeling of the body and unusual existential feelings accompany a number of psychiatric disorders. In schizophrenia, one’s own body may disappear or appear as if it is alien body.198 At the same time, phenomenology teaches “that the bodily self is a non-thing [Nicht-Ding], which is never ‘bodily present’ [leibhaft gegenwärtig], as things are.”199 Furthermore, body shaming is explained as “out of the body” feeling while the latter is dominated by the oppressive body narratives or images.200 “The body becomes the focus of power and this power (…) subjects it to the internal discipline of self-control,”201 which provides the right to own body with social sanctions. This conventionalized body was told to become our social skin, typical for modernity. In her book entitled The Body Multiple. Ontology in Medical Practice, Annemarie Mol shows human embodiment and bodily identity (including disease, pathologies, etc.) to ←60 | 61→be “done,” “enacted,” constructed or deconstructed by medical practices, social representations, biopolitical and normative discourses: “The vagina for instance. This organ is no longer capable, all by itself, of turning someone into a woman. A lot more is required to do womanhood: specific styles of talking, ways of walking, dressing, addressing.”202

5. Experiential Body

Husserl explored both the objective and subjective (Ich-Organ) aspects of one’s own body in terms of phenomenological, i.e., experience-based, synthesis. According to his analysis in Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität II, the conscious I learns to identify her body as one’s own body (soma) on the basis of experiencing the latter as experienced from the first-person perspective (ich lerne meine selbsterfahrene Leiblichkeit, mein Leib untrennbar vom Somatologischen, in geistlicher Beziehung zum Ich-Organ). However, the identification process occurs in a mediated way, i.e., by means of another bodily organ (erst auf dem Umweg über den Andern).203

Experiencing bodily reality (corporeality), identifying and recognizing it subjectively as ‘my’ personal body would both meet and transgress the criterion of one’s own body. That criterion does not predetermine one’s own body to be limited to natural or actual body landscape. It also applies, e.g., to lost organs and phantom limbs still identified or even experienced as integral parts of my body landscape, and a part of my body’s functionality. With the experiential body, a novel level of body concept will be achieved. It transcends the ‘preoriginally mine’ corporeality and its limited, egological ontologies to finally acknowledge “that a human body is not a discrete entity ending at the skin, and that material ←61 | 62→technologies constantly disorder our boundaries,”204 opening them to various kinds of somatechnics, and crosscorporeality. However, before addressing these new phenomena, a basic experiential body approach needs to be introduced.

To humans and probably also to a large number of animals, one’s own body is a lived, sensed, and experienced body on the one hand, and living/sensing body with a huge sensorium on the other. Husserl described this,205 in a manner impressive to contemporary scholars combining phenomenology and embodied mind theory, as follows: “When my hand touches the table and when I pay attention to the very touching, I am, after all, conscious of an experiencing organ and not of an experienced organ.”206 According to Zahavi, “the relation between the touching and the touched is reversible, since the touching is touched, and the touched is touching. It is this reversibility that demonstrates that the interiority and the exteriority are different manifestations of the same (…) Thus, it is exactly the unique subject-object status of the body, the remarkable inter-play between ipseity and alterity characterizing double-sensation, which permits me to recognize and experience other embodied subjects.”207

The body’s sensory dispositions offer plentifulness of impressions and experiences used as a measure of human wellbeing and happiness. It is not only curiosity; the idea of progress and human hubris accelerate the development of technologies and the so-called human enhancement across ages, beyond askesis, commitment, and humility. Being situated in and belonging to the world as an exploratory, agential, and interactive individual and experiencing one’s body and through one’s body, which can be quantified “according to the disposition of my limbs”208 and the functionality of my body. Even in the case of passive touch, our body remains engaged and world-directed. My experiential embodiment provides “non-conceptual feelings of the body” such as exteroception and proprioception, which “constitute a background [existential] sense of belonging to the world and a sense of reality,”209 and objects’ presence and absence, though in some general aspect my body is “an impersonal being.”210 However, there are several special types ←62 | 63→of extended or even ecological experiential body which are groundbreaking for understanding how bodily identity nowadays is evolving, transgressing boundaries, and expanding over various bodily terra incognita-like territories.

6. “… Like Organs of One Single Intercorporeality”211

“… what Husserl is referring to when he writes that the possibility of sociality presupposes a certain intersubjectivity of the body,”212 initiates the phenomenological discussion around intercorporeality: interhuman,213 biological/environmental, extended,214 and technologically improved. That discussion is crucial to understand a series of most recent conceptualizations of the human embodiment in terms of extended, crosscorporeal, ecological, and hybrid embodiment. These concepts radically expand one’s own body’s ontology and establish a new epistemological framework for defining embodiment today.

It is Maurice Merleau–Ponty’s theory that expands the old frame the most because being one’s own body (one’s “natural self”) cannot be disconnected from objective and intersubjective reality. This might be Merleau-Ponty’s core ontological claim; however, notions of corporeality and intercorporeality should not be reduced to materiality and mechanical connections. Rather, “to be a body, is to be tied to a certain world (…); our body is not primarily in space: it is of it,215 it has the world, as Merleau–Ponty claims. His claim sounds different than Heidegger’s Dasein as “in–der–Welt–sein” but it essentially connotes a similar sense of an experiential field shared by subjects, thus, intersubjective and social. For sharing something with others requires spatiality; the intercorporeality bridges the gap between me vs. the world around, inner vs. outer, immanent vs. transcendent. According to Merleau–Ponty, “the world is wholly inside and I am ←63 | 64→wholly outside myself.”216 Beyond “inside and outside” there is a “living cohesion” and a continuous, phenomenal “field of experience.” Intercorporeality does not require shaping linear interconnections from subject to object and subject to subject. In my intercorporeal condition, Merleau–Ponty clarifies, “I am neither here nor there, neither Peter nor Paul; I am in no way distinguishable from an ‘other’ consciousness, since we are immediately in touch with the world and since the world is, by definition, unique, being the system in which all truths cohere.”217 That kind of coherence corresponds with Heidegger’s “familiarity” and “being with,”218 but expands them as intelligible and not experiential relations rooted in the reality of all inter-subjects. It is, therefore, not only intellectual but also a preoriginal corporeal “Miteinander-sein” beyond ontological dualisms such as the Cartesian res cogitans vs. res extensa. It is to bridge the gap between “internal mind and external world,”219 which was unacceptable to Heidegger. “The experience of being there is not a matter of being plonked into a [fixed or determined, E.N.] spatial location but of being practically situated in an interconnected web of purposes, an appreciation of which is inseparable from practical activity. We are not in the world like peas sitting passively in a pod [nor are we “thrown” in the world without having any control over our position, E.N.]. Our activities and our sense of being part of the world are inextricable; the world shows up as a space of practical, purposive possibilities that we are entwined with,” while to Heidegger, being–in–the–world was not a matter of intercorporeality, sharing and the “causal facilitation but of a tacit understanding that renders the world intelligible.”220 According to Merleau-Ponty, humans “knit together as a cohesive functional whole” within a shared space–time.221 To make any experience, they need an embodiment that embraces interiority and exteriority.

For Husserl, otherness and corporeality were problems, as he was far from the idea of one world which would unify embodied minds.222 Merleau-Ponty’s account of the body is post-egological and post-dualist, as he redefined the body in terms of a mediator of the world – “a general medium for having the ←64 | 65→world”223 – and a vehiculum of being in the world, i.e., being “intervolved in a definite environment,” identifying oneself with social projects,224 and living with living no distinction between subjectivity and objectivity, sameness and otherness.225 “For Merleau-Ponty “we do not have bodies, rather ‘we are our body’ ”226 to be corporeally and spatiotemporally in the middle of the world, or even to generate worldliness itself.

7. Assembly, Hybrid, and Crosscorporeal Bodies

Trans- and posthumanists seem to materialize Merleau-Ponty’s concept of intercorporeality on their own. They not only question, but make fluent and instant distinctions between one’s own and other, between natural and artificial, organic and anorganic, beyond dualisms and binarities including engineered “as if body loop” models.227 Although “the notion of completely rebuilding our bodies with synthetic materials, even if superior in certain ways, is not immediately compelling” (“We like the softness of our bodies. We like bodies to be supple and cuddly and warm. And not a superficial warmth, but the deep and intimate heat drawn from its trillions of living cells”228), new body ontologies, epistemologies, or just landscapes are explored in a huge number of publications. Many of these conceptualizations were never acceptable for Merleau-Ponty, such as “thinking ‘operationally’ ” about the human body and making the latter into an absolutely artificial entity “such as we see in the ideology of cybernetics, where human creations are derived from a natural information process, itself conceived on the model of human machines.”229

For thinkers of new materialities, the “underdeveloped significance of corporeality in Western philosophy”230 of the 20th century (especially of intercorporeality) was disappointing. Deleuze and Guattari proposed new meta-ontological apparatus with their concept of “assembly” or “assemblage,” later used to mediate “between self and other, or between the categories of human, ←65 | 66→animal, and machine,”231 and – nowadays – between the real and hyperreal, material and virtual, amorphous and polymorphous, homogeneous and heterogeneous, symbiotic body landscapes, co- and crosscorporealities such as artificial neural networks or tissues printed in 3D technology. Some of these hybrid concepts draw from Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological assumptions (as for example, from his analysis of a body extended when driving a car, the replacement of disabled organs and functions with other organs and prostheses, and from the polysemy of intercorporeality itself). Doing so, the theorists reuse the anachronical humanistic phenomenology as a toolbox to exploratively develop radically posthuman phenomenologies in line with technological progress and transhumanist experience, which is rather more about thought experimentalism than about the real experience.

Exploring “the inherent plasticity of the body” and “the process of incorporating non-self matter”232 makes technopoiesis and human experiences with technologies more comprehensive. It also has important ethical implications such as postconventionalism, i.e., a revision of perception and the attitudes towards human embodiment, bodily identity, and the embodied self. This has an effect on the rise of new transplant studies, new disability studies, feminist and queer medical studies.233 The human being is a “material entity bounded by the skin”234 but not limited by the skin, as Shildrick argues, because “we are bodies in technologies.”235 Hence, “the singularity and purity of the [embodied, E.N.] subject cannot hold.”236 It does not sound as if it is in harmony with Jonas’ concept of ←66 | 67→organic identity, which suggests that our technoorganisms “are not solid bodies as such, only becoming bodies,”237 even if such developments are sometimes unavoidable. Although being a part of medical humanities, the new transgressive concept of human embodiment is imbued with techno-posthumanist238 and ecological features.239 A symbiotic coexistence with organic and anorganic others is no longer challenging for our skin, as the skin barrier was breached a long time ago in transplantology and implantology.

Scholars also argue that the rise of a posthuman Dasein would result in self-instrumentalization, passivism and being managed by means of heteronomous tools whose original function was to expand, intensify, and enhance human autonomy, and whose potential is greater than an individual could ever realize as having limited physical capacities only:

New technologies not only open up new spaces of possibilities for our doings; they also make us see things in new ways. Heidegger’s way of putting this is to say that modern technology ‘reveals’ the world in a certain way; it makes the world appear as a ‘resource’ (Bestand) (…) the instrumental essence in Heidegger’s version considers not only the way technology becomes a means in human projects but also the way technology dominates the goals of human projects, changing our views on what is worth pursuing in the first place,240

and what is not. The next stage of embodied self evolution begins, and technologies dominate individual, social, and institutional decision making more and ←67 | 68→more. They change the trajectories241 of individual ontogenesis, human development, and socialization.

On the other hand, developing novel bodily identities defined as transhuman or posthuman is nothing new to a creative and autocreative, poietic, and autopoietic being such as the human being. Human beings with their peculiar potentialities and position on the edge of the natural world (“der Mensch als biologisches Sonderproblem” in Arnold Gehlen or “das nicht festgestellte Tier” in Nietzsche) just continue to create their “life field”242 (Lebensfeld) using their genius, artistry, and tools. “Does it not signal that we are after all in control of our bodies, compliant with the governing rules and conforming to the demands of Western selfhood?”243

8. Hyperreal (Phantom) Body

Hypperreality is a phenomenon related to virtual representations of an “embodied persona” or someone’s “personal profile of preferences, behaviors, and history,” “created, managed, and used”244 on the basis of new digital technologies. Strictly speaking, the virtual body is about information, data generated reality, web, etc., beyond the material and organic body’s reality. “Here is a danger that we will lose the ability to define ourselves, having surrendered the definition of ourselves to the data gathering entities, often unregulated and beyond our control,”245 as Langenderefer and Miyazaki warned a decade ago. This kind of body seems radically posthuman and can be defined as an avatar or mavatar whose core experiential quality is visual, imaginary, phantom-like. Its life within a virtual space and its visual nature can be related to the Platonic idea rooted in vision (thus not only in an intellectual, abstract concept), especially if one is considering the revival of the idea in Neoplatonism. In De Principiis, Origen attributed the eidon/eidos (also called eidolon by Gregory of Nyssa and Synesius) to every single human ←68 | 69→body. He argued eidon to be a pure, innocent, preoriginal, and eternal pattern or image of our natural and, as a consequence, imperfect, and sinful embodiment (see the term glorious body in the next section). “Eidos is thus the image, unchangeable, spiritual (…) – of the material body, imprinted in the soul. The image/idea does not change, having been shaped in some stable form, notwithstanding any changes that body could pass through. Because of this image, the individual soul keeps its inclination towards the body long after it dissolves into its composing elements…”246 after death. As humankind has advanced imagery technologies at her disposal, creating images of one’s own perfectioned physiognomy and re-identifying with it rather than just with a faithful reproduction of one’s own embodiment can be explained with secularized eschatologies such as that of Neoplatonism – however, other explanations are possible. An eschatological explanation would provide the evolving body concept with paradoxical traits, as we used advanced technologies, including radically posthumanist ones, to achieve humanity’s archaic goals, such as perfection, innocence, immortality, and glory crossways of the finite, vulnerable and imperfect physical condition. But considering phantom bodies and the simulacroid faces displayed on the screens of digital devices, one also confronts the opposite of such maximized entities (as the idealized, perfected, immortalized human beings are representative for that ontological category) which, at the same time, are ephemeral. The body, the face, “what a horror… In truth, there are only inhumanities. Humans are made exclusively of inhumanities,”247 disembodiment and defacialization, as Deleuze and Guattari put it: “… people learned to steer the face and processes of facialization in all directions.”248 The same applies to the entire body and the processes of incarnation (and disincarnation). We could continue exploring that kind of body, but it seems already overexplored. Much more was anticipated and projected in the posthumanities than has been achieved by means of technological progress and the regression to our animal and “primitive inhumanity,”249 which remains beyond the scope of this book.

Also, a discourse body theory cannot be taken into account here. Biopolitics and critical theory seem a more appropriate context to analyze that theory. According to Cream, we “should not be accepting our body as given, as natural, ←69 | 70→as pre-discursive, or prior to culture. The body is not a foundation. It is not a biological bedrock upon which we can construct theories of gender, sexuality, race and disability. The body is not a beginning. It is not a starting point.”250 Cream’s viewpoint illustrates a radical, deconstructive approach to human corporeality. A narrative body theory seems to contrast with a discourse body theory because of its therapeutic focus on the “nonverbal narratives”251 and “nonverbal terms”252 generated by the body.

9. Sacrosanctity, the Glorious Body, and the Body’s Revaluations (“das Leibapriori” in Traditional and Posttraditional Cultures)253

The principle of sacrosanctity (integrity or Sakrosanktheit) was to prevent the instrumental treatment (als blosses Mittel) of tissues, organs and organic body including their 1. reification and commercialization to enhance life prospectives or the reincarnation of the economically privileged,254 2. machinery-like application and instrumentalization by other users, industrial or political systems, and 3. everyday usage as a toolbox and the vehicle of the first-person phenomenological experience. “The machine part is nothing but an organ, but you can take it out of the machine, and you have a thing apart.”255 Though the term organon literally “means tool or instrument,” we use our bodies and need their dexterity, and, simultaneously, we are our bodies and we are embodied as real and physical selves.

←70 | 71→

Because of their intrinsic, natural, self-confirming dignity, there is no place among living individual organisms for human or animal machines256 unless their original functionalities were lost or disabled.

Despite sacrosanctity, which restricts the way a human body is to be used and which contrasts with La Mettrie’s L’homme machine (1747) body paradigm popular among the contemporary techno-posthumanists, ancient and medieval religious anthropologies created the ideal of the glorious body. According to Origen, the human body’s physiological functioning demonstrates the perfection of the divine creature (although the latter has been created as a creative creature, too). After certain ritual purity and askesis rules have been applied, the natural body ‘as it is’ and its advantages can be celebrated. “In the glorious body it became possible for the first time to conceive the separation of an organ from its physiological function,”257 as well as practical and instrumental exercise. “In its place, we find glory, understood as an isolation of inoperativity in a special sphere,”258 for the glory of the Creator (Dei gloriam). The glorious body was celebrated during holidays by abstention from working and exercising one’s own body in many practical areas, aiming at the body’s vegetative functionality, everyday utility, and productivity. We can identify these areas in Jewish, Christian, and Buddhist traditions. Agamben explored the rituals of body glorification in several contexts, including the recovery of natural resources and “glorious defecation.”259 The rules of the glorious body are not about prohibiting a body’s physiological and practical functions, or to make its organs inoperative. Limitation rather means providing them with their intended ritual and symbolic use. For example, it was recommended to have sexual intercourse on the Sabbath Night so as to reorient sexual activity towards the fertilization act in which the Creator is considered to be the third actor. However, “there is perhaps nothing more enigmatic than a glorious penis, nothing more spectral than a purely doxological vagina.”260

But first of all, it was suggested that one should be prepared for a messianic experience, that is, to leave the ordinary world and open oneself to sacrum. In Christian contexts, such a stripping of everyday purposes, functions, and garments (to replace the latter with clean and festive ones) is supposed to demonstrate one’s willingness to confront not only sacrum’s proximity but to fit the ←71 | 72→criterion of eidos, that is, a preoriginal and ideal image of a personal body, as proposed by Origen.261 Therefore it was not natural nakedness deprived of grace, but, on the contrary, “the supernatural garment of glory,”262 a true garment for a true embodied self263.

“To use the body and to make it serve as an instrument for a particular purpose, are not the same thing (…) Rather, at stake here is the rendering inoperative of any activity directed toward an end,”264 Agamben emphasizes, i.e., to release bodily activity from natural teleology and everyday productive usage. The glorious, festive body “is not some other body, more agile and beautiful, more luminous and spiritual; it is the body itself” liberated and opened “up to a new possible common use,”265 including being admired for its pre-original excellence as if on the day of its divine creation. Agamben’s intention was also to demonstrate the evolution of the glorious body to the profane body celebrated today mostly in empty, i.e., purely ornamental and erotic contexts.

The body and physiognomy’s ‘profanation’ described by Agamben and Lingis must not imply their devaluation, though it implies ambiguity. By contrast, Shildrick, Mykitiuk, Einstein, and other scholars report on the body’s revaluation and postconventionalization266 with implications for bioethics, medical ethics, social ethics, and legal conventions. Such ethics are, for example about de-heroization and the de-celebritization of human-cyborg bodies and otherwise technologically enhanced bodies. In particular, it is about “the lived experience of disability” generating “its own special possibilities that both limit and extend the performativity of the embodied self”267 and “the prostheticized body is a rule, not the exception”268 (thus against “disability as moral ←72 | 73→evaluation,”269 pathologization,270 oppression, and exclusion of persons with disabilities), about (not only technologically generated) corporeal complexity, diversity, queering body, and crosscorporeality.

←73 | 74→←74 | 75→

146 Marc Chrysantou, “Transparency and selfhood: Utopia and the informed body,” Social Science & Medicine 2002, vol. 54, pp. 469–479.

147 Hans Jonas, Organismus und Freiheit, KGA, Bd. I/1, H. Gronke (Ed.), Freiburg, Berlin, Wien, Rombach Verlag, 2010, p. 262.

148 Christian Gärtner, “Cognition, knowing and learning in the flesh: Six views on embodied knowing in organization studies,” Scandinavian Journal of Management 2013, vol. 29, p. 340.

149 C. Gärtner, “Cognition, knowing and learning” p. 340.

150 Hans Jonas, Leben und Organismus – Life and Organism, KGA, III/3, J. P. Brune, J. O. Beckers (Eds.), Freiburg, Berlin, Wien, Rombach Verlag, 2016, p. 390.

151 Hans Jonas, Organism and Freedom, KGA, I/4, Chap. I, “Introductory. ‘Life’ and the Scientific Spirit’,” p. 18.

152 H. Jonas, Organism and Freedom, p. 22.

153 Edmund Husserl, Hua XIV, p. 57.

154 H. Jonas, Leben und Organismus – Life and Organism, p. 391.

155 H. Jonas, Leben und Organismus – Life and Organism, p. 374.

156 Living organisms possess somatic and non-somatic cells such as germline cells (gamets). Blood is as a complex tissue composed of cells (erythrocytes and several types of leukocytes) and other substances. The human organism begins as a single embryonic cell which undergoes differentiations to create a multicellular organism. Although an organism’s global identities cannot be reduced to the embryonic DNA, DNA recombination of DNA and gene manipulation with the use of extra-species genetic matter to change selected features of a future organism (Genchirurgie) is leading humanity to “a terra incognita.” This bio-artistry tries to override a living soma to reorganize “the molecular alphabet of life itself,” Hans Jonas, “Technik, Ethik und biogenetische Kunst,” in: Organismus und Freiheit…, p. 379. A living being vulnerability – which is also one Jonas’ powerful concepts – is being cheated by science and technology.

157 Jackie Stacey, Teratologies. A cultural study of cancer, London, New York, Routledge, 1997, p. 148.

158 J. Stacey, Teratologies, p. 149.

159 H. Jonas, Leben und Organismus – Life and Organism, p. 390.

160 H. Jonas, Leben und Organismus – Life and Organism, p. 395.

161 John Dobson, “Herophilus of Alexandria,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 1925, vol. 18, p. 19.

162 J. Dobson, “Herophilus of Alexandria,” p. 20.

163 J. Dobson, “Herophilus of Alexandria,” p. 20.

164 J. Dobson, “Herophilus of Alexandria,” p. 21.

165 Julius Rocca, Galen on the brain. Anatomical knowledge and physiological speculation in the second century AD, Leiden, Boston, Brill, 2003, p. 17.

166 J. Rocca, Galen on the brain…., p. 17.

167 J. Rocca, Galen on the brain…., p. 17.

168 Page du Bois, Sappho is burning, Chicago, London, The University of Chicago Press, 1995, p. 75. Sappho is considered to say, “the philosophos is the man who loves (philei) wisdom (sophia), he stands in contrast to the philosomatοs, who loves the body. Women are the lovers and keepers of the body, associated with the flesh and its claims,” p. 89.

169 H. Jonas, Leben und Organismus – Life and Organism, p. 372.

170 Hans Jonas, Organism and Freedom. An Essay in Philosophical Biology, KGA, I/4, J. O. Beckers, F. Preußger (Eds.), Chap. II, The basic mode of organic existence: metabolism,” p. 65.

171 H. Jonas, Leben und Organismus…, p. 372.

172 H. Jonas, Organism and Freedom…, “The basic mode,” p. 48.

173 H. Jonas, Organism and Freedom, “The identity of the organism,” p. 54.

174 H. Jonas, Organism and Freedom, “The basic mode of organic existence,” p. 48.

175 H. Jonas, Chap. I, “Introductory…,” p. 75.

176 H. Jonas, Life and Organism, pp. 458–459.

177 H. Jonas, Organism and Freedom, “The basic mode of organic existence,” p. 32.

178 H. Jonas, Organism and Freedom, “The basic mode of organic existence,” p. 32. See also Hans Jonas, “Philosophical reflections on experimenting with human subjects,” Daedalus 1969, vol. 98, pp. 243–245, and “Gehirntod und menschliche Organbank. Zur pragmatischen Umdefinierung des Todes,” in: Hans Jonas, Organismus und Freiheit; also Jean-Pierre Wils, “Person und Leib,” in: Johannes Hoff, Jürgen in der Schmitten (Eds.), Wann ist der Mensch tot? Organverpflanzung und Hirntodkriterium, Hamburg, Rowohlt, 1994.

179 See Ewa Nowak, Roberto Franzini Tibaldeo, “Organismus und Freiheit/Organizm i wolność,” “Filozofia i Nauka 2017, vol. 5, pp. 29–48.

180 Hans Jonas, “Gehirntod und menschliche Organbank,” p. 525.

181 H. Jonas, “Gehirntod und menschliche Organbank,” p. 516. Of course, transplantation technology does not imply an organ donor’s death for he/she “does not die by saving the recipient’s life,” Margrit Shildrick, “Staying alive: Affect, identity, and anxiety in organ transplantation,” Body & Society. Special Issue: Estranged Bodies 2015, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 28–29.

182 H. Jonas, “Gehirntod und menschliche Organbank,” p. 165.

183 See also Gärtner, “Cognition, knowing and learning in the flesh,” p. 339.

184 See Tom Ziemke, “The embodied self: Theories, hunches and robot models,” Journal of Consciousness Studies 2007, vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 167–179.

185 Josef Parvizi, Antonio Damasio, “Consciousness and the brainstem,” Cognition 2001, vol. 79, p. 135.

186 H. Jonas, “Gehirntod und Organbank,” pp. 531–532.

187 H. Jonas, “Gehirntod und Organbank,” p. 532.

188 Aquinas, Selected philosophical writings, “The Ladder of Being,” Passage 19: “My soul is not me,” selected and trans. by T. McDermott. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, 1993, p. 192.

189 Denis de Rougemont, The person, the angel, and the absolute, or the East-West dialogue, pp. 191–228.

190 Aquinas, Selected philosophical writings, p. 192.

191 Hiroyuki Noguchi, “The idea of the body in japanese culture and its dismantlement,” International Journal of Sport and Health Science 2004, vol. 2, p. 19.

192 H. Noguchi, “The idea of the body,” p. 19

193 H. Noguchi, “The idea of the body,” p. 20.

194 M. Merleau-Ponty, The phenomenology of perception, p. 156; also The incarnated subject. Malebranche, Biran, Bergson on the union of body and soul.

195 Edmund Husserl, Hua XIV, 1973, p. 58; Hua XVI, 1973.

196 M. Merleau-Ponty, The phenomenology of perception, p. 133.

197 A. Giddens, Modernity and self-idenity, p. 59.

198 Matthew Ratcliffe, Feelings of being. Phenomenology, psychiatry, and the sense of reality, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 61–64, 107–115.

199 Bernhard Waldenfels, Phenomenology of the alien. Basic concepts, trans. A. Kozin, T. Stähler. Evanston IL, Northwestern University Press, 2011, p. 48.

200 To what extent the individuals ‘share’ the right to their bodies with others was investigated by Adam Jaworski, “Talking bodies: Invoking the ideal in the BBC Naked programme,” in: Justine Coupland and Richard Gwyn (Eds.), Discurse, the body, and identity. Houndmills NY, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, pp. 151–176. The author analyzed a narrative experiment conducted by British TV on BBC2 (November 1998) in which several narrative interviews were spoken on camera and the viewer was simultaneously exposed to the narrative, the self-reflection of the interviewee’s and “the images of the interviewee’s naked body, usually in close up, the camera moving slowly, focusing of different parts of the body,” ibidem, p. 151. The researchers’ aim was to demonstrate how strongly can social expectations and biopowers (speaking with Foucault) impact the interviewees’ identification with own bodies. “The speaking subject’s reflexivity allows them to tackle their anxieties and uncertainties of the changing beliefs, value system, and their own shifting identities as seen and experienced through their bodies,” p. 152.

201 A. Giddens, Modernity and self-identity, p. 57.

202 Annemarie Mol, The body multiple. Ontology in medical practice, Durham, London, Duke University Press, 2002, p. 38. Also M. Shildrick contributes to the political “body becoming” (and disappearing) concepts. She analyzed both surgical cuts and bionic crosscorporealities, see Margrit Shildrick, “Staying alive: Affect, identity, and anxiety in organ transplantation,” pp. 28–29. Donna Haraway, Sharon Snyder, Karen Barad belong to the same intellectual constellation.

203 Edmund Husserl, Zur Phänomenologie der Intersubjektivität II, Den Haag, Martinus Nijhof, 1973, p. 63, incl. footnote. The double nature of one’s own body is even more complex in Husserl: the body is to be lived as both thing and functional thing (“wo er selbst als Ding erfahren ist, eben doppelt und in eins als erfahrenes Ding und als fungierender Leib erfahren ist”), Hua, XIV, p. 57.

204 Margrit Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin? Embodiment, boundaries, and somatechnics,” Hypatia 2015, vol. 30, no. 1, p. 24.

205 Dan Zahavi, Husserl’s phenomenology, Redwood City, Stanford University Press, 2003, p. 103.

206 D. Zahavi, Husserl’s phenomenology, p. 101.

207 D. Zahavi, Husserl’s phenomenology, p. 104.

208 M. Merleau-Ponty, The phenomenology of perception, p. 26.

209 M. Ratcliffe, Feelings of being, p. 39.

210 M. Merleau-Ponty, The phenomenology of perception, p. 72.

211 M. Merleau-Ponty, “The philosopher and his shadow,” trans. R. McCleary. Evanston, Ill., Northwestern University press, 1964, p. 169.

212 D. Zahavi, Husserl, p. 104.

213 E.g., interhuman, such as love, care, sexuality, or pregnancy, see Joan Raphael-Leff, “Two-in-one-body: Unconscious representations and ethical dimensions of inter-corporeality in childbearing,” in: Jonna Bornemark, Nicholas Smith, Phenomenology of pregnancy, Stockholm, Elanders, 2016, pp. 157–198.

214 See Christian Meyer et al., Emerging socialities in interaction, New York, Oxford University Press 2017.

215 Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology, language and society, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Heinemann, 1974, p. 148; see also The primacy of perception and “The philosopher and his shadow”.

216 M. Merleau-Ponty, The phenomenology of perception, p. 407.

217 M. Merleau-Ponty, The phenomenology of perception, p. xi.

218 See William Blattner, Heidegger’s Being and time. A reader’s guide, New York, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2006, p. 12.

219 M. Ratcliffe, Feelings of being, p. 47.

220 M. Ratcliffe, Feelings of being, p. 46.

221 M. Ratcliffe, Feelings of being, p. 44.

222 M. Merleau-Ponty, The phenomenology of perception, xii.

223 M. Merleau-Ponty, The phenomenology of perception, p. 129.

224 M. Merleau-Ponty, The phenomenology of perception, p. 71.

225 M. Merleau-Ponty, “The philosopher and his shadow,” p. 167.

226 Taylor Carman, “The body in Husserl and Merleau–Ponty,” Philosophical Topics 1999, vol. 27, no. 2, p. 224.

227 T. Ziemke, “The embodied self,” p. 177.

228 Ray Kurzweil, The age of spiritual machines, New York, Viking Press 1999.

229 M. Merleau-Ponty, The primacy of perception, p. 160

230 M. Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?,” p. 14.

231 M. Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?,” p. 15. For more about amalgamations, “machinic assemblage” and “interassemblages,” “becoming animal,” “becoming imperceptible,” and just becoming beyond being see Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and schizophrenia, London, Athlone Press, 1984; also A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1987, p. 232 f.

232 M. Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?,” p. 16.

233 Including new digital disability studies, see Patricia da Silva Leite, Deborah Andrade Torquato Schimidt, “Rethinking digital games in a critical and participatory perspectives. A brief reflection,” Ethics in Progress 2019, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 112–117, doi 10.14746/eip.2019.2.10; also Deborah Lupton, Wendy Seymour, “ ‘I am normal on the net’: Disability, computerised communication technologies and the embodied self,” in: Justine Coupland, Richard Gwyn (Eds.), Discourse, the body, and identity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003, p. 247.

234 M. Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?,” p. 15.

235 M. Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?,” p. 16.

236 M. Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?,” p. 17.

237 M. Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?,” p. 18.

238 M. Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?,” p. 21.

239 The term ‘ecological self’ can be used in two different ways. Firstly, according to the cognitivist approach, the ecological self is “the self as we directly perceive it, situated in the real and immediate environment (…) To perceive is to find out about one’s local situation by picking up information that specifies I,” Ulric Neisser, “The ecological self and its metaphors,” Philosophical Topics 1999, vol. 26, no. 1/2, pp. 201–203; also idem, “Two perceptually given aspects of the self and their Development,” Developmental Review 1991, vol. 1, pp. 197–209. Secondly, according to the environmentalist phenomenology, biosemiotics and ecoposthumanism, the earth (oikos) is not only our habitat, but also extension of our selves, see Sally Fischer, “Social ecology and the flesh: Merleau-Ponty, Irigaray, and ecocommunitarian politics;” also John R. Whine, “Lived body and ecological value cognition,” both in: Suzanne L. Cataldi, William S. Hamrick (Eds.), Merleau-Ponty and environmental philosophy, New York, State University of New York Press, 2007, pp. 177–191, pp. 203–216.

240 Fredrik Svenaeus, “The relevance of Heidegger’s philosophy of technology for biomedical ethics,” Theoretical Medical Bioethics 2013, vol. 34, p. 4.

241 See Walter T. Anderson, “Trajectories. Augmentation, symbiosis, transcendence: Technology and the future(s) of the human identity,” Futures 2003, vol. 35, pp. 535–546.

242 This originally Nietzschean view was developed by Arnold Gehlen in: Der Mensch. Seine Natur und seine Stellung in der Welt, Wiesbaden, Aula Verlag, 1986.

243 M. Shildrick, “Why should our body end at the skin?,” p. 20.

244 Brian Mennecke, Anicia Peters, “From avatars to mavatars: The role of marketing avatars and embodied Representations in consumer profiling,” Business Horizons 2013, vol. 56, p. 391.

245 Jeff Langenderfer, Anthony D. Miyazaki, “Privacy in the information economy,” The Journal of Consumer Affairs 2009, vol. 43, no. 3, p. 384.

246 Jean-Marc Narbonne, “Matter and evil in the Neoplatonic tradition,” in: Pauliina Remes, Svetla Slaveva-Griffin, The Routledge Handbook of Neoplatonism, New York, Routledge, 2014, pp. 231–244.

247 G. Deleuze, F. Guattari, A thousand plateaus, p. 190.

248 G. Deleuze, F. Guattari, A thousand plateaus, p. 179.

249 G. Deleuze, F. Guattari, A thousand plateaus, p. 190.

250 Julia Cream, “Out of place,” Paper presented at the annual meeting of Association of American Geographers. San Francisco, March-April 1994, p. 2, after Hester Parr, “Bodies and psychiatric medicine: interpreting different geographies of mental health,” in: Ruth Butler, Hester Parr (Eds.), Mind and body spaces, London, New York, Routledge, 1999, p. 200.

251 Richard G. Erskine, “Nonverbal stories: The body in psychotherapy,” International Journal of Integrative Psychotherapy 2014, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 21–33.

252 Christine Caldwell, “Mindfulness and bodyfulness: A new paradigm,” Journal of Contemplative Inquiry 2014, vol. 1, no. 2, p. 89.

253 Dietrich Böhler, Einführung in die Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Hans Jonas, KGA, I/1, xxvii.

254 Though transplantation and implantation technologies make a “social reincarnation” possible, see Gillian Einstein, Margrit Shildrick, “The postconventional body: Retheorizing women’s health,” Social Science & Medicine 2009, vol. 69, p. 295.

255 H. Jonas, Leben und Organismus – Life and Organism, p. 372.

256 H. Jonas, Leben und Organismus – Life and Organism, p. 316.

257 Giorgio Agamben, Nudities, trans. D. Kishik and S. Pedatella, Redwood City, Stanford University Press, 2011, p. 100.

258 G. Agamben, Nudities, p. 100.

259 G. Agamben, Nudities, p. 101.

260 G. Agamben, Nudities, p. 99.

261 G. Agamben, Nudities, p. 93. Instead, in Sufi tradition there is no eidos, but a personal angel: “there is a spiritual being which (…) is called Perfect Nature,” D. de Rougemont, “The person, the angel, the absolute”, p. 195.

262 Erik Peterson, Theologie des Kleides, here after G. Agamben, Nudities, p. 60.

263 G. Agamben, Nudities, p. 62.

264 G. Agamben, Nudities, p. 102.

265 G. Agamben, Nudities, p. 102.

266 See Margrit Shildrick, Roxanne Mykitiuk (Eds.), Ethics of the body. Postconventional challenges, Cambridge, London, The MIT Press, 2005.

267 M. Shildrick, “Why should our bodies end at the skin?,” p. 13.

268 David Mitchell, Sharon Snyder, Narrative prosthesis: Disability and the dependencies of discourse, Ann Arbour, University of Michigan Press, 2000, p. 7; see also Karen Barad, “Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding how matter comes to matter,” Signs 2003, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 801–831.

269 Jackie Leach Scully, “Admitting all variations. Postmodernism and genetic normality,” in: M. Shildrick, R. Mykitiuk (Eds.), Ethics of the body, p. 57.

270 Including “normal, everyday apotemnophilia” and acrotomophilia, prosthetic body, athletic body, etc., see Alphonso Lingis, “The physiology of art,” in: Marquard Smith, Joanne Morra (Eds.), The prosthetic impulse: From a posthuman present to a biocultural future. Cambridge, Arteca/The MIT Press, 2006, p. 73 f.; also Ewa Nowak, “Ciała w glorii. Z antropologicznego archiwum estetyzacji,” The Polish Journal of Aesthetics 2017, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 103–117, and, “Antropologia niepełnosprawności: narodziny, schyłek i odrodzenie paradygmatu,” Ruch Filozoficzny 2017, vol. LXXII, no. 3, pp. 137–157 (both papers related to this research project).