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Becoming with and within: an appendicology of life, technics and the human

Grech, Marija 2016. Becoming with and within: an appendicology of life, technics and the human. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis invites a re-examination of our understanding of the human and its relationship with the external world. To this end, it develops the paradigm of appendicology as a way of going beyond traditional conceptions of the human, nature and technology. Appendicology is a study of appendages and appendixes – bodily organs and parts that seem to be merely attached to the body proper and that appear peripheral, external or non-essential to the human form despite being internal or integral to it. At once internal and external, natural and alien to the body, the appendage and the appendix defy any absolute boundary between the inside and the outside, revealing the integral exteriority and natural foreignness of the human. This thesis engages with the contradictions and ambiguities posed by these organs of corporeal otherness to argue that the relationship between the human, technics and the natural world is one of becoming in which the human and the nonhuman, the natural and the artificial, the singular and the multiple are always necessarily implicated with and within one another. By engaging with a range of material sourced from literary, scientific, and theoretical works, including texts by Jacques Derrida, Bernard Stiegler, Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, Charles Darwin, André Leroi-Gourhan, Lynn Margulis, Samuel Butler, Italo Calvino and Daniel H. Wilson, this thesis argues that the relationship between the human and technology, and that between the human and the natural world, must be considered alongside the multitudes of other relationships of becoming that constitute life. The central claim of this project is that an appendicology opens up ways of thinking that do not essentialize or privilege the human, or, for that matter, technology, nature or life, but that instead allow us to see each one in the other and to recognise how each is always already constituted through these others.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 May 2016
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2018 14:48
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/90985

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