American philosopher Lewis Mumford's term for the transformation of human existence via the invention of machines, from the simplest levers through to complex cities. French philosopher Bernard Stiegler also uses this term for his theory of the interrelatedness of humans and technology developed at length in his three-volume work La technique et le temps (1994–2001). Drawing on the work of Martin Heidegger, André Leroi-Gourhan, Gilbert Simondon, and Bertrand Gille, Stiegler argues that temporality depends upon technology, that without the technological means to measure time, the sense of passing time would not be possible. Therefore insofar as temporality is intrinsic to what it means to be human, the human is inseparable from the technological. To put it another way, there is nothing essential to the human; the human always requires a technological prosthesis to support it.
Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.