Chapter

Nonmodern Metamorphosis

Bruce Clarke

in Posthuman Metamorphosis

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228508
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240999 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823228508.003.0003
Nonmodern Metamorphosis

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The theory of evolution marks a recent moment in the long history of narratives of bodily metamorphosis, a modern moment when scientific discourse presented new and persuasive explanations for divergences in the forms of living beings. In the mid-twentieth century, the discourse of cybernetics emerged to explore the increasingly complex interface of technological and biological systems. Philosopher of science Michel Serres and sociologist of science and technology Bruno Latour's work is inspired by neocybernetics. Due to the connection to neocybernetics discourse, Latour informs his important polemics against philosophies that divide beings up and purify nature and society from one another. Discourse hybridity in network and self-referential closure can work together in a conceived neocybernetics because they stem from the same classical cybernetic sources. Latour's concepts describe a neocybernetic vision of the necessary hybridity of symbiotic networks and system-environment couplings, and they describe equally well the daemonic landscapes of metamorphic narratives.

Keywords: neocybernetics; symbiotic networks; cybernetics; system-environment couplings; technological systems; biological systems; evolution; metamorphosis; Bruno Latour; Michel Serres

Chapter.  6671 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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