To Inherit: The Birth of Possible Worlds

in The Indiscrete Image

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780226093154
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226093178 | DOI:
To Inherit: The Birth of Possible Worlds

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This chapter engages one of the more insightful and far-reaching among recent challenges to “the posthuman”—that of Robert Harrison's Dominion of the Dead (2003)—in order to argue that the worldly conditions of human placement and heritage, on which Harrison focuses in his dismissal of the posthuman, prove in fact to require just the sort of prosthetic and distributed networks, and hence the resistance to discrete placement, that condition the technological human in recent posthuman discourse. Returning to the “neotenic” character of the human sketched out in Chapter 1, it emphasizes that a key condition of human inheritance proves to be the indeterminate, or indiscrete, character of the human who can, and must, assume creative, technological capacity—and hence the capacity for sociality over time—thanks to, and because of, that very indetermination or indiscretion.

Keywords: posthuman; Robert Harrison; Dominion of the Dead; human placement; discrete placement; technological capacity; sociality; indiscretion

Chapter.  9878 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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