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The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future by MIT


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The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future 
by Marquard Smith (Author), Joanne Morra (Author)
Paperback – 15 August 2007
Prosthesis pointing to an addition, replacement, extension, enhancement has become something of an all-purpose metaphor for the interactions of body and technology. 
Concerned with cybernetics, transplant technology, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality, among other cultural and scientific developments, the prosthetic conjures up a posthuman condition. In response to this, the thirteen original essays in The Prosthetic Impulse reassert the phenomenological, material, and embodied nature of prosthesis without dismissing its metaphorical potential.
They examine the historical and conceptual edge between the human and the posthuman between flesh and its accompanying technologies. The eclectic approach taken by The Prosthetic Impulse draws on disciplines ranging from gender studies, philosophy, and visual culture to psychoanalysis, cybertheory, and phenomenology. Taken together, the essays suggest that prosthesis is material as well as metaphorical. It is just a matter of pondering where the inelegant edges lie, the editors write, and living them most wonderfully.

Intriguing and delightful…. Together, these essays offer real insight into what means to be human in a pervasively mechanical world.
– The Futurist
About the Authors

Marquard Smith is Director of the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, University of Westminster, London. He is a Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Visual Culture.
Joanne Morra is Senior Lecturer in Historical and Theoretical Studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. She is principal editor of the journal of visual culture.
Product details
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ The MIT Press; 1st edition (15 August 2007)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 308 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0262693615
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 9780262693615
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 22.33 x 19.96 x 1.7 cm

Additional information

Weight 1.0 g
Dimensions 25 × 25 × 2 cm
Publication Year




Subject Area

Mechanical Engineering, Political Science

Educational Level

Comprehensive School, Adult & Further Education


Technical, Advanced


Paperback, Trade Paperback (US)




MIT Press, MIT Press Ltd


Cultural Studies


Brand new


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