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Following a blogging break, I’m as happy as I’m relieved to say that, after multiple versions since over a year ago, the modest 8 pages + Refs are out in the webo-sphere:  CJC Vol 37, No 3 (2012)

The issue is titled “Digital Life,” which–ironically–is very true of the possibility of biotechnological virtualization of our species, and of all the rest, naturally.

The gist of it all is that, leveraging off Becoming Biosubjects: Bodies. Systems. Technologies by Neil Gerlach, Sheryl N. Hamilton, Rebecca Sullivan, & Priscilla L. Walton (Toronto Uni Press, 2011), I visualize an existential continuum of all “known” levels of (non)bio-morphological complexity, mapping onto it macro-biological subjectivity, micro-biological and genetic subjectivity, and geosubjectivity.

If the first two kinds can be subsumed under the “biosubjectivity” represented in the book, the third corresponds, for example, to the hydroelectric plant on the Rhine river being subject to “Enframing” (per Heidegger’s classic “The Question Concerning Technology” [Die Frage nach der Technik] ) or the planet’s climate being pushed out of balance, at least in part, due to earlier as well as more recent artefactual technologies.

The necessity for an ecological-evolutionary ethics becomes clear, since it could (and should, like a vast number of other human thought media) provide guidance to human thought and action in relating more wisely, and in fact fairly, to ourselves as well as any other co-member of our shared ecosystem–biotic and abiotic alike.

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I have to thank the editors for including in the opening paragraph of the essay the news that the book has been awarded the 2012 Gertrude J. Robinson Book Award of the Canadian Communication Association–I couldn’t agree more with the choice.

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new terms:

biosubjectivity – per the book relates to subjectivity that comes specifically with genetic technologies, in the latter part of the 20th century; to my mind, staying with the meaning of the lexical components, the term can encompass any kind of biological subjectivity, from the macrobiological to the gene/submolecular level.

geosubjectivity – applies to the abiotic component of the planet (and beyond, if we have to be thorough) and seems like a fit coinage to complement my broader use of biosubjectivity, so that the submolecular – planetary stretch of the existential continuum gets “covered.”

eco(logical)-evolutionary ethics – the composite qualifier foregrounds the organic entanglement of ecological interdependencies and evolutionary consequences, which ethics can be recruited to keep healthy, or at least healthier.


January 2021


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