Faculty Writing: Cyborg Politics and the Philosophy of Action

Danya Glabau wrote “Do Cyborgs have Politics?” for Pax Solaria, a short piece in which she discusses Donna Haraway, cyborgs, privilege and inequality, and what a cyborg politics should look like in the future. 

“The politics of cyborgs are the politics of humans. These politics revolve around questions of belonging and difference, production and consumption, waste and renewal, inclusion and exclusion. The politics of cyborgs are also the politics of the planet, and of our non-human planetary companions. They will benefit from an expanded sense of empathy, but they will be harmed by an acceleration of the production of toxic waste from discarded implants. There is no fundamental break between the politics of cyborgs, the politics of humans, and the politics of non-humans, because the complex stories that need to be told about cyborgs involve participants from all three domains. And if, as some contend, cyborgs are the next evolutionary step for Homo sapiens sapiens, then their ethics and history will necessarily encompasses that of the humans which will have given rise to them.”

Michael Brent wrote a new article, “Agent Causation as a Solution to the Problem of Action,” soon to be published in the Canadian Journal of Philosophy on the problem of action, causation and agency. In it, he rejects the reductive ambition found in recent Anglophone philosophy of action, and lays out an alternative way of thinking about the mechanisms of human action.

Here is Michael’s abstract for the paper:

“My primary aim is to defend a nonreductive solution to the problem of action. I argue that when you are performing an overt bodily action, you are playing an irreducible causal role in bringing about, sustaining, and controlling the movements of your body, a causal role best understood as an instance of agent causation. Thus, the solution that I defend employs a notion of agent causation, though emphatically not in defence of an account of free will, as most theories of agent causation are. Rather, I argue that the notion of agent causation introduced here best explains how it is that you are making your body move during an action, thereby providing a satisfactory solution to the problem of action.”

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