George Canguilhem’s 1947 lecture, ‘Machine and organism,’ is a rich source of ideas for thinking about the relationships between living organisms and machines. He takes all tools and machines to be extensions of the body, and part of life itself (which does not make machines any more good or bad than every living organism is good or bad). These insights are updated with a discussion of cyborgs. An account is given of the original idea of the cyborg (Clynes and Kline, 1960), and of its transformations in science fiction and at the hands of Donna Haraway and Andrew Pickering. Canguil- hem is profoundly anti-Cartesian, but on account of his vision of life which breaks down the old barriers between natural and artificial, mind and body, manufactured and created.
Andrew Pickering, Cyborg, Donna Haraway, Georges Canguilhem, Manfred Clynes, René Descartes