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cyborg (EN)

GC: n

CT: New biomedical technologies make it possible to replace parts of the human body or to substitute its functions. Examples include artificial joints, eye lenses and arterial stents. Newer technologies use electronics and software, for example in brain-computer interfaces such as retinal implants and the exoskeleton MindWalker. Gradually we are creating cyborgs: hybrids of man and machine. This raises the question: are cyborgs still humans? It is argued that they are. First, because employing technology is a typically human characteristic. Second, because in western thought the human mind, and not the body, is considered to be the seat of personhood. However, it has been argued by phenomenological philosophers that the body is more than just an object but is also a subject, important for human identity. From this perspective, we can appreciate that a bionic body does not make one less human, but it does influence the experience of being human.

S: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24345361(external link) (last access: 24 February 2015)

N: 1. 1960, a blend of the first elements of cybernetic (1951, back-formation from cybernetics; Greek kybernetikos meant "good at steering") and organism (1660s, "organic structure, organization," from organize + -ism; sense of "living animal or plant" first recorded 1842).
2. A human being who is linked (as for temporary adaptation to a hostile space environment) to one or more mechanical devices upon which some of his vital physiological functions depend.
3. The futuristic cyborg, or combination man and machine, will consist of a stationary, computerlike human brain, served by machines to fill its limited physical needs and act upon its commands.
4. Dr. Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline created the term "cyborg" in 1960.
5. Cultural Interrelation:
  • Real: Neil Harbisson: the world's first cyborg artist.
  • Virtual: The main character in the 1989 sci-fi film, RoboCop is constructed from police officer Alex Murphy in near-future Detroit.
S: 1. OED - http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=cyborg&searchmode=none(external link) (last access: 24 February 2015). 2, 3 & 4. TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 24 February 2015). 5. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/may/06/neil-harbisson-worlds-first-cyborg-artist(external link) (last access: 7 February 2016); http://blog.laptopmag.com/top-10-most-famous-cyborgs?slide=2(external link) (last access: 24 February 2015).

SYN: cybernetic organism

S: TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 24 February 2015), GDT (last access: 24 February 2015).

CR: android, automaton, automatic control engineering, bionics, cybernetics, robot (EN), robotics.



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