The Mediating Effect of Material Cultures as Human Hybridization

The Mediating Effect of Material Cultures as Human Hybridization

L. Magnani (University of Pavia, Italy and Sun Yat-sen University, China)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-310-4.ch003
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Abstract

We already are hybrid humans, fruit of a kind of co-evolution of both our brains and the common, scientific, social, and moral knowledge we have produced by ourselves, starting from the birth of material culture with our ancestors until the recent effects generated by the whole field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). We all are constitutively natural born cyborgs; that is, biotechnological hybrid minds. Our minds should not be considered to be located only in the head; human beings have solved their problems of survival and reproduction, distributing cognitive and ethical functions to external nonbiological sources, props, and aids, which originate cultures. This chapter also illustrates the interplay between cultures and distributed cognition, taking advantage of the so-called disembodiment of mind, and stresses the problem of the co-evolution between brains and cultures. The second part of the chapter is related to the analysis of the interplay between cultures and cognition and of some consequences concerning the problem of intercultural communication in light of the role of moral mediators, docility, and cyberprivacy. Finally, I discuss some suggestions concerning the problem of what I call the principle of isolation of cultures, with respect to the effects of ICTs.

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