Cyber-Bullies as Cyborg-Bullies

Cyber-Bullies as Cyborg-Bullies

Tommaso Bertolotti (University of Pavia, Italy), Selene Arfini (University of Chieti and Pescara, Italy) and Lorenzo Magnani (University of Pavia, Italy)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5094-5.ch004

Abstract

This chapter advocates a re-introduction of the notion of cyborg in order to acquire a new perspective on studies concerning the development of human cognition in highly technological environments. In particular, it shows how the notion of cyborg properly engages cognitive issues that have a powerful resonance especially as far as social cognition is concerned, and may consequently provide a new tool for tackling the emergent safety issues concerning sociality mediated by the internet, and the moral panic occasionally surrounding it. The conclusion suggests how the notion of cyborg accounts for a better understanding and recognition of the victims of cyberbullying.
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A Quick And Critical History Of The Cyborg

The concept of cyborg was not coined in science-fiction, but by two scientists at the Rockland State Hospital, Orangeburg, N.Y.:

For the exogenously extended organizational complex functioning as an integrated homeostatic system unconsciously, we propose the term “Cyborg.” The Cyborg deliberately incorporates exogenous components extending the self-regulatory control function of the organism in order to adapt it to new environments. (Clynes & Kline, 1960, p. 27)

Cyborgs (obtained by endowing men with transparent implants) were advocated for allowing man’s adaptation to new environments – think of outer space – that either could not be adapted, or would require a major genetic (hence hereditary) adaptation, spontaneous or induced. It is important to note that since the beginning the notion of cyborg was connoted by what, today, could be seen as an ecological-cognitive necessity (Magnani, 2009). The cyborg’s eco-cognitive nature derives from the stress on adaptation and on the cognitive functions: the artifactual additions have always been considered as something that ought to be transparent to one’s cognition and often capable of expanding one’s cognitive capabilities (Pino, 2010).

We will now briefly review two insightful positions in cyborg-related studies, which will be crucial for the rest of our argument: Donna Haraway’s feminist theory (1991) and Andy Clark’s cognitive-oriented approach (Clark, 2003).

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