Prosthesis

2021
Author:

David Wills
Foreword by Jacques Derrida

Prosthesis

An examination of the presumed opposition between the natural human body and artificial inanimate objects

David Wills promotes the idea that the human body is open to supplementation by artificial addenda that operate both internally or externally and engage it in an unceasing arbitration with the environment. Studying thematics of artificiality through the writings of Freud, Derrida, William Gibson, Peter Greenaway, and others, Prosthesis questions the logic of the automatic prioritization of living flesh.

Prosthesis is a landmark work in posthuman thought that analyzes and explores the human body as a technology, seamlessly integrated (both physically and psychologically) with prosthetics. Here David Wills lays the groundwork for ideas he develops in two of his other books, Dorsality, exploring how technology functions behind or before the human, and Inanimation, giving perspective on what it means to be “alive.”

In Prosthesis, Wills promotes the idea that the human body is open to supplementation by artificial addenda that operate both internally or externally and engage it in an unceasing arbitration with the environment. Questioning the opposition between animate and inanimate along with the logic of the automatic prioritization of living flesh, Prosthesis undertakes these assumptions by studying thematics of artificiality through the writings of Freud, Derrida, William Gibson, Peter Greenaway, and others. In the twenty-five years since its first publication, Prosthesis has been a point of reference in the field of disability studies. It has also been recognized for its “prosthetic” writing, consisting of academic and autobiographical voices and styles that are artificially attached to one another.

Prosthesis

David Wills is professor of French studies at Brown University. He is author of six books and has translated six works by Jacques Derrida, including a new version of Glas, published as Clang by Minnesota in 2020.

Prosthesis

Contents


Acknowledgments


On David Wills and Prosthesis


Jacques Derrida


Preface to 25th Anniversary Edition of Prosthesis


1. Hamilton, 1970


2. Mentone, 1888


3. Africa, 21st Century


4. Berchtesgaden, 1929


5. Paris, 1976


6. Rome, 1985


7. Cambridge, 1553


8. Menton, 1921


9. Geneva, 1978


Notes


Bibliography


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Available in January 2021