The Forum allows users to participate in conversations around shared blog posts, taped video encounters, and podcasts. Possible topics for such conversations include current events, Illichian concepts, and the intersection between Illich’s thought and that of others. The specific content of the conversation and the format in which it is conducted is left to participants.  

The Forum allows users to participate in conversations around shared blog posts, taped video encounters, and podcasts. Possible topics for such conversations include current events, Illichian concepts, and the intersection between Illich’s thought and that of others. The specific content of the conversation and the format in which it is conducted is left to participants.  

The Virtuous Cyborg
 
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The Virtuous Cyborg

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Chris Bateman
(@chrisbateman)
Posts: 5
Active Member
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Greetings and salutations,

It is a great pleasure to have the opportunity to address a community routed in the thought of Ivan Illich. Along with the writings of my philosophical mentor, Mary Midgley, Illich's work has been a consistent influence on my thought, and continues to inspire and challenge me.

I am writing specifically on this occasion to introduce my final philosophy book, The Virtuous Cyborg, to an audience that might perhaps be open to what it has to say. You can learn about the book from the publisher's website, but in brief this  is my attempt to build upon an earlier ethical critique of technology I had written (in Chaos Ethics). The entire project is underpinned by Illich's concept of 'convivial tools', and represents my sincerest attempt to build upon these foundations. In this book, I attempted to bring this critique of technology to a wider audience by framing my discussion in a more accessible manner than in my earlier books. 

I can safely say at this point, this attempt has failed.

The book, while well received by those who read it, remains largely unread - a not unfamiliar experience today, where an entire generation is turning its back on reading in preference for the more accessible and addictive format of video. But as readers of Illich, I hope and trust we can all see the severe risks entailed in abandoning our spaces of silence in this way.

The publisher of The Virtuous Cyborg has asked that I not distribute PDFs of the book, which I confess has been a cause of some consternation, since I have other philosophy books I have been able to promote in this way. The publisher in question is a small poetry press, who agreed to publish me after taking delight in my first philosophy book, Imaginary Games. I rather suspect the publisher's fear is that sharing the PDF will diminish sales... this is not my experience, but I must honour his wishes either way.

However, he has recently consented to allow review copies to be sent out to academics who might review the book as a potential course book or library addition. I have literally no idea what mix of strange and wonderful people is here at this site, but I imagine there may yet be people here who would fit that description. If so, I invite you to contact me at an email address I shall have to deliver as a riddle to avoid robots from stealing it and sending me 'spam'. Please construct my email address from my first name, 'chris', then an 'at' symbol, then 'ihobo', a 'dot', and finally the traditional ending 'com'. If you are interested in a review copy of this book, please email me, and I will be glad to pass your mailing address onto my publisher.

The book would be of greatest relevance to anyone teaching or studying technology ethics, or any form of virtue ethics - not necessarily Christian, although it is highly compatible with this form of thought, and entails some discussion of Alasdair MacIntyre's thoughts in this regard. I would like to remark, also, my infinite surprise to have written a book of virtue ethics, since I am by inclination more of a follower of Kant's ethics, albeit in a form wildly divorced from how it is generally understood.

Regardless of whether the book is of interest, I offer my unlimited love and respect to everyone keeping the thought of Ivan Illich alive. 

Chris Bateman

This topic was modified 2 months ago by Chris Bateman
 
Posted : 19/12/2022 9:15 am
sajaysamuel
(@sajaysamuel)
Posts: 5
Active Member
 

Dear Chris, 

It is good of you to alert us to your thought and writings. The next issue of Conspiratio — the periodical on Thinking after Ivan Illich — is on the topic of Flesh and Body. Your book on the virtuous cyborg sounds intriguing enough for me to propose reviewing it for the upcoming issue. I will try and send you an ‘official’ email in the next day or so, 

 

best wishes for the holiday season

 

Sajay

 
Posted : 20/12/2022 12:54 pm
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