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Dissertation Development: Techno-phobia, Reverse Engineering and Idealization: The Cone 13/02/2017

So, I've made some developments on the dissertation, using the material I have got, the presentation and this method called 'The Cone of Cogency'. Using this method I have been able to put together what I believe is an accurate representation of what my final chapter structure for my dissertation will look like.

The presentation allowed me to show my resources, research material and general theme for the topic. This presentation can act as a bibliography for the rest of the dissertation as well as an influence map.


Robots: The Quest for Living Machines (1992)
Chapter 7
Pg: 194-203
Quote 1.
"For example one scientist, Joel Kingsolver, has noted that the techniques used in butterfly feeding and thermoregulation exploit physical principles that can be found 'in the operation of many machines.

When we explore specific biological strategies in detail, we encounter a close adherence to what a tightly engineered design makes possible. The characteristics of constituent materials, for instance, are exploited to make biological systems as resilient as possible." ~ Geoff Simons (1992)

Digital People: From Bionic Humans to Androids (2004)
Pg 172
Quote 1
"In both natural and artificial beings, the senses are bridges between the physical operations of a body and the higher operations of a brain or a mind. These sensory bridges carry us into the mental make-up of a digital being: its intelligence, its rational thoughts, its feelings if any, and - if any - its consciousness" ~ Sidney Perkowitz (2004)

The Cyborg Handbook (1995)
Part 3-3.1,
Pg: 142
Quote 1
"On the darker side, children are themselves becoming commodities. As people drastically limit their quantities of children, the seek to improve the chances for high quality according to their own standards, including heredity and sex preselection. Through postmodern approaches, one can now supplement quantity control with quality control" ~ Adele Clarke (1995)

Nanoethics-The Ethical and Social Implications of Nanotechnology (2007)
Chapter 13
Pg: 178
Quote 1
"Should We Play God with our Brains?
This question may seem to have a double meaning. First, it asks whether we should physically modify our brains. Second, it asks whether we should employ out brains in deciding whether or not to play god. Perhaps it implies that only one without brains would play god. Be that as it may, it is the first of these meanings that will occupy us here" ~ Ted Peters (2007)

Chapter 13
Pg: 181
Quote 2
"How do we know what human nature is? How might we know when we have changed or violated it? The answer most frequently offered in this intuition. We intuit what is natural. Now this intuited knowledge could either be rational or emotional." ~ Ted Peters (2007)

Cyberspace/Cyberbodies/Cyberpunk: Cultures of Technological Embodiment (1995)
Chapter 5/Postmodern Virtualities
Pg: 79
Quote 1
"The discussion of postmodern culture focuses to a great extent on an emerging new individual identity or subject position, one that abandons what may in retrospect be the narrow scope of the modern individual with its claims to rationality and autonomy" ~ Mark Poster (1995)

Rough Layout

This will still obviously need to be tweaked so any feedback on this would be appreciated.

Topics for Elaboration

   In no particular order.
  • Child Soldiers
  • Bionics
  • Custom Made human beings
  • Prometheus
  • Augmentation/Nanotechnology in Humans
  • Idealisation
  • Postmodern Design, based on Human Anatomy
  • Technophobia
  • Media Concepts Reverse Engineered into Real Technology
  • True human intention
  • Replacement
  • Evolution
There will be a post following up with the feedback given so expect there to be a lot of other changes in the next post on this topic.


  1. Hey Tom,

    Um, I don't know how to break this to you... but this is kind of a cone of 'uncogency'! If the point of the exercise was finding focus and streamlining your intentions, then this post is having the opposite effect on me. I'm not even less clear as to the thru-line of your enquiry; you appear to be adding in complexity, as opposed to clarifying. Just to let you know that the 'cone of cogency' represents the main body of your dissertation, so not the introduction and not the conclusion, so your 4 chapter structure already seems a little off-beam to me. I still don't know what your chapter 3 case-studies might be, which are a clue as to the appropriate 'cone of context' that needs to sit above it, by which to initiate the reader into your discussion. Can you clear the decks please and think about what I need from your structure - so not every single idea you may have had and not every single reference that might associate - but rather a clear and straightforward communication of your 3 chapter structure. Create an @Phil when you think you've nailed it.


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