Volume 26, Issue 2, 2022
, Orsolya Friedrich, Sebastian Schleidgen
On Humans and Machines
Anthropological Considerations on “Intelligent” Neurotechnologies (INTs)
In the present article we examine the anthropological implications of “intelligent” neurotechnologies (INTs). For this purpose, we first give an introduction to current developments of INTs by specifying their central characteristics. We then present and discuss traditional anthropological concepts such as the “homo faber,” the concept of humans as “deficient beings,” and the concept of the “cyborg,” questioning their descriptive relevance regarding current neurotechnological applications. To this end, we relate these anthropological concepts to the characteristics of INTs elaborated before. As we show, the explanatory validity of the anthropological concepts analyzed in this article vary significantly. While the concept of the homo faber, for instance, is not capable of adequately describing the anthropological implications of new INTs, the cyborg proves to be capable of grasping several aspects of today’s neurotechnologies. Nevertheless, alternative explanatory models are needed in order to capture the new characteristics of INTs in their full complexity.