Title: Mad Scientist, Impossible Human: An Essay in Generative AnthropologyAuthor: Andrew BartlettThe Davies Group, Publishers348 pp.soft coverUSD 32.00ISBN 978-1934542354Pub date: September 6, 2014The myth of the modern scientist playing God-the-creator asks how does the human come into being? Mary Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein, H. G. Wells’ Dr. Moreau, the engineers in Capek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) and the genetic engineer Tyrell in Blade Runner all aim to re-make the origin of the human, as if human reality could be invented and discovered by science alone. But when the human becomes nothing but an object of science, the object is no longer human – for humans act as sacred, aesthetic, and erotic objects to and for each other. Frankenstein and his heirs incarnate not technology in the service of human exchange, but scientism in denial of the uniqueness of the human. His victims are “impossible” because he makes them serve his historical purposes; it is impossible for them to enter history as our equals. This ambitious analysis restores the power of the Frankenstein myth, showing us anew how it can shock us with the horrors of scientism. Whatever else humans are, they cannot be made from matter alone, built in factories, or reduced to DNA. Humans make one another human by exchanging signs of resentment and love, signs that transcend physical reality.Contents OneThe Frankenstein Myth, Scientism, and Generative Anthropology Four Stories, One FormulaDefending the Mad Scientist Plays God FormulaResisting Victimary AttitudesMore Criteria for Counting as a Story that Builds Up the Frankenstein MythScientism as the Reduction of Anthropology to BiologyStudying to Say Almost Nothing of the Origin of LanguageOn That Which Necessarily Must Have Happened AccidentallyThe Exchange of Abortive Gestures of AppropriationExperience of the Object-as-Sacred: Revelation without CognitionExperience of the Object-as-Esthetic: Imaginary Possession, Recognized Inviolability (To and Fro)Experience of the Object-as-Economic: Sacrificial Consumption, Economic ValueThe Object-as-Cosmological: From Good (Minimal) Science to ScientismExchangeability and DesacralizationTortured Matter, Multiple Errors TwoMary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818): Experiment and IrreversibilityTwo Ways of Approaching the Book and Its AuthorVictor’s Early Career: Discovery and ExperimentIrreversible Experiment and the Event-structure of Scientific RevelationOn the Expulsion of the MonsterThe Mock-Creation Scene of Failed IntegrationThe Vain Scientist as Pseudo-SaviorA Concluding Retrospective ThreeAllegories of Playing God in The Island of Dr. MoreauH. G. Wells and Biological ThinkingMoreau Playing the God of Punctualist Creation TheologyMoreau Playing the Gradualist “God” of Liberal TheologyMoreau as One Who Believes in Scientific Species-making (The Atheist Plays God)The Island of Mr. PrendickOn the Mercy-Killing of the Leopard ManHypnotism and the Unnatural Language of the Beast PeoplePrendick’s Farewell FourKarel Capek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots): Mechanical Not EroticR.U.R. as Rebellious Heir to Frankenstein and MoreauTo Believe in an Economy of Mechanical ValueAndroid Automata and the Comedy of Baffled ActivismAltered Androids and Mechanical Resentment Mobilized Committee Robots and Primary HumanoidsCapek’s Originary Script and the Popularity of Robots FiveBlade Runner: Minimizing the Difference of the Impossible HumanBlade Runner as Postmodern Frankenstein: Contesting the Nondifference ThesisCorporate Science and Postmodern Paranoia: Tyrell as ScapegoatFalling in Love with the Impossible HumanVictimary Thinking and the Human/Replicant BoundaryOn the Vanity of Eldon TyrellBatty’s Enigmatic Gesture of RescueOn the Dying Lines of Roy Batty SixAfterword: Sharing the Human SceneInequality and Mad Science: Imagining a Mind-materializerSharing Our Origin inLanguage Notes Works Cited IndexThe AuthorAndrew Bartlett lives in Vancouver, Canada. A full-time regular member of the English Department at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, British Columbia, he teaches courses in academic writing and literary analysis. From 2009 to 2014, he was president of the Generative Anthropology Society and Conference.