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Title:  Mad Scientist, Impossible Human: An Essay in Generative Anthropology Author: Andrew Bartlett The Davies Group, Publishers 348 pp. soft cover USD 32.00 ISBN 978-1934542354 Pub date: September 6, 2014 The 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     One The Frankenstein Myth, Scientism, and Generative Anthropology Four Stories, One Formula Defending the Mad Scientist Plays God Formula Resisting Victimary Attitudes More Criteria for Counting as a Story that Builds Up the Frankenstein Myth Scientism as the Reduction of Anthropology to Biology Studying to Say Almost Nothing of the Origin of Language On That Which Necessarily Must Have Happened Accidentally The Exchange of Abortive Gestures of Appropriation Experience of the Object-as-Sacred: Revelation without Cognition Experience of the Object-as-Esthetic: Imaginary Possession, Recognized Inviolability (To and Fro) Experience of the Object-as-Economic: Sacrificial Consumption, Economic Value The Object-as-Cosmological: From Good (Minimal) Science to Scientism Exchangeability and Desacralization Tortured Matter, Multiple Errors     Two Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein  (1818): Experiment and  Irreversibility Two Ways of Approaching the Book and Its Author Victor’s Early Career: Discovery and Experiment Irreversible Experiment and the Event-structure of Scientific Revelation On the Expulsion of the Monster The Mock-Creation Scene of Failed Integration The Vain Scientist as Pseudo-Savior A Concluding Retrospective     Three Allegories of Playing God in The Island of Dr. Moreau H. G. Wells and Biological Thinking Moreau Playing the God of Punctualist Creation Theology Moreau Playing the Gradualist “God” of Liberal Theology Moreau as One Who Believes in Scientific Species-making (The Atheist Plays God) The Island of Mr. Prendick On the Mercy-Killing of the Leopard Man Hypnotism and the Unnatural Language of the Beast People Prendick’s Farewell     Four Karel Capek’s R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots): Mechanical Not Erotic R.U.R. as Rebellious Heir to Frankenstein and Moreau To Believe in an Economy of Mechanical Value Android Automata and the Comedy of Baffled Activism Altered Androids and Mechanical Resentment Mobilized Committee Robots and Primary Humanoids Capek’s Originary Script and the Popularity of Robots     Five Blade Runner: Minimizing the Difference of the Impossible Human Blade Runner as Postmodern Frankenstein: Contesting the Nondifference Thesis Corporate Science and Postmodern Paranoia: Tyrell as Scapegoat Falling in Love with the Impossible Human Victimary Thinking and the Human/Replicant Boundary On the Vanity of Eldon Tyrell Batty’s Enigmatic Gesture of Rescue On the Dying Lines of Roy Batty     Six Afterword: Sharing the Human Scene Inequality and Mad Science: Imagining a Mind-materializer Sharing Our Origin inLanguage     Notes     Works Cited     Index The Author Andrew 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.
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