This post expands on the philosophy of Thomas Metzinger, locating it in relation to Ray Brassier, via a call for the manufacturing and expedition of ever more elaborate forms of alienation (‘superior forms of corruption’, as it has elsewhere been called). This is envisioned as proceeding towards the abolition of the ‘self’ as the presumed center of rational commitments: as Brassier notes, we can (and should) have autonomy (‘freedom’) without selves.
Selfhood is an outmoded GUI. It has long supplied us with an extremely powerful arsenal of explanatory tools regarding behavior and introspection, yet it will at some point have had its day. Path dependency and ‘lock-in’ mean that the cost of ‘switching it out’ has as yet been high; yet technological advancements arriving in the coming decades and centuries will inevitably force us to revise our cost/benefit weighting here.
What is ‘selfhood’? Simply, selfhood arises from an organism’s transparent identification with its…
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