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By Luciana Parisi

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Additional resources for Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Biotechnology and the Mutations of Desire (Transversals: New Directions in Philosophy Series)

Sample text

The cyborg re-inscribes on the body the identity questions about feminine embodiment and disembodiment, experience and actualization opposing without radically challenging Cartesian metaphysics. Far from representing nature, the digital impact on nature exposes the way the hypernatural has taken the place of the supernatural. No longer the battle between extension and intensity, cause and effects, mind and body, god and things. Hypernature envelops and is enveloped by all bodies of communication and reproduction exposing a machinic phylum of unnatural associations.

Nature is a dynamical and collective ecosystem of intensive and extensive bodies – growth. Natura Naturans indicates the activity of nature, the intensive capacity to produce. Natura Naturata implies the passivity of being produced. 27 For Spinoza, of the infinity of these attributes we know only two that constitute our essence, thought and extension. The mind, a mode of thinking and the body, a mode of extension. Between these two attributes there is neither separation nor reduction, but a strict parallelism or connection affirming that ‘God’s power of thinking is equal to his realized power of action’ (Ethics II, 7, Corollary).

This essence exposes a machinic composition of a mode, whose power relies upon a continual colliding with other modes marking new degrees of mutation of a given assemblage. In this sense, the impact of bio-technologies on the body unfolds a series of micro affects between singular modes or machines of sex and reproduction (bacterial sex and human sex) merging to produce a new body while destroying another. This impact defines a new relationship between the biophysical and the biodigital machines of sex where a mutating essence (intensive and extended) suggests a new conception of feminine sex.

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