Psychology & Psychotherapy

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Consciousness and Pathic Engagement

Mauro Maldonato is an italian psychiatrist, professor at University of Basilicata. He has been a visiting professor at Duke University, at Universidade de So Paulo (USP) and Pontifícia Universidade Católica (PUC) of São Paulo. He is an author and curator of volumes and scientific articles published in numerous languages. He is also the scientific director of International Research Week.

Paolo Augusto Masullo, PhD is an italian philosopher, professor and director of the Department of Human Sciences at University of Basilicata. He has studied Max Scheler and the Phenomenological Movement, Viktor von Weizsäcker and his philosophy of medicine, and the anthropological category of posthuman. He is author of numerous essays and articles and has translated some important works of Viktor von Weizsäcker.

Emerging at the margins of science fiction the concept of posthuman has become the most potent and pervasive movement of contemporary culture. From science to ethics, from philosophy to art, from politics to communication, posthuman studies transcend analytical-conceptual categories of traditional disciplines. This new anthropology, open to a hetero-referential alterity (bio-techno-IT), requires, on the pathic level, new forms of adaptation and integration. The emancipation of the idea of a presumed human 'essence' brings possibilities as well as risks.

This book sets out to show how, beyond epistemological asymmetries and different forms of language, reflection on the posthuman in terms of the complex questions of our time imposes a biotechnopoiesis on multiple levels: from redefining our relationship with the planetary environment to questioning the dimensions of our historical condition. The study thereof revolves around sensorial, perceptual and emotional activity in terms of cognition and neurophysiology. Consciousness is to be regarded not as a workspace demarcated by the brain, but as a unitas multiplex that emerges from co-operation between brain and body.

The posthuman defines a new model of existence and leaves an emerging anthropological identity open to dialogue with eteroreferential (otherness) in “bio-techno-informatics”. This requires the development of a commensurate adequacy of emotions and affections (the pathic). Man and woman are thus called to 'care' for the posthuman: their passion for the new status of “nomadic subjectivity” will bring with it the ability to engage biotechnopoiesis in multiple ways to the greater good of mankind.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-713-1
Paperback Price: £22.95 / $29.95
Release Date: September 2017
Page Extent / Format: 192 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No



1  Robots as Post-humans: Some Issues about Artificial Life
  Santo F. Di Nuovo and Daniela Conti

2  Transexualism as an Icon of Posthumanism: A Sartrean Critical Reconsideration
Roberto Vitelli

3 Artificial Intelligence and Human Decision Making
Silvia Dell’Orco, Mauro Maldonato, Raffaele Sperandeo, Roberta Barni, and Ludovica Tremante

4 Decision Making and Basal Ganglia (BG) through Computational Lens toward Better Understanding of Decision Making in BG Neural Circuit
Radwa Khalil

5 The Consciousness of the Inorganic
Paolo Valerio and Mauro Maldonato

6  The Acceptability of the Artificial: The Attitude toward Post-human
Daniela Conti, Alessandro Di Nuovo, and Santo F. Di Nuovo

7  The Force of the Affections: The Becoming-body, the Becoming-free
Rosella Corda

8  The Pathosophie of the Posthuman
Paolo Augusto Masullo

9  The Stratification of Empathic Experience
Anna Donise

10 First Notes for a Desubjectivised Aesthetics
Dario Giugliano

11  Posthuman Pathicity: The Neoenvironment
Agostino Cera

12  Emotive Bond With Machines (or Through Machines)
Paolo Gallina

About the Editors and Contributors

This volume brings together 12 essays by scholars of psychology, philosophy, and other fields mainly from Italy, who consider the concept of posthuman. They explore the possibility of recognizing the quality of awareness in post-human forms like robotics and artificial life, transsexuality as an icon of posthumanism, artificial intelligence and decision making, the relationship between decision making and basal ganglia through a computational lens, the consciousness of the inorganic, studies about the attitudes and acceptance of artificial life and posthuman robotics, the posthuman in terms of Deleuze and his references to Nietzsche and Spinoza, empathy, aesthetics, technology as neoenvironment, and the emotive bond with or through machines.

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