“Postnatural Intelligence” in First Things

I have an essay, “Postnatural Intelligence,” in the new issue of First Things (Feb. 2019) – on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), the arc of modern philosophy, & the rise of ‘intelligent’ technologies. “The novel’s genius is that it shows how the ‘modern Prometheus’ and his critics can both be right. It may be within our power, Shelley suggests, to create a form of life (or a dead intelligence) that we will regret creating – a form of life (or a dead intelligence) that, in Victor’s words, ‘might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror.’ … Shelley thus takes us into territory that no philosopher had – or, perhaps, has yet – charted.” Read here.

 

frankenstein. boris karloff

 

 

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