Prosthetic body.
Digital and material extensions, and related feedback processes

PI: Prof. Chiara Cappelletto

Post-doc: Samuele Sartori

The incorporation of technologies is a contemporary process that requires constant attention, as it is bringing tools closer and closer to the body, turning them into prosthetics and making human capabilities increasingly hybrid. Simultaneously, a key concern in modern studies exploring the fusion of organic and inorganic elements is the absence of a focused exploration into the nature of a prosthesis – a category of material objects often wrongly associated with any tools or media. 

To offer not only linguistic but also conceptual clarification, the initial challenge addressed by the research project is the precise determination of the distinctive features of prosthetics. To achieve this, the project will delve into the notion of materiality in contemporary digital techno-culture. Once the specificity of prosthetics is understood, the project will then proceed to chart the idea of feedback and transaction in philosophical literature from the twentieth century to the present. This comprehensive analysis will particularly reference philosophical anthropology, media studies, and cognitive science, examining how these disciplines conceptualize and potentially apply these ideas in experimental research.

The project also seeks to position the notion of feedback within the enactivist framework and engage it in dialogue with the concept of sense-making as discussed by 4E Cognition. Furthermore, it aims to explore the meanings of transparency and the virtuality of the living body, as addressed by cognitive science, phenomenological and post-phenomenological philosophy.