CLC 2011 – The Fetishisation of Man by the Machine

by | 23 Jun 2011

Critical Legal Conference 2011

From a classical perspective, early societies worshipped divinities, pursued grand narratives and ideas, then moved on to fetishising machines and this stage has arguably been succeeded by the fetishisation of man by the machine. In this age of late modernity, the machine transfers its functions onto man, as man has become the object of the perverse desire of the machine and the consummation of its desire to function at all costs. Once transcendent, man becomes exorbitate, reduced to the position of a satellite orbiting his own technologies; both socially real and at the same time a fictitious hybrid. The replacement of an organic representation of the world with an inorganic artificial worldview and consequent realisation of the possibility of syncretisation, means the body is no longer the locus of ‘self’ as the self is effectively isolated in a hallucinatory realm. We inhabit a new and unprecedented disembodied technosocial landscape in which the very conditions for human action have been transformed. Furthermore recent advances in neuro-cybernetic research move beyond the symbolic by actual presentation of the unpresentable, as neurological brain implants which bypass sensory organs provide direct and complete sensory experience of a virtual body within a virtual environment. This stream invites papers on any aspect of the implications for regulation and justice consequent upon the reimagining of the individual and the idea of society as an aspiration of the machine.


1. Dr Julia J. A. Shaw, Reader in Law, Leciester De Montfort Law School, Leicester LE1 9BH. Email: jshaw[at]

2. Dr Hillary J. Shaw, Senior Lecturer, School of Business, Marketing and Management, Harper Adams University College, Edgmond, Shropshire TF10 8NB

Deadline : 15 July 2011

Please send your abstracts to stream conveners.


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