Negotiating Reality in Philip K. Dick’s Fiction: from Postmodernism to Posthumanism
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The aim of this dissertation is to locate in the novels of the American science-fiction author, Philip K. Dick, instances of posthuman subjectivity in relation to cybernetics and theory of autopoiesis, also taking into consideration later developments in the field of posthumanism and its ongoing discourse with postmodernism. I attempt to create a comprehensive insight into what characterizes subjectivities emergent within the unstable realities imagined in Dick’s novels, using frameworks established by scholars of posthumanism such as Donna Haraway, Rosi Braidotti, N. Katherine Hayles and others, but also in relation to some of the prominent representatives of the postmodernist and poststructuralist perspectives of Jean-François Lyotard, Jaques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. I conclude that for Dick the solution to the postmodern crises of truth and the dissolution of the subject may lie in a movement towards technologically and materially embedded, self-organizing assemblages of human, non-human and hybrid actants. By drawing on postmodernist analyses and expanding on the posthumanist perspectives on Dick, I have formulated a new insight into the author’s understanding of the complex interactions between the subject and the dynamic systems that construct their reality.
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