Concluding Statement: The Human Machine at the Aboagora Symposium
Haapalainen, Anna (2013)
The Donner Institute, Åbo Akademi
MA Anna Haapalainen is coordinator of the Aboagora symposium and doctoral candidate in comparative religion, University of Turku.
Aboagora 2013 discussed the complex relationships between man and machine, where not only may the human being itself be viewed as a corporeal machine, but it is also possible to interpret the machine as an extension of the human sensory system. After three days of lectures and workshops about the multifaceted relationship between man and the machine, the ontological dividing line between humans and machines was open to question. For example, while the human body can be defined as the ultimate machine – an assemblage of forces, actions and mechanisms ranging from the optics of the eye to the processes of cognition – the boundaries between man and machine may be blurred as technological devices are used as integral parts of the human body. Where do we draw the line between man and machine in such situations? The Aboagora symposium on 'The Human Machine' raised important questions about the ontological qualities and delineations of various entities.