feature image: Miro (image courtesy of Consequential Robotis)
Towards a Theory of Posthuman Care: Real Humans and Caring Robots
This essay interrogates the common assumption that good care is necessarily human care. It looks to disruptive fictional representations of robot care to assist its development of a theory of posthuman care that jettisons the implied anthropocentrism of ethics of care philosophy but retains care’s foregrounding of entanglement, embodiment and obligation. The essay reads speculative representations of robot care, particularly the Swedish television programme Äkta människor (Real Humans), alongside ethics of care philosophy and critical posthumanism to highlight their synergetic critiques of neoliberal affective economies and humanist hierarchies that treat some bodies and affects as more real than others. These texts and discourses assist me in proposing a theory of care that regards vulnerability as the normative effect of posthuman vital embodiment, as opposed to an anomalous state that can be overcome or corrected via neoliberal practice.
DeFalco, A. I. 2020, Towards a Theory of Posthuman Care: Real Humans and Caring Robots. Body and Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357034X20917450