Human Virtuality and Digital Life

  • ISBN 9781138505148
  • Author: Frankel, Richard
  • Publ Date: 2021-08-13
  • Edition:
  • Binding: Hardback

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Winner of the Gradiva (R) Best Book Award 2022, and the Courage to Dream Book Prize 2023 from the Academy of the American Psychoanalytic Association!

This book is a psychoanalytic and philosophical exploration of how the digital is transforming our perception of the world and our understanding of ourselves.

Drawing on examples from everyday life, myth, and popular culture, this book argues that virtual reality is only the latest instantiation of the phenomenon of the virtual, which is intrinsic to human being. It illuminates what is at stake in our understanding of the relationship between the virtual and the real, showing how our present technologies both enhance and diminish our psychological lives. The authors claim that technology is a pharmakon - at the same time both a remedy and a poison - and in their writing exemplify a method that overcomes the polarization that compels us to regard it either as a liberating force or a dangerous threat in human life. The digital revolution challenges us to reckon with the implications of what is being called our posthuman condition, leaving behind our modern conception of the world as constituted by atemporal essences and reconceiving it instead as one of processes and change. The book's postscript considers the sudden plunge into the virtual effected by the 2020 global pandemic.

Accessible and wide-reaching, this book will appeal not only to psychotherapists, psychoanalysts, and philosophers, but anyone interested in the ways virtuality and the digital are transforming our contemporary lives.
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