Panksepp, J. (1998). Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions. New York: Oxford U Press.
AUTHORS: Denis Larrivee
ABSTRACT: In affective neuroscience, constructivist models are acutely influenced by the modern technological evolution, which underwrites an ongoing epistemological substitution of techne for episteme. Evidenced symptomatically in the influence of artificial intelligence (AI), affective artefacts, these models inform an ontological incursion of techne seen to coincide with posthumanist aspirations and anthropology. It is from the perspective of this neuroscientific techne that posthumanism views the human being as increasingly ill adapted to the modern technological civilization, which, conversely, is understood to require a technical governance of the sort envisioned through AI. Among the projects thought necessary for implementing this framework is a recasting of the human emotional spectrum. Revealed through its techne recasting, however, are explanatory commitments to a metaphysic of extrinsic and contiguous causes, where malleability is ontologically constitutive. Aligned with posthumanist assertions malleability is invoked to argue for a rapid advance of the human form, normatively driven by enlightenment ideals. The ontological claim, however, dispenses with the stability of an a priori, intersubjective and interrelational metaphysical form that undergirds the emotions, leading to the collapse of a definitional anthropos. This paper will argue that techne models of the emotions selectively endorse philosophy of science commitments, thereby introducing a normative inversion that deconstructs the notion of anthropology pursued in posthumanist aspirations.