Complex Feedback Loops of Technoscience, Literature, and Culture: Dynamics of the Complexity Paradigm in Scientific Fiction
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This dissertation explores the emergence of the complexity paradigm in our technoscience culture and proposes "scientific fiction" as a genre of cultural studies based on that paradigm. Throughout this dissertation, I use the terms and concepts of complexity theory developed by new science, which revises the reductionism and linearity of classic science. The complexity paradigm signifies a system of all knowledge that conceives the productivity and creativity of the complexity created by interconnective and interactive dynamics among and within systems. As a literary response to the complexity paradigm, scientific fiction emphasizes the productivity and creativity of the complexity, offering the possibility of the human‘s co-evolution with technoscience. These characteristics of scientific fiction help articulate new ontological, ethical, and aesthetic visions for the posthuman. This dissertation ultimately highlights the strong feedback loops of technoscience, literature, and culture, which promote the complexity paradigm. By comparing Pat Cadigan‘s Synners as a scientific fiction novel and William Gibson‘s Neuromancer as a representative postmodern science fiction novel, Chapter II presents the defining characteristics of scientific fiction, reconfiguring humanity in relation to the technoscience environment. Furthermore, analyzing Greg Bear‘s Blood Music, the chapter claims that the human subject is an adaptive, self-organizing, interconnective system. Grounded in such understandings of humanity and subjectivity, the next chapter examines Marge Piercy‘s He, She and It to offer a new ethical perspective, or the complexity ethics, which establishes the interconnective and interactive relationship between the human and the technological as an evolutionary partner. The complexity ethics describes human behaviors and thoughts in our technoscience culture rather than prescribing a moral guideline. Next, in investigating Shelley Jackson‘s Patchwork Girl, a hypertext novel that rewrites Mary Shelley‘s Frankenstein, Chapter IV explores a new aesthetics appreciating the creativity of the complexity produced by interconnective and interactive dynamics. Finally, through the analyses of the scientific fiction novels, this dissertation suggests that scientific fiction is a transdisciplinary field that can offer new cultural visions.
Song, Ho Rim (2010). Complex Feedback Loops of Technoscience, Literature, and Culture: Dynamics of the Complexity Paradigm in Scientific Fiction. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from