Cite as: James Burton, Contribution to the discussion ‘Stumbling on the Posthuman’, part of the symposium Becoming Post-Android, ICI Berlin, 24 September 2015, video recording, mp4, 08:16 <>
24 Sep 2015


By James Burton

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:08:16
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Discussion

Stumbling on the Posthuman

The significance of Dick’s science fiction for posthumanist thought is reflected in his influence on cultural theory, notably Katherine Hayles’ How We Became Posthuman. Yet it can be argued that Dick does not develop a coherent posthumanist perspective by design, but rather arrives at something like one by default, through repeatedly setting out to find the human and stumbling across the absence at its core. In this sense, the repeated inversions and superimpositions of humans and androids found in many of his narratives seem to suggest that the human was only ever an artificial construct – literally an android – to begin with. The panel will feature three short presentations and a discussion of Dick’s continuing significance for contemporary posthumanism and its ethical, ontological, and political stakes.

Followed by the book launch of James Burton’s The Philosophy of Science Fiction (2015) and The World According to Philip K. Dick (2015), edited by Alexander Dunst and Stefan Schlensag.


James Burton
Fabienne Collignon
Alexander Dunst
Laurence A. Rickels

Part of the Symposium

Becoming Post-Android: Philip K. Dick’s Errant Ontology

The work of Philip K. Dick, best known as a master of ontologically and psychologically unsettling science fiction, has had a wide-ranging if sporadic influence on modern cultural theory, playing key roles in works by thinkers such as Jean Baudrillard, Erik Davis, Katherine Hayles, Fredric Jameson, Laurence Rickels and Steven Shaviro. In this one-day symposium, comprising a workshop and panel discussion, three Dick scholars address his continuing significance for the contemporary rethinking of subjectivity, the (post)human, and ontology.


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)

Organized by

James Burton
Alexander Dunst
ICI Berlin
In cooperation with the University of Paderborn