The Final Fantasy: Ethic in Cyberspace in Psychoanalysis Terms


Session Title:

  • Avant-garde, Language, Morality

Presentation Title:

  • The Final Fantasy: Ethic in Cyberspace in Psychoanalysis Terms



  • The paper discusses the relation of technology and ethics in the cyberspace. Cyberspace, as it may seem today, become a new battle ground of contested ideas and thoughts, but we no longer bear the vision that cyberspace is the site of subversion as properly noted by American scholar Danna Haraway in her A Cyborg manifesto. The author has described the function of fantasy, the ordering of desire, as the sheer force in pair them together by exemplifying the TV commercial of cellular phone. Using Lacanian methodology, the author has identified the process of the fantasy operated in the symbolic order of relation of subject and object petit a—whatever close the subject can attain the object, there is still a distance between them. It would be better to be seen this perfect pair, technology and humanity, is a simulacrum that the holistic picture of it is impaired, therefore more desirable than ever. Taking Tamnagochi as a point of entry, the author offers a critique to the over optimism of cyberspace and returns to psychoanalysis terms to examine what follows:


    From Interactivity to interpassivity, how a subject inscribe itself in the symbolic network of desire.
    How can technology be the big Other of today’s culture?
    Humanity is represented in cyberspace in the form of fantasy.


    By way of a simple reflections on the past decade of fast growing community in cyberspace, we find that what we have been aware as ethics is subject to change, and have compelled to accept the status quo of technology leading our everyday life whether we are voluntary or not. For forming and reforming of new community based on newly founded technological relations– be they social, cultural, or economic– have shaken the basis of ethics, anthrocentrism that rooted in Western philosophy. Precisely because of a community invoking another set of human interactions that need to be revalidated in ethics, the standard of ethic thus becomes a relative term. Therefore “what is right,” an age-old ethical question, becomes nullified. It is not even mentioned that the contested power relations in cyberspace where communication is ordered by those who have social and economic, political, and even military advantage. Ethics, proposed by American positivist John Dewey, is based on its relativity on democratic society. Yet paradoxically enough, his idea still hold ethic(together with morality) as priori which is contradicted to the current situation of technology constantly growing, expanding , regrouping, and deploying its network, as in modern life most man can feel the idea of technology has more or less become the capitalized “T” that almost goes along with the notion of Truth or the God, those which hold the idea of transcendental value. But can the notion of Technology be transcendental?

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