Piotr Urbanowicz, Romanticism, machines and technological (dys)utopias

Piotr Urbanowicz

Romanticism, machines and technological (dys)utopias


In my presentation I try to give a few interesting examples, in which science and technology have become a part of Romantic ideological programs. In this way I try to express that technology, science and romanticism have not been opposites at all – in fact, conversely – they are the key symptoms of contemporary changes. With the support of Mark Coeckelbergh’s thesis, I characterize this transformation as a kind of cyborgization. The Belgian philosopher of technology points out that the affirmative, utopian and holistic approach to technology, initiated by the Romantics, is the origin of the counter-cultural fascination with technology of the 1960s and 1970s, which laid the foundations for our contemporary integration with technology.
The aim of the presentation is therefore to outline an analogy between a romantic utopia and the present state of cyborgization, which in many aspects may display dystopian features.


Mark Coeckelbergh, New Romantic Cyborgs. Romanticism, Information Technology, and the End of the Machine, MIT Press 2017.
Robert Darnton, Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France, Harvard University Press 1968.
Marek Dybizbański, Romantyczna futurologia, Kraków 2005.
Mary Fairclought, Literature, Electricity and Politics 1740-1840: “Electrick Communication Every Where”, Palgrave 2017.
Andrzej Walicki, Filozofia a mesjanizm. Studia z dziejów filozofii i myśli społeczno-religijne romantyzmu polskiego, Warszawa 1970.


Romanticism, Technology, Utopia, Cyborgization


Translated by: Adrian Mróz (SL: Abenteuerzeit)

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