Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 27 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

“The uncanny valley” indicates that as a robot approaches a nearly human state, initial positive responses quickly turn to strong revulsion. After reviewing various explanations for this phenomenon, this chapter interprets the uncanny feeling towards humanoids not as a response to a lack of humanness but rather as a response to the inability to fathom and appropriate what makes the viewer of the robot different from the robot, that is, what makes the viewer human. The more technologies become intrusive, the more this inability is intensified, making the technological uncanny a permanent dimension of selfhood. As a result, technology cannot be simply externalized and conceived as an outside factor that can determine or liberate us, nor as something that can destroy or strengthen us. This insight calls for a more sophisticated account of how technology is shaping us, as well as how we would like to be shaped by it.

Keywords: uncanny, technology, self, alterity, self-formation, inside-outside, extimacy, Lacan

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.