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Unnatural
Author: Philip Ball

ISBN: 9781847921529
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 373
Published: 3 February 2011
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.1 x 3.6
Description:
Can we make a human being? That question has been asked for many centuries, and has produced recipes ranging from the homunculus of the medieval alchemists and the clay golem of Jewish legend to the cadaverous mosaic of Frankenstein's monster and the mass-produced test-tube babies of Brave New World's Hatcheries. All of these efforts to create artificial people are more or less fanciful, but they have taken deep root in Western culture. They all express fears about the allegedly treacherous, Faustian nature of technology, and they all question whether any artificially created person can be truly human.

Legends of people-making are tainted by suspicions of impiety and hubris, and they are regarded as the ultimately 'unnatural' act, offering a revealing glimpse of changing attitudes to the relationship between nature and human art. In Unnatural, Philip Ball delves beneath the surface of the cultural history of 'anthropoesis' - the creation of artificial people - to explore what it tells us about our views on life, humanity, creativity and technology, and the soul.

He argues that to call something 'unnatural' is to make a moral judgement that has its origin...

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