Technology and Self-modification: Understanding Technologies of the Self After Foucault

Rodrigo Hernández-Ramírez



Self-modification is an ancient human practice; however, for the first time in history, technology is enabling us to modify our lives not only at an existential or experiential level, but also at an informational level. This paper discusses Foucault’s concept of “technologies of the self” as well as some of its recent interpretations within contemporary philosophy of technology. It shows how ICTs have opened new dimensions for humans to transform their bodies, minds, and self-conception. It argues that while ‘traditional’ self-modification is being revolutionised and popularised by ICTs, these systems are also exposing us to potent, and unintentional forms of ontological tinkering. Ultimately, this paper shows how Foucault’s concept can serve as a valuable tool for understanding contemporary human-technology relations.


Human-technology relations; ICT; information; philosophy of technology; postphenomenology; self-identity.

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