Superpower and imitation Body and Machine


This work is an attempt to clarify the sense in which two ideas - indicated with the terms superpower and imitation - are used by a number of authors of contemporary philosophy to describe the relationship that developed between the human body and machinery in the passage from the Second Industrial Revolution to the early decades of the 20th century. Pages from works by Ernst Kapp, Karl Marx and Arnold Gehlen are analyzed to sketch the outlines of a discourse that shows undeniable signs of a conceptual continuity among thinkers usually seen as belonging to very different "ideological" spheres. The conclusions contain a few brief considerations on possible ways in which the evolution of body and machine seems to be converging today, particularly in certain technological sectors.