Foundations of Science

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 357–362 | Cite as

Hacking Technological Practices and the Vulnerability of the Modern Hero

  • Mark CoeckelberghEmail author


This reply to Gunkel and Zwart further reflects on, and responds to, the following main points: the Heideggerian character of my view and the potential link to Kafka (Gunkel), the suggestion that we should become hackers (Gunkel), the interpretation of my approach in terms of the Hegelian Master–Slave dialectic (Zwart), the lack of an empirical dimension (Zwart), and the claim that I think that modern heroism entails overcoming vulnerability (Zwart). I acknowledge Heideggerian influence, reflect on what it could mean to think about living with ICTs (information and communication technologies) as a kind of hacking, comment on the Hegelian interpretation of my approach and its application to human–technology relations, bring novels and films into the discussion (Houellebecq, DeLillo/Cronenberg), and clarify that contemporary works of fiction are not necessarily entirely modern and that it has been a central claim here and in my book that although modern thinking and practice attempts to overcome vulnerability with the help of technologies, this is not successful, or it is illusory.


Vulnerability Information and communication technology Heidegger Hegel Kafka Houellebecq 


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  2. Coeckelbergh, M. (2013b). Human being @ risk: Enhancement, technology, and the evaluation of vulnerability transformations. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Coeckelbergh, M. (2014). Sure, artificial intelligence may end our world, but that is not the main problem. Wired. Accessed 27 February 2015.
  4. Cronenberg, D. (2012). Cosmopolis. (film) Based on DeLillo, Don. Cosmopolis. New York: Scribner.Google Scholar
  5. Houellebecq, M. (2005). La Possibilité d’une île. Paris: Fayard.Google Scholar
  6. Kafka, F. (1922). Ein Hungerkünstler. A hunger artist (K. Blahut, Trans.). Prague: Twisted Spoon Press, 1996.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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