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Living in Technical LegalityScience Fiction and Law as Technology$
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Kieran Tranter

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420891

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420891.001.0001

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From Law and Technology to Law as Technology

From Law and Technology to Law as Technology

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 From Law and Technology to Law as Technology
Source:
Living in Technical Legality
Author(s):

Kieran Tranter

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420891.003.0002

This chapter argues that law can be seen as technological when, ironically, law is called to respond to technological change. Through a focus on the legal responses to cloning, it is shown that the called-for laws were responding to visions of cloning futures directly sourced from science fiction. Having located these legal acts within science fiction, the essential elements of this future-oriented process – monstrous technology, vulnerable humanity and saving law – can be seen. This will be identified as the ‘Frankenstein myth.’ What is revealed is that science fiction holds the technical and legal together at the level of substantive dreaming and also at the level of basic commitments. The irony intrudes at this point. This saving law that can determine the future has a particular character. It is a species of pure power, manufactured through procedure in the present to determine the future. It appears to have the same characteristics that have been ascribed to technology. With this the categories established by the Frankenstein myth of ‘technology’, ‘humanity’ and ‘law’ seem to be imploded. What is glimpsed is the singularity of technical legality.

Keywords:   Law and Technology, Law as Technology, Frankenstein Myth, Monster, Trickster, Cloning, Technical Legality

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