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The Trouble with Insect Cyborgs

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AbstractThis paper examines recent developments in the construction of insect cyborgs by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (darpa), a branch of the u.s. Department of Defense, as part of its Hybrid Insect Microelectromechanical Systems (hi-mems ) project. It takes a sociological approach in order to account for the processes involved in the creation of insect cyborgs, arguing that such creatures should be seen as the outcome of social, as well as technological, conditions. The paper critically reflects on the ethical implications of the hi-mems project and discusses the philosophical repercussions of treating insects as if they are machines.

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