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Stephen Hawking's Three Bodies: Hélène Mialet, Hawking Incorporated


Helene Mialet's Hawking Incorporated argues that there are no disembodied physicists and uses Stephen Hawking as her hard case. She inverts the usual Cartesian downplay of embodiment and shows how in this case Hawkings "three bodies" become even more important than ordinary embodiments. His limited physical body is added to by his socially distributed body of caretakers and research assistants, and most importantly his technology-mediating body of speech machines, high-tech wheelchair, and laptops. His gestures, his techniques of overcoming limited calculations, all point to the enhancement of embodiment(s). Drawing from ethnomethodology, actor network theory, and phenomenology, Mialet gives us a startling new look at science practice in terms of embodiment or incorporation.