Ghost in the Shell 2, Technicity and the Subject

Daniel Hourigan


This discussion examines how Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence questions what remains of being human and the assemblage of humanity when the human and the machine collide and elide their limit of differentiation. It will be shown how the film's predilection for technology in its narrative content and technological rationalism in its wider conceptual embedding reconstructs humanity but rejects the metaphysical valuation of humanity through notions of dignity, taboo, respect, affect, and so forth. By connecting this twin problematic of ontological difference and metaphysical poverty to the ontological philosophy of Martin Heidegger and psychoanalytic philosophy of Slavoj Žižek, this paper aims to unearth and lay bare the paradoxes inherent in the view of technology and society deployed by Innocence and how the film is able to, in the presence of these explicitly ontological paradoxes, put the question of what constitutes a human Subject into crisis by coding it as a symptom.


Oshii; Ghost in the Shell 2; Wachowski; The Matrix Reloaded; Heidegger; Zizek; Lacan; Parmenides; psychoanalysis; ontology; metaphysics; subject

Full Text: PDF

Go to Edinburgh University Press