The multiplicitry and complexity of the cyborg paradigm has attracted many to it because it leads to a reconception of self in ways they belief both more accurate and more politically repsonsible that what they take to be the traditional Western emphasis on unified being.
According Donna J. Haraway, the emphasis upon a unified self derives from, helps produce, or is implicated in a complex of ideas that produce many forms of oppression:
For Westerners. it is a central consequence of concepts of gender difference that a person may be turned by another person into an object and robbed of her or his status as subject. The proper state for a Western person is to have ownership of the self, to have and hold a core identity as if it were a possession. That possession may be made from various raw materials over time, that is, it may be a cultural production, or one may be born with it. Gender identity is such a possession. Not to have property in the self is not to be a subject, and so not to have agency. ["Cyborg Manifesto," 135]
She therefore argues that "A concept of a coherent inner self, achieved (cultural) or innate (biological), is a regulatory fiction that is unnecessary - indeed, inhibitory - for feminist projects of producing and afflrming complex agency and responsibility. A related "regulatory fiction" basic to Western concepts of gender insists that motherhood is natural and fatherhood is cultural: mothers make babies naturally, biologically" (135).
Others writing on the subject, arrive at very similar positions from very different starting points. For example, in his interview with Chris Hables Gray, Major Jack E. Steele, USAF, a pioneer in proposals for cyborg space exploration, argues that all human beings embody multiplicity:
We all are multiple. But we're a little more tightly organized than the multiple personality. We all have things we've forgotten, areas we don't remember. Different parts do different things. In different circumstances we're different people. I'm thankful for all my tumbling and athletic and combat training because when I'm in a dangerous physical situation I react so rapidly that only in retrospect can I realize what I've done. A motorcycle accident, for example, I came out of totally uninjured. Just by very fast responses.
Multiple personalities develop for protective purposes. Some suffer the trauma but keep the others unaware of it. Thus the person can keep functioning. It becomes a disorder only when the person has escaped the traumatic situation but has not reorganized the crew or cared for the injured parts. [Cyborg Handbook, 69]
How would you relate Major Steele's remarks to Haraways points about the military origins of the cyborg?