[ExI] Theories of Change & Transhumanism

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Wed Jun 17 17:42:53 UTC 2009

At 05:51 PM 6/16/2009 -0500, I wrote:

>>Does anyone have a view on this observation?
>Yes. It's incredibly stupid.

That was jumping the gun, probably. I don't know what the amazingly 
prolific (and apparently rather self-important) Professor Andy Miah 
wrote in his essay, nor what his presumptions are:


In this kind of discourse, terminology can be absurdly paradoxical 
and misleading. Several decades ago, Foucault and Althusser and other 
created a lot of pointless mischief (I believe) by calling their 
approach "antihumanism" (and speaking of the imminent "death of Man") 
when what they really meant was just something like "after-humanism" 
or "against-humanism-construed-as-a-crypto-religious-doctrine".

When people on this list speak of "posthumans" it's usually to 
indicate some anticipated future state where modifications have 
changed and enhanced humankind very radically, rather as evolutionary 
adaptations modified proto-humans. The recent fad of philosophers and 
critical theorists dubbing themselves posthumanists seems 
inconsistent with this usage, so repudiating their statements as if 
they were speaking for us as transhumanists is probably missing the 
point and only confusing things.

And as Stefano usefully noted, there's a lot of discourse in European 
forums that seems to have independently coined this term (by 
reference to "postmodern" and "poststructural", I assume), and it 
looks as if it would be fairly misleading to conflate all these uses.

Damien Broderick

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