[ExI] Posthumanism vs. Transhumanism

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Thu Jun 18 18:09:25 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 7:10 PM, Dan<dan_ust at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Okay.  I must have missed that post.  I recall a discussion of "posthumanism," and pointed out what a friend wrote about how it's received back in the 1990s.  Mainstreaming academics were focusing on "humanism" and just adding good ol' "post" to it -- just like they bolt on "meta" to terms.  My friend thought they should've been stressing the "posthuman" in "posthumanism" -- not the "humanism."  But whatever; it's hard to avoid terminological confusion, especially when one is using terms that others might try to define merely by looking at them.

The real issue, I think, is that as an increasing number of
posthumanist see well is that overcoming humanism means today
embracing as well the scenario of a posthuman change. In turn, classic
humanism - in the European sense, essentially meaning secularised
christian values and worldviews -, besides being outfashioned :-),
does not really seem up to the task of offering a framework to
comprehend such a posthuman change.

This was in fact my understanding of the original Transhumanist
Declaration: "Transhumanism", I quote by heart, "comprises and is the
modern form of what deserves to be saved of humanism" (e.g., the
overcoming of medieval theocentric concepts of natural laws, the
passion for knowledge, etc.). An Aufhebung - nothing postmodern, here,
the term is Hegelian... :-) - of humanism

Stefano Vaj

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