[ExI] Posthumanism vs. Transhumanism

natasha at natasha.cc natasha at natasha.cc
Thu Jun 18 18:34:01 UTC 2009

Quoting Stefano Vaj <stefano.vaj at gmail.com>:

> 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

The overcoming of medieval theocentric concepts was replace by the  
Enlightenment?s anthropocentric hierarchy over all of nature.  Since  
we discuss issues of technological change and social change, we need  
to shed a bit more light on the transhuman and posthuman view of the  
all of nature, including life forms not yet developed, which involves  
our future multiple selves.


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