[ExI] Posthumanism vs. Transhumanism

natasha at natasha.cc natasha at natasha.cc
Fri Jun 19 18:27:08 UTC 2009

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

> On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 6:17 AM, Damien   
> Broderick<thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
>>> http://www.scribd.com/doc/391082/Post-Humanism-History
>> "...the history of posthumanism is neither synonymous with the history of
>> technology , nor is it found exclusively within philosophical inquiries into
>> technology . Certainly, technological change has become a core component of
>> contemporary imaginations about posthumanity. However, I will argue that
>> imaginations about how humanity is transformed by technology are specific ,
>> historically contingent manifestations"
> I am inclined to read it as a "defensive" stance. :-)
> On the lines of "there is more to posthumanism than tech and
> transhumanism". The fact that one feels the need to point it out is
> eloquent enough about the fact that most people might even
> over-emphasise the overlapping of the two concepts...

Good catch.

> As to the fact that "imaginations about etc." are historically
> contingent (Verne's futurist visions are not the same as Kurzweil's),
> well, most transhumanists I know would be heppy to agree.
>> "of posthuman ideas. Moreover, these ideas are more deeply rooted in claims
>> about such concepts as becoming, alterity, transgressions of boundaries and
>> the position of humanity in relation to these concepts".
> ... which sounds almost as Max More. :-)

Yes.  I think he trying to claim an affilation with Delueze, via  
Nietzsche's "becoming" and which is tied to "aesthetics" [via  
Baumgarten to Kant - to Nietzsche - to Delueze.).

>> "...the 'post' of posthumanism need not imply the absence of humanity or
>> moving beyond it in some biological or evolutionary manner. Rather, the
>> starting point should be an attempt to understand what has been omitted from
>> an anthropocentric worldview, which includes coming to terms with how the
>> Enlightenment centring of humanity has been revealed as inadequate."
> Bof. Is a a real post-humanism even possible without *also*
> contemplating a posthuman-ist evolution? I maintain that the answer is
> "no".
> And amongst posthumanists, even those who would be inclined to
> neoluddite feelings, most are adamant on the fact that even though
> they may mourn him, "Man is dead", and it is mystifying and naive to
> deny it by pretending that we can go on with "business as usual" and
> avoid a posthuman-ist change.
> A number of Nietzschean descendants, e.g., made herculean, but
> ultimately futile efforts to deny any - even vaguely - "biological"
> interpretations (as they appear otherwise to fear association with
> eugenism, nazism, scientism, or... transhumanism). But it is
> sufficient to re-read the first lines of the Zarathustra, or the
> discussion of Darwinian ideas contained in the Will to Power, to
> realise that Nietzsche himself was perfectly aware that the upcoming
> Zeit-Umbruch, epocal change, involves the *nature* itself of the human
> beings, not mere cultural or philosophical traits.


I think aruging this chapter/essay in a transhumanist anthology would  
be a good idea.


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