Posthumanism or post-humanism (meaning “after humanism ” or “beyond humanism”) Francesca Ferrando : [1]

    1. Antihumanism : any theory that is critical of traditional humanism and traditional ideas about humanity and the human condition . [2]

  1. Cultural posthumanism : a branch of cultural theory critical of the foundational assumptions of humanism and its legacy [3] that examines and questions the historical notions of “human” and “human nature”, which is often challenging typical notions of human subjectivity and embodiment [4] and strives to move beyond archaic concepts of ” human nature ” to develop ones which constantly adapt to contemporary technoscientific knowledge. [5]
  2. Philosophical posthumanism : a philosophical direction that draws on cultural posthumanism, the philosophical strand examines the ethical implications of expanding the circle of moral concern and extending subjectivities beyond the human species [4]
  3. Posthuman condition : the deconstruction of the human condition by critical theorists . [6]
  4. Transhumanism : an ideology and movement qui seeks to Develop and make available technologies That Eliminate aging and Greatly Enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological Capacities , in order to accomplish achieve a ” future posthuman “. [7]
  5. AI takeover : A more pessimistic alternative to transhumanism qui in humans will not be enhanced, purpose Rather Eventually REPLACED by artificial intelligences . Some philosophers, including Nick Land , should be encouraged to accept their eventual demise. [8] This is related to the view of ” cosmism ” which supports the building of strong artificial intelligence Even If it May entail the end of humanity as In Their view it “would be a cosmic tragedy if humanoid freezes Evolution at the puny human level “. [9] [10] [11]
  6. Voluntary Human Extinction , which seeks a “posthuman future” that is a future without humans .

Philosophical posthumanism

Philosopher Ted Schatzki suggests there are two types of posthumanism of the philosophical kind: [12]

One, which he calls ‘objectivism’, tries to counter the overemphasis of the subjective or intersubjective that pervades humanism, and emphasizes the role of the nonhuman agents, whether they are animals and plants, or computers or other things. [12]

A second priority practices, especially social practices, or individual subjects, which they say, constitute the individual. [12]

There may be a third kind of posthumanism, propounded by the philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd . Though he did not label it as ‘posthumanism’, he made an extensive and penetrating immanent criticism of Humanism, and then constructed a philosophy that presupposed neither Humanist nor Scholastic nor Greek thought but started with a different religious ground motiv . [13] Dooyeweerd and the rule of law and meaningfulness that exist and exist to exist, behave, live, occur, etc. ” Meaning is the being white of All That has-been created ,” Dooyeweerd wrote, “and the kind of Even our selfhood.” [14]Both human and nonhuman alike, subject to a common law-side, which is different, composed of a number of distinct law-spheres or aspects . [15] The temporal being of both human and non-human is multi-aspectual; for example, both plants and humans, and their function in the formative and lingual aspect, but humans function in the aesthetic, juridical, ethical and faith aspects too. The Dooyeweerdian version is able to incorporate both the objectivist version and the practices version, because it allows nonhuman agents their own subject-functioning in various aspects and places emphasis on aspectual functioning. [16]

Emergence of philosophical posthumanism

Ihab Hassan , theorist in the academic study of literature , once stated:

Humanism may be coming to an end as a human being transformed into a helplessly call posthumanism. [17]

This view is most relevant to posthumanism which has developed in the late 20th century in a more diverse, but complementary, domain of thought and practice. For example, Hassan is a known scholar whose theoretical writings are expressly address postmodernity in society . Citation needed ] Beyond postmodernist studies, Posthumanism has-been Developed and Deployed by various cultural theorists, Often in reaction to problematic inherent Assumptions Within humanistic and enlightenment thought. [4]

Theorists who both complement and contrast Hassan include Michel Foucault , Judith Butler , cyberneticists such as Gregory Bateson , Warren McCullouch , Norbert Wiener , Bruno Latour , Cary Wolfe , Elaine Graham , Katherine Hayles N. , Donna Haraway , Sloterdijk Peter , Stefan Lorenz Sorgner , Evan Thompson , Francisco Varela , Humberto Maturana and Douglas Kellner. Among the theorists are philosophers, such as Robert Pepperell, who has written about a ” posthuman condition “, which is often substituted for the term “posthumanism”. [5] [6]

Posthumanism differs from classical humanism by relegating humanity back to one of many natural species , thereby rejecting any claims founded on anthropocentric dominance. [18] According To this claim, humans-have no inherent rights to destroy Nature gold set Themselves Above it in ethical considerations a priori . Human knowledge is also reduced to a controlling position, previously seen as the defining aspect of the world. Human rights exist on a spectrum with animals and posthuman rights. [19]The limitations and fallibility of human intelligence are confessed, even though it does not imply abandoning the rational tradition of humanism . quote needed ]

Proponents of a posthuman discourse, suggesting that innovative advances and emerging technologies have transcended the traditional model of the human, as proposed by Descartes among others associated with the philosophy of the Enlightenment period . [20] In contrast to humanism , the discourse of posthumanism seeks to redefine the boundaries of modern philosophical understanding of the human. Posthumanism represents an evolution of thought beyond that of the contemporary social context and is predicated on the search for truth within a postmodern context. In so doing, it rejects previous attempts to establish ‘ anthropological universalsthat are imbued with anthropocentric assumptions. [18]

The philosopher Michel Foucault, a posthumanism within differentiated humanism from enlightenment thought . According to Foucault, the two existed in a state of tension: as humanism sought to establish norms. [18]Drawing on the Enlightenment’s challenges to the boundaries of humanism, the anthropological, political, and scientific assumptions of the various assumptions of the human (anthropological, political, scientific) hypothesis and takes the next step by attempting to change the nature of thought. This paper does not only decentering the human in multiple discourses (evolutionary, ecological, and technological) but also addressing those discourses to uncover inherent humanistic, anthropocentric, normative notions of humanness and the concept of the human. [4]

Contemporary posthuman discourse

Posthumanistic discourse aims to examine what it means to be human and critically question the concept of “the human” in light of current cultural and historical contexts [4] In her book How We Became Posthuman , N. Katherine Hayles , writes about the struggle between different versions of the posthuman as it continually co-evolves alongside intelligent machines. [21] Such coevolution, according to some strands of the posthuman discourse, allows one to extend their subjective understandings of real experiences beyond the boundaries of embodied existence. According to Hayles’ view of posthuman,visual perception and digital representations thus paradoxically become ever more salient. It is these same boundaries that make knowledge acquisition possible. The use of technology in a contemporary society is thought to complicate this relationship.

Hayles discusses the translation of human bodies into information (as suggested by Hans Moravec ) in order to illuminate how the boundaries of the world have been compromised. Of this, according to Hayles , posthumanism is characterized by a loss of subjectivity based on bodily boundaries. [4] This strand of posthumanism, including the changing notion of subjectivity and the disruption of ideas regarding what it means to be human, is often associated with Donna Haraway’s concept of the cyborg . [4] However, HarawayHAS distanced herself from posthumanistic discourse due to other theorists’ use of the term to Promote utopian views of technological innovation to extend the human biological capacity [22] (even though thesis notions Would more Correctly fall into the realm of transhumanism [4] ).

While posthumanism is a broad and complex ideology, it has implications for today and for the future. It attempts to redefine social structures without inherently humanly or even biological origins, but rather in the social and psychological systems where consciousness and communication could potentially exist as unique disembodied entities. Questions subsequently emerge with respect to the current and the future use of technology in shaping human existence, [18] as do New Concerns with regards to language , symbolism , subjectivity , phenomenology, ethics , justice and creativity . [23]

Relationship with transhumanism

This section needs expansion . You can help by adding to it . (August 2016)

Posthumanism is sometimes used as a synonym for a cultural and philosophical movement known as ” transhumanism ” because it proposes a transition to a ” posthuman future “, achieved through the application of technology to expand human capabilities.

James Hughes comments that there is considerable confusion between the two terms. [24] [25]


Some critics have argued that all forms of posthumanism, including transhumanism, have more in common than their respective proponents realize. [26] Linking these different approaches, Paul James suggests that ‘the key political problem is that, in fact, the position allows the world to be more flexible.

This is ontologically critical. Unlike the naming of ‘postmodernism’ where the ‘post’ does not know the end of what it means to be human (just the passing of the dominance of the modern) the posthumanists are playing a serious game where the human, in all its ontological variability, disappears in the name of saving something unspecified about a motley co-location of individuals and communities. [27]

However, some posthumanists in the humanities and the arts are critical of transhumanism (the brunt of Paul James’s criticism), in part, because they argue that it incorporates and extends many of the values ​​of humanism and classical liberalism , namely scientism , according to Performance Philosopher Shannon Bell : [28]

Altruism , mutualism , humanism are the soft and slimy virtues that underpin liberal capitalism . Humanism has always been integrated into discourses of exploitation: colonialism , imperialism , neoimperialism , democracy , and of course, American democratization. One of the serious flaws in transhumanism is the importation of liberal-human values ​​to the biotechnology enhancement of the human. Posthumanism: has a much stronger critical edge Attempting to Develop through enactment new understandings of the self and others , petrol ,consciousness , intelligence , reason , agency , intimacy , life , embodiment , identity and the body . [28]

While many modern leaders of thought are accepting of the nature of ideologies described by posthumanism, some are more skeptical of the term. Donna Haraway , author of A Cyborg Manifesto , has been admitted to the philosophical alignment with posthumanism. Haraway opts instead for the term of companion species, referring to nonhuman entities with which humans coexist. [22]

Questions of race, some argue, are suspiciously elided within the “turn” to posthumanism. Zakiyyah Iman Jackson argues that the impulse to move “beyond” the human being is often posthumanism ” [29] including Frantz Fanonand Aime Cesaire to Hortense Spillers and Fred Moten. [29] Interrogating the conceptual grounds in which such a mode of “beyond” is rendered legible and viable, Jackson argues that it is important to observe that ” blackness conditions and nonhuman disruption and disruption”which posthumanists invites. [29] In other words, given that race in general and blackness in particular constitutions of the term of human rights are not permitted, for example in the enduring legacies of scientific racism , a gesture toward a “beyond” actually “returns to a Eurocentric transcendentalism long challenged “. [30]

See also

  • Posthuman
  • metahuman


  1. Jump up^ Ferrando, Francesca (2013). “Posthumanism, Transhumanism, Antihumanism, Metahumanism, and New Materialisms: Differences and Relations” (PDF) . ISSN  1932-1066 . Retrieved 2014-03-14 .
  2. Jump up^ J. Childers / G. Hentzi eds.,The Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism(1995) p. 140-1
  3. Jump up^ Esposito, Roberto (2011). “Politics and human nature” (PDF) . doi :10.1080 / 0969725X.2011.621222 . Retrieved 2013-06-06 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:h Miah, A. (2008) A Critical History of Posthumanism. In Gordijn, B. & Chadwick R. (2008) Medical Enhancement and Posthumanity. Springer, pp.71-94.
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Badminton, Neil (2000). Posthumanism (Readers in Cultural Criticism) . Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN  0-333-76538-9 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b Hayles, N. Katherine (1999). How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics . University Of Chicago Press. ISBN  0-226-32146-0 .
  7. Jump up^ Bostrom, Nick (2005). “A history of transhumanism thought” (PDF) . Retrieved 2006-02-21 .
  8. Jump up^ “The Darkness Before the Right”.
  9. Jump up^ Hugo de Garis (2002). “First shot in Artilect war fired” . Archived fromthe original on 17 October 2007.
  10. Jump up^ “Machines Like Us Interviews: Hugo de Garis” . September 3, 2007.gigadeath – the characteristic number of people who would be killed in any major late 21st century war, if one extrapolates up the graph of the number of people killed in major wars over the past 2 centuries
  11. Jump up^ Garis, Hugo’s. “The Artilect War – Cosmists vs. Terrans” (PDF) . . Retrieved 14 June 2015 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:c Schatzki, TR 2001. Introduction: Practice theory, The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory eds. Theodore R. Savzki, Karin Knorr Cetina & Eike Von Savigny. pp. 10-11
  13. Jump up^
  14. Jump up^ Dooyeweerd, H. (1955/1984). A new critique of theoretical thought (Vol 1). Jordan Station, Ontario, Canada: Paideia Press. P. 4
  15. Jump up^ ‘law-side’
  16. Jump up^ His radical notion of subject-object relationships
  17. Jump up^ Hassan, Ihab (1977). “Prometheus as Performer: Toward a Postmodern Culture?”. In Michel Benamou, Charles Caramello. Performance in Postmodern Culture . Performance in Postmodern Culture . Madison, Wisconsin: Coda Press. ISBN  0-930956-00-1 .
  18. ^ Jump up to:d Wolfe, C. (2009). ‘ What is Posthumanism?’ University of Minnesota Press. Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  19. Jump up^ Evans, Woody (2015). “Posthuman Rights: Dimensions of Transhuman Worlds” . Madrid: Teknokultura.
  20. Jump up^ Badmington, Neil. “Posthumanism” . Blackwell Reference Online . Retrieved 22 September 2015 .
  21. Jump up^ Cecchetto, David (2013). Humanesis: Sound and Technological Posthumanism . Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
  22. ^ Jump up to:b Gane, Nicholas (2006). “When We Have Never Been Human, What Is To Be Done ?: Interview With Donna Haraway”. Theory, Culture & Society . 23 (7-8): 135-158.
  23. Jump up^ {{newspaper quote | last1 = Roudavski | first = Stanislav | last2 = McCormack | first2 = Jon | title = Post-Anthropocentric Creativity | date = 2016 | journal = Digital Creativity | volume = 27 | issue = 1 | pages = 3-6 | doi = 10.1080 / 14626268.2016.1151442 | url =}
  24. Jump up^ Ranisch, Robert (January 2014). “Post- and Transhumanism: An Introduction” . Retrieved 25 August 2016 .
  25. Jump up^ MacFarlane, James. “Boundary Work: Post-and-Transhumanism, Part I, James Michael MacFarlane” . Retrieved 25 August 2016 .
  26. Jump up^ Winner, Langdon . “Resistance is Futile: The Posthuman Condition and Its Advocates”. In Harold Bailie, Timothy Casey. Is Human Nature Obsolete? . Massachusetts Institute of Technology, October 2004: MIT Press. pp. 385-411. ISBN  0262524287 .
  27. Jump up^ James, Paul (2017). “Alternative Paradigms for Sustainability: Decentring the Human without Becoming Posthuman”. In Karen Malone, Son Truong, and Tonia Gray. Reimagining Sustainability in Precarious Times. Ashgate. p. 21.
  28. ^ Jump up to:Zaretsky b , Adam (2005). “Bioart in Question Interview” . Retrieved 2007-01-28 .
  29. ^ Jump up to:c Jackson 2015 , p. 216.
  30. Jump up^ Jackson 2015, p. 217.

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