Philosopher Ted Schatzki suggests there are two varieties of posthumanism of the philosophical kind:
One, which he calls 'objectivism', tries to counter the overemphasis of the subjective or intersubjective that pervades humanism, and emphasises the role of the nonhuman agents, whether they be animals and plants, or computers or other things.
A second prioritizes practices, especially social practices, over individuals (or individual subjects) which, they say, constitute the individual.
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 critique of Humanism, and then constructed a philosophy that presupposed neither Humanist, nor Scholastic, nor Greek thought but started with a different religious ground motive. Dooyeweerd prioritized law and meaningfulness as that which enables humanity and all else to exist, behave, live, occur, etc. "Meaning is the being of all that has been created," Dooyeweerd wrote, "and the nature even of our selfhood." Both human and nonhuman alike function subject to a common 'law-side', which is diverse, composed of a number of distinct law-spheres or aspects. The temporal being of both human and non-human is multi-aspectual; for example, both plants and humans are bodies, functioning in the biotic aspect, and both computers and humans 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 and integrate 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.
Humanism may be coming to an end as humanism transforms itself into something one must helplessly call posthumanism.
This view predates most currents of posthumanism which have developed over the late 20th century in somewhat diverse, but complementary, domains of thought and practice. For example, Hassan is a known scholar whose theoretical writings expressly address postmodernity in society. 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.
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, N. Katherine Hayles, Benjamin H. Bratton, Donna Haraway, Peter Sloterdijk, Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, Evan Thompson, Francisco Varela, Humberto Maturana and Douglas Kellner. Among the theorists are philosophers, such as Robert Pepperell, who have written about a "posthuman condition", which is often substituted for the term "posthumanism".
Posthumanism differs from classical humanism by relegating humanity back to one of many natural species, thereby rejecting any claims founded on anthropocentric dominance. According to this claim, humans have no inherent rights to destroy nature or set themselves above it in ethical considerations a priori. Human knowledge is also reduced to a less controlling position, previously seen as the defining aspect of the world. Human rights exist on a spectrum with animal rights and posthuman rights. The limitations and fallibility of human intelligence are confessed, even though it does not imply abandoning the rational tradition of humanism.
Proponents of a posthuman discourse, suggest that innovative advancements and emerging technologies have transcended the traditional model of the human, as proposed by Descartes among others associated with philosophy of the Enlightenment period. In contrast to humanism, the discourse of posthumanism seeks to redefine the boundaries surrounding modern philosophical understanding of the human. Posthumanism represents an evolution of thought beyond that of the contemporary social boundaries and is predicated on the seeking of truth within a postmodern context. In so doing, it rejects previous attempts to establish 'anthropological universals' that are imbued with anthropocentric assumptions.
The philosopher Michel Foucault placed posthumanism within a context that differentiated humanism from enlightenment thought. According to Foucault, the two existed in a state of tension: as humanism sought to establish norms while Enlightenment thought attempted to transcend all that is material, including the boundaries that are constructed by humanistic thought. Drawing on the Enlightenment’s challenges to the boundaries of humanism, posthumanism rejects the various assumptions of human dogmas (anthropological, political, scientific) and takes the next step by attempting to change the nature of thought about what it means to be human. This requires not only decentering the human in multiple discourses (evolutionary, ecological, technological) but also examining those discourses to uncover inherent humanistic, anthropocentric, normative notions of humanness and the concept of the human.
Posthumanistic discourse aims to open up spaces to examine what it means to be human and critically question the concept of "the human" in light of current cultural and historical contexts 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. 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's view of posthuman, often referred to as technological posthumanism, visual perception and digital representations thus paradoxically become ever more salient. Even as one seeks to extend knowledge by deconstructing perceived boundaries, 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 our embodied reality have been compromised in the current age and how narrow definitions of humanness no longer apply. Because of this, according to Hayles, posthumanism is characterized by a loss of subjectivity based on bodily boundaries. This strand of posthumanism, including the changing notion of subjectivity and the disruption of ideas concerning what it means to be human, is often associated with Donna Haraway’s concept of the cyborg. However, Haraway has 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 (even though these notions would more correctly fall into the realm of transhumanism).
While posthumanism is a broad and complex ideology, it has relevant implications today and for the future. It attempts to redefine social structures without inherently humanly or even biological origins, but rather in terms of social and psychological systems where consciousness and communication could potentially exist as unique disembodied entities. Questions subsequently emerge with respect to the current use and the future of technology in shaping human existence, as do new concerns with regards to language, symbolism, subjectivity, phenomenology, ethics, justice and creativity.
Sociologist James Hughes comments that there is considerable confusion between the two terms. In the introduction to their book on post- and transhumanism, Robert Ranisch and Stefan Sorgner address the source of this confusion, stating that posthumanism is often used as an umbrella term that includes both transhumanism and critical posthumanism.
Although both subjects relate to the future of humanity, they differ in their view of anthropocentrism. Pramod Nayar, author of Posthumanism, states that posthumanism has two main branches: ontological and critical. Ontological posthumanism is synonymous with transhumanism. The subject is regarded as “an intensification of humanism.” Transhumanist thought suggests that humans are not post human yet, but that human enhancement, often through technological advancement and application, is the passage of becoming post human.  Transhumanism retains humanism’s focus on the homo sapien as the center of the world but also considers technology to be an integral aid to human progression. Critical posthumanism, however, is opposed to these views. Critical posthumanism “rejects both human exceptionalism (the idea that humans are unique creatures) and human instrumentalism (that humans have a right to control the natural world).” These contrasting views on the importance of human beings are the main distinctions between the two subjects.
Transhumanism is also more ingrained in popular culture than critical posthumanism, especially in science fiction. The term is referred to by Pramod Nayar as "the pop posthumanism of cinema and pop culture."
Some critics have argued that all forms of posthumanism, including transhumanism, have more in common than their respective proponents realize. Linking these different approaches, Paul James suggests that 'the key political problem is that, in effect, the position allows the human as a category of being to flow down the plughole of history':
This is ontologically critical. Unlike the naming of ‘postmodernism’ where the ‘post’ does not infer the end of what it previously meant 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 us as merely a motley co-location of individuals and communities.
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 Enlightenment humanism and classical liberalism, namely scientism, according to performance philosopher Shannon Bell:
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 biotechno enhancement of the human. Posthumanism has a much stronger critical edge attempting to develop through enactment new understandings of the self and others, essence, consciousness, intelligence, reason, agency, intimacy, life, embodiment, identity and the body.
While many modern leaders of thought are accepting of nature of ideologies described by posthumanism, some are more skeptical of the term. Donna Haraway, the author of A Cyborg Manifesto, has outspokenly rejected the term, though acknowledges a philosophical alignment with posthumanism. Haraway opts instead for the term of companion species, referring to nonhuman entities with which humans coexist.
Questions of race, some argue, are suspiciously elided within the "turn" to posthumanism. Noting that the terms "post" and "human" are already loaded with racial meaning, critical theorist Zakiyyah Iman Jackson argues that the impulse to move "beyond" the human within posthumanism too often ignores "praxes of humanity and critiques produced by black people", including Frantz Fanon and Aime Cesaire to Hortense Spillers and Fred Moten. 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 constitutes the very nonhuman disruption and/or disruption" which posthumanists invite. In other words, given that race in general and blackness in particular constitutes the very terms through which human/nonhuman distinctions are made, for example in enduring legacies of scientific racism, a gesture toward a “beyond” actually “returns us to a Eurocentric transcendentalism long challenged”.
gigadeath – the characteristic number of people that 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
Andrew Muzafor Miah (Bengali: এন্ড্রু মুজাফফর মিয়া; born 15 October 1975 in Norwich, Norfolk) is an English bioethicist, academic and journalist. His work often focuses on technology and posthumanism.Australian philosophy
Australian philosophy refers to the philosophical tradition of the people of Australia and of its citizens abroad.Cyborg anthropology
Cyborg anthropology is a discipline that studies the interaction between humanity and technology from an anthropological perspective. The discipline is relatively new, but offers novel insights on new technological advances and their effect on culture and society.Cyborg art
Cyborg art, also known as cyborgism, is an art movement that began in the mid-2000s in Britain. It is based on the creation and addition of new senses to the body via cybernetic implants and the creation of art works through new senses. Cyborg artworks are created by cyborg artists; artists whose senses have been voluntarily enhanced through cybernetic implants. Among the early artists shaping the cyborg art movement are Neil Harbisson, whose antenna implant allows him to perceive ultraviolet and infrared colours, and Moon Ribas whose implants in her elbows allow her to feel earthquakes and moonquakes. Other cyborg artists include:
Manel Muñoz, a Catalan photographer who developed and installed a barometric system in his ears that allows him to perceive atmospheric pressure changes.Joe Dekni, an artist who has developed and installed a radar system in his head. The sensory system includes two implants in his cheekbones.Danish philosophy
Danish philosophy has a long tradition as part of Western philosophy.
Perhaps the most influential Danish philosopher was Søren Kierkegaard, the creator of Christian existentialism, which inspired the philosophical movement of Existentialism. Kierkegaard had a few Danish followers, including Harald Høffding, who later in his life moved on to join the movement of positivism. Among Kierkegaard's other followers include Jean-Paul Sartre who was impressed with Kierkegaard's views on the individual, and Rollo May, who helped create humanistic psychology.Dataism
Dataism is a term that has been used to describe the mindset or philosophy created by the emerging significance of Big Data. It was first used by David Brooks in the New York Times in 2013. More recently, the term has been expanded to describe what social scientist Yuval Noah Harari has called an emerging ideology or even a new form of religion, in which 'information flow' is the 'supreme value'.Gynoid
A gynoid, or fembot, is a feminine humanoid robot. Gynoids appear widely in science fiction film and art. As more realistic humanoid robot design becomes technologically possible, they are also emerging in real-life robot design.Infomorph
An infomorph is a virtual body of information that may possess emergent features such as personality. The term was coined in Charles Platt's 1991 novel The Silicon Man, where it refers to a single biological consciousness transferred into a computer through a process of mind transfer. In the book, a character refers to an infomorph as "intelligence held in a computer memory", and an "information entity".Whether the vision shared in Platt’s novel will ever be more than a theory is uncertain, but computing power is still increasing exponentially (see Moore's law for more details), and the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University have considered the philosophical and technical feasibility of this theory at some point in the future.The Institute considers it theoretically possible to understand the absolute workings of every aspect of the mind, and the ability to measure this in a specific individual, although Heisenberg's uncertainty principle may apply if it is discovered that the brain's workings on a quantum scale are relevant to the workings of the mind. However, the rate of appreciation of knowledge in neuroscience and psychology is far slower than the rate of increase in computing power. There are also philosophical questions to be answered, the most important being the nature of consciousness and whether it is possible to transfer a consciousness or if this transfer would effectively be a copy.Amber Case, a pioneer of cyborg anthropology, considers users of social networks to be "partial infomorphs", along with people whose writing is left behind after their death. She talks of an "informorphic footprint", corresponding to the size of information created and distributed during a person's lifetime.Jasbir Puar
Jasbir K. Puar is a U.S.-based queer theorist and Professor and Graduate Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, where she has been a faculty member since 2000. Her most recent book is The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability (2017). Puar is the author of award-winning Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (2007), which has been translated into Spanish and French and re-issued in an expanded version for its 10th anniversary (December 2017). She has written widely on South Asian disaporic cultural production in the United States, United Kingdom and Trinidad, LGBT tourism, terrorism studies, surveillance studies, biopolitics and necropolitics, disability and debilitation, theories of intersectionality, affect, and assemblage; animal studies and posthumanism, homonationalism, pinkwashing, and the Palestinian territories.List of philosophies
Philosophical schools of thought and philosophical movements.Posthuman
Posthuman or post-human is a concept originating in the fields of science fiction, futurology, contemporary art, and philosophy that literally means a person or entity that exists in a state beyond being human. The concept addresses questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity.
Posthumanism is not to be confused with transhumanism (the nanobiotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality. The notion of the posthuman comes up both in posthumanism as well as transhumanism, but it has a special meaning in each tradition. In 2017, Penn State University Press in cooperation with Stefan Lorenz Sorgner and James Hughes (sociologist) established the "Journal of Posthuman Studies" in which all aspects of the concept "posthuman" can be analysed.Posthuman (disambiguation)
Posthuman is a hypothetical future being whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer human by our current standards.
Posthuman may also refer to:
Posthumanism, postmodern philosophy's reinterpretation of what it means to be a human being
Posthumanization, a process by which a society comes to incorporate members other than human beingsPosthumanization
Posthumanization comprises "those processes by which a society comes to include members other than 'natural' biological human beings who, in one way or another, contribute to the structures, dynamics, or meaning of the society." Posthumanization is one of the key phenomena studied by those academic disciplines and methodologies that identify themselves as "posthumanist", including critical, cultural, and philosophical posthumanism. Its processes can be divided into forms of non-technological and technological posthumanization.Stefan Lorenz Sorgner
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner is a German metahumanist philosopher, a Nietzsche scholar, a philosopher of music and an authority in the field of ethics of emerging technologies.Super Sad True Love Story
Super Sad True Love Story is the third novel by American writer Gary Shteyngart. The novel takes place in a near-future dystopian New York where life is dominated by media and retail.Supergod
Supergod is a 5-issue comic book limited series created by Warren Ellis, published by Avatar Press, with art by Garrie Gastonny. Issue 1 was released in November 2009.
In an essay written at the time of publication, Warren Ellis said:
Supergod is the story of what an actual superhuman arms race might be like. It’s a simple thing to imagine. Humans have been fashioning their own gods with their own hands since the dawn of our time on Earth. We can’t help ourselves. Fertility figures brazen idols, vast chalk etchings, carvings, myths and legends, science fiction writers generating science fiction religions from whole cloth. It’s not such a great leap to conceive of the builders of nuclear weapons and particle accelerators turning their attention to the oldest of human pursuits. Dress it up as superhuman defense, as discovering the limits of the human body, as transhumanism and posthumanism.Transhumanism
Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations as well as the ethical limitations of using such technologies. The most common transhumanist thesis is that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into different beings with abilities so greatly expanded from the current condition as to merit the label of posthuman beings.The contemporary meaning of the term "transhumanism" was foreshadowed by one of the first professors of futurology, FM-2030, who taught "new concepts of the human" at The New School in the 1960s, when he began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and worldviews "transitional" to posthumanity as "transhuman". The assertion would lay the intellectual groundwork for the British philosopher Max More to begin articulating the principles of transhumanism as a futurist philosophy in 1990, and organizing in California an intelligentsia that has since grown into the worldwide transhumanist movement.Influenced by seminal works of science fiction, the transhumanist vision of a transformed future humanity has attracted many supporters and detractors from a wide range of perspectives, including philosophy and religion.Turkish philosophy
Turkish philosophy has long been affected by Islam and the country's proximity to Greece and ancient Greek philosophy.Vegan studies
Vegan studies is the study, within the humanities and social sciences, of veganism as an identity and ideology, and the exploration of its depiction in literature, the arts, popular culture, and the media. In a narrower use of the term, it seeks to establish veganism as a "mode of thinking and writing", a "means of critique", and "a new lens for ecocritical textual analysis". Vegan studies is closely related to critical animal studies.Working within a variety of disciplines, scholars in the field discuss issues such as the commodity status of animals; carnism; veganism and ecofeminism; veganism and race; varieties of veganism; and the effect of animal farming on climate change. Because the field is new, its parameters are unclear; vegan studies or vegan theory can be informed by animal studies, critical race theory, environmental studies and ecocriticism, feminist theory, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and queer theory, incorporating a range of empirical and non-empirical research methodologies.