THE POSTHUMAN

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The Posthuman

Author : Rosi Braidotti
ISBN : 9780745669960
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71.34 MB
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The Posthuman offers both an introduction and major contribution to contemporary debates on the posthuman. Digital 'second life', genetically modified food, advanced prosthetics, robotics and reproductive technologies are familiar facets of our globally linked and technologically mediated societies. This has blurred the traditional distinction between the human and its others, exposing the non-naturalistic structure of the human. The Posthuman starts by exploring the extent to which a post-humanist move displaces the traditional humanistic unity of the subject. Rather than perceiving this situation as a loss of cognitive and moral self-mastery, Braidotti argues that the posthuman helps us make sense of our flexible and multiple identities. Braidotti then analyzes the escalating effects of post-anthropocentric thought, which encompass not only other species, but also the sustainability of our planet as a whole. Because contemporary market economies profit from the control and commodification of all that lives, they result in hybridization, erasing categorical distinctions between the human and other species, seeds, plants, animals and bacteria. These dislocations induced by globalized cultures and economies enable a critique of anthropocentrism, but how reliable are they as indicators of a sustainable future? The Posthuman concludes by considering the implications of these shifts for the institutional practice of the humanities. Braidotti outlines new forms of cosmopolitan neo-humanism that emerge from the spectrum of post-colonial and race studies, as well as gender analysis and environmentalism. The challenge of the posthuman condition consists in seizing the opportunities for new social bonding and community building, while pursuing sustainability and empowerment.
Category: Social Science

Children S Literature And The Posthuman

Author : Zoe Jaques
ISBN : 9781136674914
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 75.47 MB
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An investigation of identity formation in children's literature, this book brings together children’s literature and recent critical concerns with posthuman identity to argue that children’s fiction offers sophisticated interventions into debates about what it means to be human, and in particular about humanity’s relationship to animals and the natural world. In complicating questions of human identity, ecology, gender, and technology, Jaques engages with a multifaceted posthumanism to understand how philosophy can emerge from children's fantasy, disclosing how such fantasy can build upon earlier traditions to represent complex issues of humanness to younger audiences. Interrogating the place of the human through the non-human (whether animal or mechanical) leads this book to have interpretations that radically depart from the critical tradition, which, in its concerns with the socialization and representation of the child, has ignored larger epistemologies of humanness. The book considers canonical texts of children's literature alongside recent bestsellers and films, locating texts such as Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Pinocchio (1883) and the Alice books (1865, 1871) as important works in the evolution of posthuman ideas. This study provides radical new readings of children’s literature and demonstrates that the genre offers sophisticated interventions into the nature, boundaries and dominion of humanity.
Category: Literary Criticism

Representations Of The Post Human

Author : Elaine L. Graham
ISBN : 0719054427
Genre : Biotechnology
File Size : 46.3 MB
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This work draws together a wide range of literature on contemporary technologies and their ethical implications. It focuses on advances in medical, reproductive, genetic and information technologies.
Category: Biotechnology

Posthumanism

Author : Stefan Herbrechter
ISBN : 9781780936062
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 82.75 MB
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Provides an analysis of the main preconceptions and desires underlying past and current representations of posthumanist futures.
Category: Literary Criticism

The Posthuman Body In Superhero Comics

Author : Scott Jeffery
ISBN : 9781137549501
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71.81 MB
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This book examines the concepts of Post/Humanism and Transhumanism as depicted in superhero comics. Recent decades have seen mainstream audiences embrace the comic book Superhuman. Meanwhile there has been increasing concern surrounding human enhancement technologies, with the techno-scientific movement of Transhumanism arguing that it is time humans took active control of their evolution. Utilising Deleuze and Guattari’s notion of the rhizome as a non-hierarchical system of knowledge to conceptualize the superhero narrative in terms of its political, social and aesthetic relations to the history of human technological enhancement, this book draws upon a diverse range of texts to explore the way in which the posthuman has been represented in superhero comics, while simultaneously highlighting its shared historical development with Post/Humanist critical theory and the material techno-scientific practices of Transhumanism.
Category: Social Science

Design Mediation And The Posthuman

Author : Dennis M. Weiss
ISBN : 9780739191781
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 77.94 MB
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Though the progress of technology continually pushes life toward virtual existence, the last decade has witnessed a renewed focus on materiality. Design, Mediation, and the Posthuman bears witness to the attention paid by literary theorists, digital humanists, rhetoricians, philosophers, and designers to the crafted environment, the manner in which artifacts mediate human relations, and the constitution of a world in which the boundary between humans and things has seemingly imploded. The chapters reflect on questions about the extent to which we ought to view humans and nonhuman artifacts as having equal capacity for agency and life, and the ways in which technological mediation challenges the central tenets of humanism and anthropocentrism. Contemporary theories of human-object relations presage the arrival of the posthuman, which is no longer a futuristic or science-fictional concept but rather one descriptive of the present, and indeed, the past. Discussions of the posthuman already have a long history in fields like literary theory, rhetoric, and philosophy, and as advances in design and technology result in increasingly engaging artifacts that mediate more and more aspects of everyday life, it becomes necessary to engage in a systematic, interdisciplinary, critical examination of the intersection of the domains of design, technological mediation, and the posthuman. Thus, this collection brings diverse disciplines together to foster a dialogue on significant technological issues pertinent to philosophy, rhetoric, aesthetics, and science.
Category: Philosophy

Cyberculture Cyborgs And Science Fiction

Author : William S. Haney
ISBN : 9789042019485
Genre : Art
File Size : 52.19 MB
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Addressing a key issue related to human nature, this book argues that the first-person experience of pure consciousness may soon be under threat from posthuman biotechnology. In exploiting the mind's capacity for instrumental behavior, posthumanists seek to extend human experience by physically projecting the mind outward through the continuity of thought and the material world, as through telepresence and other forms of prosthetic enhancements. Posthumanism envisions a biology/machine symbiosis that will promote this extension, arguably at the expense of the natural tendency of the mind to move toward pure consciousness. As each chapter of this book contends, by forcibly overextending and thus jeopardizing the neurophysiology of consciousness, the posthuman condition could in the long term undermine human nature, defined as the effortless capacity for transcending the mind's conceptual content.Presented here for the first time, the essential argument of this book is more than a warning; it gives a direction: far better to practice patience and develop pure consciousness and evolve into a higher human being than to fall prey to the Faustian temptations of biotechnological power. As argued throughout the book, each person must choose for him or herself between the technological extension of physical experience through mind, body and world on the one hand, and the natural powers of human consciousness on the other as a means to realize their ultimate vision.
Category: Art

Globalization And The Posthuman

Author : William S. Haney II
ISBN : 9781443809443
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 69.76 MB
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Globalization and the Posthuman argues that by globalizing posthumanism through biotechnology, particularly through the invasive interface of humans and machines, we may well interfere with and even undermine the innate quality of human psycho-physiology and the experience of the internal observer, the non-socially constructed self or pure consciousness. Furthermore, many features of globalization in-and-of itself—such as the fall of public man, the exterritorialization of capital, the loss of an impersonal public world to localized communities based on emotively shared interests—combined with the posthuman expansion of biotechnology will diminish our natural capacity to experience the self as knower and lead to an increase in global crime, sickness, accident rates and overall lack of harmony. The experience of the self comprises the unsayable secret of modern and postmodern literature and art, a secret that may soon become inaccessible if the world continues down the road of globalized infomania. The analysis of the consequences of globalization and the posthuman in this book is unique in that it will be the first to examine the interrelation between globalization, posthumanism and pure consciousness. Posthumanists define consciousness in a way that promotes the globalization of biotechnology without regard for its potential risks. This book explores the implications of the globalization of the posthuman model of consciousness. On the one hand, cognitive scientists tend to equate consciousness with subjectivity, which they associate with the thinking mind as an extension of the body, nature and culture; Eastern philosophy, on the other hand, distinguishes mind from consciousness, with mind defined as the content of consciousness. Bionic technology will have the effect of raising human metabolism and preventing the mind from settling down to the state of least excitation of consciousness. This book suggests that while conscious content is an indispensable aspect of both the human and posthuman condition, the thoughts, memories, feelings and perceptions of this content do not encompass a vital aspect of human nature attested to not only by the first-person experience of many millions of people around the world, but also by the records of both classical and modern contemplative traditions.
Category: Literary Criticism

How We Became Posthuman

Author : N. Katherine Hayles
ISBN : 0226321398
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 45.95 MB
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In this age of DNA computers and artificial intelligence, information is becoming disembodied even as the "bodies" that once carried it vanish into virtuality. While some marvel at these changes, envisioning consciousness downloaded into a computer or humans "beamed" Star Trek-style, others view them with horror, seeing monsters brooding in the machines. In How We Became Posthuman, N. Katherine Hayles separates hype from fact, investigating the fate of embodiment in an information age. Hayles relates three interwoven stories: how information lost its body, that is, how it came to be conceptualized as an entity separate from the material forms that carry it; the cultural and technological construction of the cyborg; and the dismantling of the liberal humanist "subject" in cybernetic discourse, along with the emergence of the "posthuman." Ranging widely across the history of technology, cultural studies, and literary criticism, Hayles shows what had to be erased, forgotten, and elided to conceive of information as a disembodied entity. Thus she moves from the post-World War II Macy Conferences on cybernetics to the 1952 novel Limbo by cybernetics aficionado Bernard Wolfe; from the concept of self-making to Philip K. Dick's literary explorations of hallucination and reality; and from artificial life to postmodern novels exploring the implications of seeing humans as cybernetic systems. Although becoming posthuman can be nightmarish, Hayles shows how it can also be liberating. From the birth of cybernetics to artificial life, How We Became Posthuman provides an indispensable account of how we arrived in our virtual age, and of where we might go from here.
Category: Philosophy

Posthuman Metamorphosis

Author : Bruce Clarke
ISBN : 9780823228515
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 69.3 MB
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From Dr. Moreau's Beast People to David Cronenberg's Brundlefly, Stanislaw Lem's robot constructors in the Cyberiad to Octavia Butler's human/alien constructs in the Xenogenesis trilogy, Posthuman Metamorphosis examines modern and postmodern stories of corporeal transformation throughinterlocking frames of posthumanism, narratology, and second-order systems theory. New media generate new metamorphs.New stories have emerged from cybernetic displacements of life, sensation, or intelligence from human beings to machines. But beyond the vogue for the cyborg and the cybernetic mash-up of the organic and the mechanical, Posthuman Metamorphosis develops neocybernetic systems theories illuminatingalternative narratives that elicit autopoietic and symbiotic visions of the posthuman.Systems theory also transforms our modes of narrative cognition. Regarding narrative in the light of the autopoietic systems it brings into play, neocybernetics brings narrative theory into constructive relation with the systems it brings into play, neocybernetics brings narrative theory intoconstructive relation with the systemic operations of observation, communication, and paradox. Posthuman Metamorphosis draws on Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway, Niklas Luhmann, Cary Wolfe, Mieke Bal, Katherine Hayles, Friedrich Kittler, and Lynn Margulis to read narratives of bodily metamorphosis as allegories of the contingencies of systems. Tracing the posthuman intuitions of both pre- andpost-cybernetic metamorphs, it demonstrates the viability of second-order systems theories for narrative theory, media theory, cultural science studies, and literary criticism.
Category: Literary Criticism