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The Posthuman

Author : Rosi Braidotti
ISBN : 9780745669960
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 24.26 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

Representations Of The Post Human

Author : Elaine L. Graham
ISBN : 0719054427
Genre : Biotechnology
File Size : 64.35 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

The Posthuman Body In Superhero Comics

Author : Scott Jeffery
ISBN : 9781137549501
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 28.87 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

How We Became Posthuman

Author : N. Katherine Hayles
ISBN : 0226321398
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 89.29 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

Design Mediation And The Posthuman

Author : Dennis M. Weiss
ISBN : 9780739191781
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 85.58 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

Prophets Of The Posthuman

Author : Christina Bieber Lake
ISBN : 9780268158699
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 42.40 MB
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Prophets of the Posthuman provides a fresh and original reading of fictional narratives that raise the question of what it means to be human in the face of rapidly developing bioenhancement technologies. Christina Bieber Lake argues that works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walker Percy, Flannery O'Connor, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, Marilynne Robinson, Raymond Carver, James Tiptree, Jr., and Margaret Atwood must be reevaluated in light of their contributions to larger ethical questions. Drawing on a wide range of sources in philosophical and theological ethics, Lake claims that these writers share a commitment to maintaining a category of personhood more meaningful than that allowed by utilitarian ethics. Prophets of the Posthuman insists that because technology can never ask whether we should do something that we have the power to do, literature must step into that role. Each of the chapters of this interdisciplinary study sets up a typical ethical scenario regarding human enhancement technology and then illustrates how a work of fiction uniquely speaks to that scenario, exposing a realm of human motivations that might otherwise be overlooked or simplified. Through the vision of the writers she discusses, Lake uncovers a deep critique of the ascendancy of personal autonomy as America’s most cherished value. This ascendancy, coupled with technology’s glamorous promises of happiness, helps to shape a utilitarian view of persons that makes responsible ethical behavior toward one another almost impossible. Prophets of the Posthuman charts the essential role that literature must play in the continuing conversation of what it means to be human in a posthuman world.
Category: Literary Criticism

Critical Posthumanism And Planetary Futures

Author : Debashish Banerji
ISBN : 9788132236375
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 34.4 MB
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This volume is a critical exploration of multiple posthuman possibilities in the 21st century and beyond. Due to the global engagement with advanced technology, we are witness to a species-wise blurring of boundaries at the edge of the human. On the one hand, we find ourselves in a digital age in which human identity is being transformed through networked technological intervention, a large part of our consciousness transferred to "smart" external devices. On the other hand, we are assisted---or assailed---by an unprecedented proliferation of quasi-human substitutes and surrogates, forming a spectrum of humanoids with fuzzy borders. Under these conditions, critical posthumanism asks, who will occupy and control our planet: Will the "superhuman" merely serve as another sign under which new regimes of dominance are spread across the earth? Or can we discover or invent technologies of existence to counter such dominance? It is issues such as these which are at the heart of this new volume of explorations of the posthuman. The essays in this volume offer leading-edge thought on the subject, with special emphases on postmodern and postcolonial futures. They engage with questions of subalternity and feminism vis-à-vis posthumanism, dealing with issues of subjugation, dispensability and surrogacy, as well as the possibilities of resistance, ethical politics or subjective transformation from South Asian archives of cultural and spiritual practice. This volume is a valuable addition to the on-going global dialogues on posthumanism, indispensable to those, from across several disciplines, who are interested in postcolonial and planetary futures.
Category: Social Science

Cyberculture Cyborgs And Science Fiction

Author : William S. Haney
ISBN : 9789042019485
Genre : Art
File Size : 90.91 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

Kenneth Burke The Posthuman

Author : Chris Mays
ISBN : 9780271080314
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 60.68 MB
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While rhetoric as a discipline is firmly planted in humanism and anthropology, posthumanism seeks to leave the human behind. This highly original examination of Kenneth Burke’s thought grapples with these ostensibly contradictory concepts as opportunities for invention, revision, and, importantly, transdisciplinary knowledge making. Rather than simply mapping posthumanist rhetorics onto Burke’s scholarship, Kenneth Burke + The Posthuman focuses on the multiplicity of ideas found both in his work and in the idea of posthumanism. Taking varied approaches organized within a framework of boundaries and futures, the contributors show that studying the humanist theories of Burke in this way creates a satisfyingly chaotic web of interconnections. The essays look at how Burke’s writing on the human mind and technology, from his earliest works to his very latest revisions, interrelates with current concepts such as new materiality and coevolution. Throughout, the contributors pay close attention to the fluidity, concerns, and contradictions inherent in language, symbolism, and subjectivity. A unique, illuminating exploration of the contested relationship between bodies and language, this inherently transdisciplinary book will propel important future inquiry by scholars of rhetoric, Burke, and posthumanism. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Casey Boyle, Kristie Fleckenstein, Nathan Gale, Julie Jung, Steven B. Katz, Steven LeMieux, Jodie Nicotra, Jeff Pruchnic, Timothy Richardson, Thomas Rickert, and Robert Wess.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Children S Literature And The Posthuman

Author : Zoe Jaques
ISBN : 9781136674914
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 53.97 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