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Posthuman – Wikipedia

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

In critical theory, the posthuman is a speculative being that represents or seeks to re-conceive the human. It is the object of posthumanist criticism, which critically questions humanism, a branch of humanist philosophy which claims that human nature is a universal state from which the human being emerges; human nature is autonomous, rational, capable of free will, and unified in itself as the apex of existence. Thus, the posthuman position recognizes imperfectability and disunity within him or herself, and understands the world through heterogeneous perspectives while seeking to maintain intellectual rigour and a dedication to objective observations. Key to this posthuman practice is the ability to fluidly change perspectives and manifest oneself through different identities. The posthuman, for critical theorists of the subject, has an emergent ontology rather than a stable one; in other words, the posthuman is not a singular, defined individual, but rather one who can “become” or embody different identities and understand the world from multiple, heterogeneous perspectives.[4]

Critical discourses surrounding posthumanism are not homogeneous, but in fact present a series of often contradictory ideas, and the term itself is contested, with one of the foremost authors associated with posthumanism, Manuel de Landa, decrying the term as “very silly.”[5] Covering the ideas of, for example, Robert Pepperell’s The Posthuman Condition, and Hayles’s How We Became Posthuman under a single term is distinctly problematic due to these contradictions.

The posthuman is roughly synonymous with the “cyborg” of A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway.[6] Haraway’s conception of the cyborg is an ironic take on traditional conceptions of the cyborg that inverts the traditional trope of the cyborg whose presence questions the salient line between humans and robots. Haraway’s cyborg is in many ways the “beta” version of the posthuman, as her cyborg theory prompted the issue to be taken up in critical theory.[7] Following Haraway, Hayles, whose work grounds much of the critical posthuman discourse, asserts that liberal humanism – which separates the mind from the body and thus portrays the body as a “shell” or vehicle for the mind – becomes increasingly complicated in the late 20th and 21st centuries because information technology puts the human body in question. Hayles maintains that we must be conscious of information technology advancements while understanding information as “disembodied,” that is, something which cannot fundamentally replace the human body but can only be incorporated into it and human life practices.[8]

The idea of post-posthumanism (post-cyborgism) has recently been introduced.[9][10][11][12][13] This body of work outlines the after-effects of long-term adaptation to cyborg technologies and their subsequent removal, e.g., what happens after 20 years of constantly wearing computer-mediating eyeglass technologies and subsequently removing them, and of long-term adaptation to virtual worlds followed by return to “reality.”[14][15] and the associated post-cyborg ethics (e.g. the ethics of forced removal of cyborg technologies by authorities, etc.).[16]

Posthuman political and natural rights have been framed on a spectrum with animal rights and human rights.[17]

According to transhumanist thinkers, a posthuman is a hypothetical future being “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards.”[18] Posthumans primarily focus on cybernetics, the posthuman consequent and the relationship to digital technology. The emphasis is on systems. Transhumanism does not focus on either of these. Instead, transhumanism focuses on the modification of the human species via any kind of emerging science, including genetic engineering, digital technology, and bioengineering.[19]

Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousnesses, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound technological augmentations to a biological human, i.e. a cyborg. Some examples of the latter are redesigning the human organism using advanced nanotechnology or radical enhancement using some combination of technologies such as genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, life extension therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information management tools, memory enhancing drugs, wearable or implanted computers, and cognitive techniques.[18]

As used in this article, “posthuman” does not necessarily refer to a conjectured future where humans are extinct or otherwise absent from the Earth. As with other species who speciate from one another, both humans and posthumans could continue to exist. However, the apocalyptic scenario appears to be a viewpoint shared among a minority of transhumanists such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] and Hans Moravec, who could be considered misanthropes, at least in regard to humanity in its current state. Alternatively, others such as Kevin Warwick argue for the likelihood that both humans and posthumans will continue to exist but the latter will predominate in society over the former because of their abilities.[20] Recently, scholars have begun to speculate that posthumanism provides an alternative analysis of apocalyptic cinema and fiction, often casting vampires, werewolves and even zombies as potential evolutions of the human form and being.[21]

Many science fiction authors, such as Greg Egan, H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Bruce Sterling, Frederik Pohl, Greg Bear, Charles Stross, Neal Asher, Ken MacLeod, Peter F. Hamilton and authors of the Orion’s Arm Universe,[22] have written works set in posthuman futures.

A variation on the posthuman theme is the notion of a “posthuman god”; the idea that posthumans, being no longer confined to the parameters of human nature, might grow physically and mentally so powerful as to appear possibly god-like by present-day human standards.[18] This notion should not be interpreted as being related to the idea portrayed in some science fiction that a sufficiently advanced species may “ascend” to a higher plane of existencerather, it merely means that some posthuman beings may become so exceedingly intelligent and technologically sophisticated that their behaviour would not possibly be comprehensible to modern humans, purely by reason of their limited intelligence and imagination.[23]

See more here:

Posthuman – Wikipedia

Transhumanism & Posthumanism | BioethicsBytes

In this, the first of three episodes, the BBC4 mini-series Visions of The Future examines how some of the scientific advances of the 20th and early-21st century may shape our future. Specifically, presenter Michio Kaku Professor of physics and co-creator of string field theory posits that we are on the brink of an historic transition from the the age of scientific discovery to the age of scientific mastery (00:01:20). He suggests that having created artificial intelligence, unravelled the molecule of life and unlocked the secrets of matter (all 00:01:03), science of the future will be concerned with more than mere observation of nature. It will be concerned with its mastery.

Thus, while the individual programmes each explore human mastery of one of three key areas (intelligence, DNA and matter), the series as a whole maintains a consistent theme: that though this mastery offers us unparalleled freedom and opportunities (00:57:47) it also presents us with profound challenges and choices (00:01:46). Kaku refers to key social issues that will be raised by future science and technology as topics we must start to address today (00:57:59). In the first episode Kaku introduces a number of developments stemming from ubiquitous computing (00:06:19), many of which intersect with relatively new areas of debate in bioethics. Ubiquitous computing or ubiquitous technology is the view that powerful computer microchips will soon be everywhere. They will be such a taken-for-granted feature of every product we use or buy, that they will become largely unnoticed and invisible. While obvious applications of this include intelligent cars and roads, health care monitoring technologies might also become commonplace. For example, Kaku suggests that wearable computers (00:07:40) in our clothes will monitor our health from the outside, and that by swallowing an aspirin-sized pill with the power of a PC and a video camera (00:08:45) the health of our internal organs might also be continuously assessed.

However, as interviewee Susan Greenfield notes, the biggest changes may come when ubiquitous technology converges with the internet (00:09:11); changes which raise some rather disturbing questions (00:18:00). These focus on issues of identity (loss of identity, multiple identities), the preference of virtual social networks over real social networks, and the impact upon family life. As Greenfield further comments, current experience with virtual reality worlds like Second Life and online gaming, suggests changes are already taking place in these areas.

For Kaku, however, it is in AI (artificial intelligence) that an evolutionary leap that will profoundly challenge the human condition (00:22:08) is now taking place. While he does describe the types of monitoring technologies noted above as machine intelligences, it is in the move towards intelligent machines that the future lies. It is these machines that raise a number of important questions with respect to the relatively new bioethical area of robot ethics, including:

These questions also intersect with long-standing debates in philosophy and other areas of ethics, and have also been explored in popular science books and TV fiction (see the BioethicsBytes posts on Kevin Warwicks I, Cyborg and the Cybermen episodes of BBCs Doctor Who). For example, phenomenologists, epistemologists and AI experts have long debated whether machines will ever display human level intelligence (00:29:18) including such social skills as getting the joke (00:37:52) or whether they will be limited to merely mimicking some aspects of it. Kaku explores this question with commentators and AI researchers like Ray Kurzweil and Rosalind Picard, and focuses on emotion, which he suggests is critical for higher intelligence (00:36:58). Current work in affective computing is directed towards developing robots with some such capacities, though as technology forecaster Paul Saffo notes, youll know its not really intelligent (00:35:51).

Similarly, questions around how we might relate to intelligent machines resonate with debates in animal ethics. Kaku notes the tendency to anthropomorphise robots that appear intelligent. He refers to his own Roomba robot, and says of the Japanese robot Asimo I know Asimo is a machine, but I find myself relating to it as if it were a real person (00:32:33). This introduces one of the key issues in the new area of robot ethics: at what point might machines come to be seen as persons rather than mere things, and if this does occur should they be granted robot rights? (see for example Sawyer. 2007. Robot Ethics. Science Magazine, Vol. 318, pp. 1037). Extending this further, Visions of the Future considers what relationship we humans might have with machines whose intelligence greatly exceeded our own. This discussion is predicated on the possibility that intelligent machines might outgrow human control (00:40:15), and examines whether this would be based on harmony or conflict. Here the focus is not on how we will treat the machines of the future, but on how they might treat us.

However, as the final sections of this episode of Visions of the Future highlight, the distinction and opposition of the categories human and machine implied above may have limited relevance in the future. Alongside the drive to create intelligent machines, Kaku notes growing interest in the mechanical enhancement of human intelligence: as machines become more like humans, humans may become more like machines (00:43:36). Further, we are asked precisely how many of our natural body parts could we replace with artificial ones before we begin to loose our sense of being human? (00:55:27).

These concerns echo several of the dominant themes in posthumanism: the philosophical trend and cultural movement that both observes and advocates moving beyond a traditional or classical modern conception of the nature of humanity. In the form of transhumanism, this approach embraces the notion of upgraded human, the cyborg, as the next inevitable evolutionary step. In may ways, Visions of the Future functions to outline, both the steps in the posthumanist argument, and it ultimate endpoint. It highlights how technologies currently used for therapeutic purposes could be used to enhance various human capacities (the examples used here are mood, memory and intelligence), however, that those who choose not to take part in this revolution will find themselves severely disadvantaged. Paul Saffo notes all revolutions have winners and losers, this revolution is no exception the big losers are the people who say they dont want to get involved. They are the ones who are going to discover that being a little bit out of touch will have some unpleasant consequences (00:56:39).

Overall this futuristic first episode of the Visions of the Future series sets a tone of expectation both of the future and the next two episodes. It is engaging and useful, both in its presentation of the science, and the questions it raises regarding the social and ethical implications of the intelligence revolution.

The first of three episodes of Visions of the Future was first broadcast on BBC4 on November 5th 2007 at 21:00 (TRILT identifier: 00741D95).

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Transhumanism & Posthumanism | BioethicsBytes

Cary Wolfes What is Posthumanism? Introductory …

In the introduction to Cary Wolfes What is Posthumanism?, his objective is to find ways to push human analysis beyond its inherent anthropocentrism. In this book, Wolfe engages the ongoing discussion of the transformation of the human, and it is through this introductory chapter that he attempts to unravel the problem of humanism, which he believes has been responsible for positioning humans as superior to other life forms and animals.He states: Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people []Humanists endorse universal morality based on the commonality of the human condition.

The above passage is from a Wikipedia article that Wolfe purposely includes because he wishes to point out humanisms categorical separation between the human and the non-human, and its conception of Man as a privileged being. Wolfe s goal is to point to the specific concept of the humanthat grounds discrimination against nonhuman animals and the disabled in the first place.Wolfe thinks that in order to even start to think about posthumanism, we must stop placingthe human at the top of a hierarchy of living animals and looking at the human as the pinnacle of perfection for all other beings to be measured against.

Wolfe cites R. L. Rutsky who states: The posthuman cannot simply be identified as a culture or age that comes after the human []for the very idea of such a passage, however measured or qualified it may be, continues to rely upon a humanist narrative of historical change. This is not to say that Wolfe rejects humanism entirely, but rather that he thinks we need to move away from trying to redefine the human as we have come to understand it. Man should never have been so privileged, and should never have dictated what living beings must try to aspire to me.Unlike Hassan, Badmington, or Robert Pepperels take on posthumanism, Wolfe complicates the transformation of the human into posthuman and suggests that it is something more than just a new way of thinking that comes into play with theEnlightenment and Mans wish to become a liberated subject.

He elaborates on this in the following passage:If,however, the posthuman truly involves a fundamental change or mutation in the concept of the human, this would seem to imply that history and culture cannot continue to be figured in reference to thisconcept.Inother words, there are humanist ways of criticizing the extension of humanism that we find in transhumanism.Wolfe believes that transhumanism has been used to describe beingswhose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to no longer be unambiguously human by our current standards. Transhuman [] is the description of those who are in the process of becoming post-human.

This passage hits several points, the first being that transhumanism describes something so enhanced as to not be recognizably human. This suggests a higher state of being, which implies that transhumanism as an extension of post humanism is merely what comes next the next generation of an already superior being.From what Wolfe has stated thus far, I can gather that he does not see posthumanism as Mans evololution into something more. If anything, this definition is the opposite of how he sees posthumanism, for the rhetoric still suggests that Man sits atop a hierarchy.

This becomes clear further along in the introduction, as Wolfe cites Nick Bostrom in order to communicate his point:This sense of posthumanism derives directly from ideals of human perfectibility, rationality, and agency inherited from Renaissance humanism and the Enlightenment.Wolfe then states that the best-known inheritor of the cyborg strand of posthumanism is what is now being called transhumanisma movement that is dedicated, as the journalist and writer Joel Garreau puts it, to the enhancement of human intellectual, physical, and emotional capabilities, the elimination of disease and unnecessary suffering, and the dramatic extension of life span.

From this, I can discern that for Wolfe, posthumanism is the complete opposite of transhumanism, which he sees as nothing more than an intensification of humanism. Wolfe insists that his sense of posthumanismis thus analogous to Jean-Franois Lyotards paradoxical rendering of the postmodern: it comes both before and after humanism,which implies that it is not automatically post it exists alongside.Furthermore, he writes:Posthumanism in my sense isnt posthuman at allin the sense of being after our embodiment has been transcendedbut is only posthumanist, in the sense that it opposes the fantasies of disembodiment and autonomy, inherited from humanism itself.

Wolfe does not seem convinced that posthumanism should have anything to do with autonomy and superiority, as these seem to be the egotistical needs acquired from the humanist idea of mastering other species. He writes:To be truly posthumanist, the concept of subjectivity itself needs to be undermined and transformed in a way that does not privilege the human. It is only by giving up notions of personhood that speciesism can be destabilized, he argues, so that we can become posthumanists.Wolfe tries to re-imagine subjectivity as something not exclusively human in order to answer what posthumanism is. Rather than focus on what it has been historically, he imagines what it could be if anthropologically, we were no longer invested in maintaining human superiority.

Works Cited:

Wolfe, Cary. Introduction: What is Posthumanism?What is Posthumanism? xi-xxxiv.

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Cary Wolfes What is Posthumanism? Introductory …

Posthumanism week 3 Lorna Simmonds

Is what you make worth what it destroys?

To investigate how our creative impetus may affect the world

A problem of Globalisation?

Tony frys Design in the borderlands

Problem = monstrous project of total economic colonization, globalization creates a single global shared view and eradicated all the local ones so need to compromise opinions. Seek knowledge from other cultures and see what other think, make us more sustainable

Marshall mcluhan

Technology shapes ourselves in the world, extends ability and processes it in some way. They work us over, they leave no part of us untouched or unaffected. Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of media and technology

Electricity and circuits are an extension of the nervous system.

Mining a longer text how do media (technology) shape the body or the world?

Clothing our extended skin

How the media shapes the body or human experience influences in fashion from the media, effects the way we dress. Alters temperature, clothing can be used as a heat controlling mechanism as an extension of the skin. Began to dress for the eyes in Europe instead of for traditional clothing. Offensive text

Washing machine process of making things more efficient and quicker makes it less common to hand wash, hand wash may be more therapeutic and rewarding, sense of achievement. Mechanizing it removes the experience and turn it more into a work process.

Clock limits and restricts what theyre doing, without a clock we would have no measure of time. Time is a part of globalization. Time is valuable, time is commodified, its about how quick you can do things rather than what you do with it. Paid with time. Time is a construct of human perception.

Clothes clothes change the way we interact with the world. Can be physically constricted. Offensive and sexist and racist, talks about backwards people in tribes, women dressing to be looked at but now dressed to be looked at and touched.

Ontological design design a reality

-design is something more inescapable and profound that is generally recognised by designers it designs the world, it designs into existence and also designs out of existence certain features

-designing is fundamental to being human we design in ways that prefigure our actions, we are designed by our designing and by that which we have designed.

We design our world and our world designs us

Design practice directs the trajectory of the future; it designs away certain possibilities of the present.

Design is never complete because i never ceases to have consequences.

Is what you make worth what it destroys?

Tonkinwises Design away

How does he suggest design (practice) affects the world?

Dont agree with the text, we need to design to make a living, dont really have time to think about its effects when we need to survive. Trying to get people to not design. Says that design effects everything, creating a new object destroys other things such as materials and ecology.

Like Loading…

Related

Read the original here:

Posthumanism week 3 Lorna Simmonds

Posthumanism/Post biology Dr. S. Devika

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. In critical theory, the posthuman is a speculative being that represents or seeks to re-conceive the human. It is the object of posthumanist criticism to critically question Renaissance humanism, a branch of humanist philosophy which claims that human nature is a universal state from which the human being emerges; human nature is autonomous, rational, capable of free will, and unified in itself as the apex of existence. Thus, the posthuman position recognizes imperfectability and disunity within him or herself, and understands the world through heterogeneous perspectives while seeking to maintain intellectual rigour and a dedication to objective observations. Key to this posthuman practice is the ability to fluidly change perspectives and manifest oneself through different identities. The posthuman, for critical theorists of the subject, has an emergent ontology rather than a stable one; in other words, the posthuman is not a singular, defined individual, but rather one who can become or embody different identities and understand the world from multiple, heterogeneous perspectives.

The posthuman is roughly synonymous with the cyborg of A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway. Haraways cyborg is in many ways the beta version of the posthuman.

Following Haraway, Hayles, whose work grounds much of the critical posthuman discourse, asserts that liberal humanism which separates the mind from the body and thus portrays the body as a shell or vehicle for the mind becomes increasingly complicated in the late 20th and 21st centuries because information technology put the human bodyin question. Hayles maintains that we must be conscious of information technological advancements while understanding information as disembodied, that is, something which cannot fundamentally replace the human body but can only be incorporated into it and human life practices.

Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousnesses, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound technological augmentations to a biological human, i.e. a cyborg. Some examples of the latter are redesigning the human organism using advanced nanotechnology or radical enhancement using some combination of technologies such as genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, life extension therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information management tools, memory enhancing drugs, wearable or implanted computers, and cognitive techniques.

Posthuman does not necessarily refer to a conjectured future where humans are extinct or otherwise absent from the Earth. Both humans and posthumans could continue to exist but the latter will predominate in society over the former because of their abilities. Recently, scholars have begun to speculate that posthumanism provides an alternative analysis of apocalyptic cinema and fiction, often casting vampires, werewolves and even zombies as potential evolutions of the human form and being. Many science fiction authors have written works set in posthuman futures.

Postbiological evolution is a form of evolution which has transitioned from a biological paradigm, driven by the propagation of genes, to a non-biological (e.g., cultural or technological) paradigm, presumably driven by some alternative replicator (e.g., memes or temes), and potentially resulting in the extinction, obsolescence, or trophic reorganization of the former. Researchers anticipating a postbiological universe tend to describe this transition as marked by the maturation and potential convergence of high technologies, such as artificial intelligence or nanotechnology. Experts in AI even believe it holds the potential and capability for a postbiological earth in the next several generations. AI could be utilised to solve scientific problems and to analyse situations much faster and more accurately than our own minds.

The move to a complete postbiological stage has two different routes. One route is the change of human consciousness from a biological vessel into a mechanical; this would require the digitisation of human consciousness. A mechanical based vessel would increase the computational power and intelligence of the human consciousness exponentially. The other route is the complete replacement of human consciousness by AI, for this the human race would die out, replaced by our own creation of AI.

While in some circles the expression postbiological evolution is roughly synonymous with human genetic engineering, it is used most often to refer to the general application of the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science to improve human performance.

However, the most common criticism of human enhancement is that it is or will often be practiced with a reckless and selfish short-term perspective that is ignorant of the long-term consequences on individuals and the rest of society, such as the fear that some enhancements will create unfair physical or mental advantages to those who can and will use them, or unequal access to such enhancements can and will further the gulf between the haves and have-nots.

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See the original post:

Posthumanism/Post biology Dr. S. Devika

Posthumanism week 3 Lorna Simmonds

Is what you make worth what it destroys?

To investigate how our creative impetus may affect the world

A problem of Globalisation?

Tony frys Design in the borderlands

Problem = monstrous project of total economic colonization, globalization creates a single global shared view and eradicated all the local ones so need to compromise opinions. Seek knowledge from other cultures and see what other think, make us more sustainable

Marshall mcluhan

Technology shapes ourselves in the world, extends ability and processes it in some way. They work us over, they leave no part of us untouched or unaffected. Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of media and technology

Electricity and circuits are an extension of the nervous system.

Mining a longer text how do media (technology) shape the body or the world?

Clothing our extended skin

How the media shapes the body or human experience influences in fashion from the media, effects the way we dress. Alters temperature, clothing can be used as a heat controlling mechanism as an extension of the skin. Began to dress for the eyes in Europe instead of for traditional clothing. Offensive text

Washing machine process of making things more efficient and quicker makes it less common to hand wash, hand wash may be more therapeutic and rewarding, sense of achievement. Mechanizing it removes the experience and turn it more into a work process.

Clock limits and restricts what theyre doing, without a clock we would have no measure of time. Time is a part of globalization. Time is valuable, time is commodified, its about how quick you can do things rather than what you do with it. Paid with time. Time is a construct of human perception.

Clothes clothes change the way we interact with the world. Can be physically constricted. Offensive and sexist and racist, talks about backwards people in tribes, women dressing to be looked at but now dressed to be looked at and touched.

Ontological design design a reality

-design is something more inescapable and profound that is generally recognised by designers it designs the world, it designs into existence and also designs out of existence certain features

-designing is fundamental to being human we design in ways that prefigure our actions, we are designed by our designing and by that which we have designed.

We design our world and our world designs us

Design practice directs the trajectory of the future; it designs away certain possibilities of the present.

Design is never complete because i never ceases to have consequences.

Is what you make worth what it destroys?

Tonkinwises Design away

How does he suggest design (practice) affects the world?

Dont agree with the text, we need to design to make a living, dont really have time to think about its effects when we need to survive. Trying to get people to not design. Says that design effects everything, creating a new object destroys other things such as materials and ecology.

Like Loading…

Related

Read this article:

Posthumanism week 3 Lorna Simmonds

Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now | TED Talk

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Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now | TED Talk

Posthuman – Wikipedia

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

In critical theory, the posthuman is a speculative being that represents or seeks to re-conceive the human. It is the object of posthumanist criticism, which critically questions humanism, a branch of humanist philosophy which claims that human nature is a universal state from which the human being emerges; human nature is autonomous, rational, capable of free will, and unified in itself as the apex of existence. Thus, the posthuman position recognizes imperfectability and disunity within him or herself, and understands the world through heterogeneous perspectives while seeking to maintain intellectual rigour and a dedication to objective observations. Key to this posthuman practice is the ability to fluidly change perspectives and manifest oneself through different identities. The posthuman, for critical theorists of the subject, has an emergent ontology rather than a stable one; in other words, the posthuman is not a singular, defined individual, but rather one who can “become” or embody different identities and understand the world from multiple, heterogeneous perspectives.[4]

Critical discourses surrounding posthumanism are not homogeneous, but in fact present a series of often contradictory ideas, and the term itself is contested, with one of the foremost authors associated with posthumanism, Manuel de Landa, decrying the term as “very silly.”[5] Covering the ideas of, for example, Robert Pepperell’s The Posthuman Condition, and Hayles’s How We Became Posthuman under a single term is distinctly problematic due to these contradictions.

The posthuman is roughly synonymous with the “cyborg” of A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway.[6] Haraway’s conception of the cyborg is an ironic take on traditional conceptions of the cyborg that inverts the traditional trope of the cyborg whose presence questions the salient line between humans and robots. Haraway’s cyborg is in many ways the “beta” version of the posthuman, as her cyborg theory prompted the issue to be taken up in critical theory.[7] Following Haraway, Hayles, whose work grounds much of the critical posthuman discourse, asserts that liberal humanism – which separates the mind from the body and thus portrays the body as a “shell” or vehicle for the mind – becomes increasingly complicated in the late 20th and 21st centuries because information technology puts the human body in question. Hayles maintains that we must be conscious of information technology advancements while understanding information as “disembodied,” that is, something which cannot fundamentally replace the human body but can only be incorporated into it and human life practices.[8]

The idea of post-posthumanism (post-cyborgism) has recently been introduced.[9][10][11][12][13] This body of work outlines the after-effects of long-term adaptation to cyborg technologies and their subsequent removal, e.g., what happens after 20 years of constantly wearing computer-mediating eyeglass technologies and subsequently removing them, and of long-term adaptation to virtual worlds followed by return to “reality.”[14][15] and the associated post-cyborg ethics (e.g. the ethics of forced removal of cyborg technologies by authorities, etc.).[16]

Posthuman political and natural rights have been framed on a spectrum with animal rights and human rights.[17]

According to transhumanist thinkers, a posthuman is a hypothetical future being “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards.”[18] Posthumans primarily focus on cybernetics, the posthuman consequent and the relationship to digital technology. The emphasis is on systems. Transhumanism does not focus on either of these. Instead, transhumanism focuses on the modification of the human species via any kind of emerging science, including genetic engineering, digital technology, and bioengineering.[19]

Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousnesses, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound technological augmentations to a biological human, i.e. a cyborg. Some examples of the latter are redesigning the human organism using advanced nanotechnology or radical enhancement using some combination of technologies such as genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, life extension therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information management tools, memory enhancing drugs, wearable or implanted computers, and cognitive techniques.[18]

As used in this article, “posthuman” does not necessarily refer to a conjectured future where humans are extinct or otherwise absent from the Earth. As with other species who speciate from one another, both humans and posthumans could continue to exist. However, the apocalyptic scenario appears to be a viewpoint shared among a minority of transhumanists such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] and Hans Moravec, who could be considered misanthropes, at least in regard to humanity in its current state. Alternatively, others such as Kevin Warwick argue for the likelihood that both humans and posthumans will continue to exist but the latter will predominate in society over the former because of their abilities.[20] Recently, scholars have begun to speculate that posthumanism provides an alternative analysis of apocalyptic cinema and fiction, often casting vampires, werewolves and even zombies as potential evolutions of the human form and being.[21]

Many science fiction authors, such as Greg Egan, H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Bruce Sterling, Frederik Pohl, Greg Bear, Charles Stross, Neal Asher, Ken MacLeod, Peter F. Hamilton and authors of the Orion’s Arm Universe,[22] have written works set in posthuman futures.

A variation on the posthuman theme is the notion of a “posthuman god”; the idea that posthumans, being no longer confined to the parameters of human nature, might grow physically and mentally so powerful as to appear possibly god-like by present-day human standards.[18] This notion should not be interpreted as being related to the idea portrayed in some science fiction that a sufficiently advanced species may “ascend” to a higher plane of existencerather, it merely means that some posthuman beings may become so exceedingly intelligent and technologically sophisticated that their behaviour would not possibly be comprehensible to modern humans, purely by reason of their limited intelligence and imagination.[23]

Read more here:

Posthuman – Wikipedia

Cary Wolfe: What Is Posthumanism? – UMP | University of …

Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English at Rice University. He is author of What Is Posthumanism? (2009), the 8th installment in UMP’s Posthumanities Series. His previous books include Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the Outside and Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory, and editor of Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal. Here is an excerpt of an essay Cary Wolfe wrote for this blog to introduce his posthumanist (as opposed to posthuman) theory. You can read the full text here.

DISCOVERING THE HUMAN

One of the main points I stress in my new book is that posthumanism as I understand it is not posthuman but rather posthumanist. Of course, humanism is a term that covers so much ground, comprises so many different thinkers, movements, and values, that any deployment of the term is bound to be a little reductive. I begin the book with this more or less representative definition that pops up in a Google search:

It will probably come as no surprise that I share many of the values and aspirations announced in such a definition. In fact, I go out of my way to insist that posthumanism as I use the term isnt about a wholesale rejection or surpassing of humanism and its values. Rather, my point is that humanisms often admirable aspirations are undercut by the conceptual and philosophical tools it uses to conceptualize them. For example, most of us would probably agree that people with disabilities should be treated with respect and equality, or that non-human animals should be protected from cruelty and abuse. But the problem, as I show in this book, is that the humanism of certain strains of disability studies or of animal rights philosophy, in their attempts to make good on these aspirations, reinscribes a very familiar form of liberal humanist subjectivity whose normative force was taken to be the problem in the first place. Shouldnt we instead endeavor for a mode of thought that values the heterogeneity of ways of being in the world for their difference, their uniqueness, their non-generic nature, rather than their ability to reproduce or approximate, however imperfectly, a normative picture of us?

To put this another way, I agree with humanism that transcendental justifications must be rejected and that solutions cant be parochial (commitments of humanism that would seem all the more relevant in the current geopolitical moment, after all), but the problem is that humanism does not adequately apply this principle to itself. It ends up indulging its own dogmas, its own parochial solutions. Chief among these, I argue, is the dogma that insists on an ontological differenceand the ethical consequences that follow from that differencebetween homo sapiens and every other life form on the planet. This flies in the face of current scientific knowledge about non-human life, and it flies in the face of what should be humanisms commitment to a conceptual frame that is more nuanced and responsible than the ham-fisted (pun intended) distinction between the human and the animal. So as Foucault once famously put it, in this sense, one might well argue that Enlightenment and Humanism are not two sides of the same coin, but are in tension with each other.

Part of the unfortunate fallout of the conceptual apparatus of humanism is that it gives us an overly simple picturea fantasy, reallyof what the human is. Consider, for example, the rise of what is often called transhumanism, often taken to be a defining discourse of posthumanism (as in Ray Kurzweils work on the singularitythe historical moment at which engineering developments such as nanotechnology enable us to transcend our physical and biological limitations as embodied beings, ushering in a new phase of evolution). As many of its proponents freely admit, the philosophical ideals of transhumanism are quite identifiably humanistnot only in their dream of transcending the life of the body and our animal origins but also in their investment in the ideals of human perfectibility, rationality, autonomy, and agency. In contrast to this dream of transcendence and perfectibility, posthumanism in my sense points toward the necessity of moving beyond the philosophical simplifications of humanism (many of them self-flattering, of course!) to arrive at a much thicker, more complex and layered description of this thing we call human and how it is bound up with all sorts of forces and factors that arent human at all (our animal biological inheritance and how it shapes our emotions, our behavior, our needs and wants; our ecological embeddedness as creatures of evolution in a web of life not of our making; the ahuman exteriority and technicity of the archives and prostheses of memory and culture, and so on).

Posthumanism in this sense thus forces us to attend to the paradox that we can become who we are only by virtue of being constituted by somethingactually, many somethingsthat we are not. Chief among these, perhaps, is language. You can think of language as humanism doesas something that institutes not just a phenomenological difference but an ontological difference between normal human beings and the rest of the universe (a view that draws into its wake a vast collection of very different thinkers from Heidegger to Daniel Dennett); or you can think of language as I do (following a similarly diverse genealogy that includes Gregory Bateson, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, and Jacques Derrida): as an essentially ahuman prosthesis, a technique and a machine that itself is a subset and second-order phenomenon of a larger domain of meaning that includes all sorts of non-linguistic forms of communication not limited to the human domain alone. This gives you a much more robust and nuanced picture of how language is (and is not) constitutive of human behavior; it allows you to describe how meaning gets made in recursive exchanges across previously discreet ontological domains (say, between humans and animals); and it also enables you to understand how human communication is a multi-dimensional and often asynchronous process that continues to be inhabited by the evolutionary and biological background out of which linguistic domains (to use Maturana and Varelas phrase) emerged. Or as Gregory Bateson once put it (humorously and perceptively), If you say to a girl, ‘I love you,’ she is likely to pay more attention to the accompanying kinesics and paralinguistics than to the words themselves (Steps to an Ecology of Mind 86). (This is one of the reasons, incidentally, that e-mail is such a brittle and incendiary form of communication; there is no such dampening mechanism, and it is difficult to make up for the loss of tone of voice, body posture, eye contact, and so on in such a thin and impoverished medium–hence the invention of that paltry substitute called the emoticon.)

What all of this suggests is that our thoughts, our concepts, are in an important sense not ours at all, but rather they derive from our constitution by something radically not us. And this in turn points to a second dimension of the argument of What Is Posthumanism?: that it is not enough to think of it simply as a kind of content, as merely a thematics of the historical moment in which the human becomes decentered by and disseminated in technological, informational, pharmacological, and communicational apparatuses that render it no longer master in its own house (as Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche long ago realized in their different, albeit problematic, ways). After all, as I have already suggested with the examples of transhumanism and animal rights philosophy, it is perfectly possible to do posthumanism in a thoroughly humanist way. The question of posthumanism, then, obtains not just on one level but on twonot just what posthumanism thinks about but also, and more importantly, how it thinks about it.

—–

Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English at Rice University. He is author of What Is Posthumanism?, the 8th installment in the University of Minnesota Press’s Posthumanities Series. His previous books include Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the Outside (Minnesota, 1998) and Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory, and he is editor of Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (Minnesota, 2003).

See more here:

Cary Wolfe: What Is Posthumanism? – UMP | University of …

Posthuman – Wikipedia

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

In critical theory, the posthuman is a speculative being that represents or seeks to re-conceive the human. It is the object of posthumanist criticism, which critically questions humanism, a branch of humanist philosophy which claims that human nature is a universal state from which the human being emerges; human nature is autonomous, rational, capable of free will, and unified in itself as the apex of existence. Thus, the posthuman position recognizes imperfectability and disunity within him or herself, and understands the world through heterogeneous perspectives while seeking to maintain intellectual rigour and a dedication to objective observations. Key to this posthuman practice is the ability to fluidly change perspectives and manifest oneself through different identities. The posthuman, for critical theorists of the subject, has an emergent ontology rather than a stable one; in other words, the posthuman is not a singular, defined individual, but rather one who can “become” or embody different identities and understand the world from multiple, heterogeneous perspectives.[4]

Critical discourses surrounding posthumanism are not homogeneous, but in fact present a series of often contradictory ideas, and the term itself is contested, with one of the foremost authors associated with posthumanism, Manuel de Landa, decrying the term as “very silly.”[5] Covering the ideas of, for example, Robert Pepperell’s The Posthuman Condition, and Hayles’s How We Became Posthuman under a single term is distinctly problematic due to these contradictions.

The posthuman is roughly synonymous with the “cyborg” of A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway.[6] Haraway’s conception of the cyborg is an ironic take on traditional conceptions of the cyborg that inverts the traditional trope of the cyborg whose presence questions the salient line between humans and robots. Haraway’s cyborg is in many ways the “beta” version of the posthuman, as her cyborg theory prompted the issue to be taken up in critical theory.[7] Following Haraway, Hayles, whose work grounds much of the critical posthuman discourse, asserts that liberal humanism – which separates the mind from the body and thus portrays the body as a “shell” or vehicle for the mind – becomes increasingly complicated in the late 20th and 21st centuries because information technology puts the human body in question. Hayles maintains that we must be conscious of information technology advancements while understanding information as “disembodied,” that is, something which cannot fundamentally replace the human body but can only be incorporated into it and human life practices.[8]

The idea of post-posthumanism (post-cyborgism) has recently been introduced.[9][10][11][12][13] This body of work outlines the after-effects of long-term adaptation to cyborg technologies and their subsequent removal, e.g., what happens after 20 years of constantly wearing computer-mediating eyeglass technologies and subsequently removing them, and of long-term adaptation to virtual worlds followed by return to “reality.”[14][15] and the associated post-cyborg ethics (e.g. the ethics of forced removal of cyborg technologies by authorities, etc.).[16]

Posthuman political and natural rights have been framed on a spectrum with animal rights and human rights.[17]

According to transhumanist thinkers, a posthuman is a hypothetical future being “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards.”[18] Posthumans primarily focus on cybernetics, the posthuman consequent and the relationship to digital technology. The emphasis is on systems. Transhumanism does not focus on either of these. Instead, transhumanism focuses on the modification of the human species via any kind of emerging science, including genetic engineering, digital technology, and bioengineering.[19]

Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousnesses, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound technological augmentations to a biological human, i.e. a cyborg. Some examples of the latter are redesigning the human organism using advanced nanotechnology or radical enhancement using some combination of technologies such as genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, life extension therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information management tools, memory enhancing drugs, wearable or implanted computers, and cognitive techniques.[18]

As used in this article, “posthuman” does not necessarily refer to a conjectured future where humans are extinct or otherwise absent from the Earth. As with other species who speciate from one another, both humans and posthumans could continue to exist. However, the apocalyptic scenario appears to be a viewpoint shared among a minority of transhumanists such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] and Hans Moravec, who could be considered misanthropes, at least in regard to humanity in its current state. Alternatively, others such as Kevin Warwick argue for the likelihood that both humans and posthumans will continue to exist but the latter will predominate in society over the former because of their abilities.[20] Recently, scholars have begun to speculate that posthumanism provides an alternative analysis of apocalyptic cinema and fiction, often casting vampires, werewolves and even zombies as potential evolutions of the human form and being.[21]

Many science fiction authors, such as Greg Egan, H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Bruce Sterling, Frederik Pohl, Greg Bear, Charles Stross, Neal Asher, Ken MacLeod, Peter F. Hamilton and authors of the Orion’s Arm Universe,[22] have written works set in posthuman futures.

A variation on the posthuman theme is the notion of a “posthuman god”; the idea that posthumans, being no longer confined to the parameters of human nature, might grow physically and mentally so powerful as to appear possibly god-like by present-day human standards.[18] This notion should not be interpreted as being related to the idea portrayed in some science fiction that a sufficiently advanced species may “ascend” to a higher plane of existencerather, it merely means that some posthuman beings may become so exceedingly intelligent and technologically sophisticated that their behaviour would not possibly be comprehensible to modern humans, purely by reason of their limited intelligence and imagination.[23]

Read more here:

Posthuman – Wikipedia

Cary Wolfe: What Is Posthumanism? – UMP | University of …

Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English at Rice University. He is author of What Is Posthumanism? (2009), the 8th installment in UMP’s Posthumanities Series. His previous books include Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the Outside and Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory, and editor of Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal. Here is an excerpt of an essay Cary Wolfe wrote for this blog to introduce his posthumanist (as opposed to posthuman) theory. You can read the full text here.

DISCOVERING THE HUMAN

One of the main points I stress in my new book is that posthumanism as I understand it is not posthuman but rather posthumanist. Of course, humanism is a term that covers so much ground, comprises so many different thinkers, movements, and values, that any deployment of the term is bound to be a little reductive. I begin the book with this more or less representative definition that pops up in a Google search:

It will probably come as no surprise that I share many of the values and aspirations announced in such a definition. In fact, I go out of my way to insist that posthumanism as I use the term isnt about a wholesale rejection or surpassing of humanism and its values. Rather, my point is that humanisms often admirable aspirations are undercut by the conceptual and philosophical tools it uses to conceptualize them. For example, most of us would probably agree that people with disabilities should be treated with respect and equality, or that non-human animals should be protected from cruelty and abuse. But the problem, as I show in this book, is that the humanism of certain strains of disability studies or of animal rights philosophy, in their attempts to make good on these aspirations, reinscribes a very familiar form of liberal humanist subjectivity whose normative force was taken to be the problem in the first place. Shouldnt we instead endeavor for a mode of thought that values the heterogeneity of ways of being in the world for their difference, their uniqueness, their non-generic nature, rather than their ability to reproduce or approximate, however imperfectly, a normative picture of us?

To put this another way, I agree with humanism that transcendental justifications must be rejected and that solutions cant be parochial (commitments of humanism that would seem all the more relevant in the current geopolitical moment, after all), but the problem is that humanism does not adequately apply this principle to itself. It ends up indulging its own dogmas, its own parochial solutions. Chief among these, I argue, is the dogma that insists on an ontological differenceand the ethical consequences that follow from that differencebetween homo sapiens and every other life form on the planet. This flies in the face of current scientific knowledge about non-human life, and it flies in the face of what should be humanisms commitment to a conceptual frame that is more nuanced and responsible than the ham-fisted (pun intended) distinction between the human and the animal. So as Foucault once famously put it, in this sense, one might well argue that Enlightenment and Humanism are not two sides of the same coin, but are in tension with each other.

Part of the unfortunate fallout of the conceptual apparatus of humanism is that it gives us an overly simple picturea fantasy, reallyof what the human is. Consider, for example, the rise of what is often called transhumanism, often taken to be a defining discourse of posthumanism (as in Ray Kurzweils work on the singularitythe historical moment at which engineering developments such as nanotechnology enable us to transcend our physical and biological limitations as embodied beings, ushering in a new phase of evolution). As many of its proponents freely admit, the philosophical ideals of transhumanism are quite identifiably humanistnot only in their dream of transcending the life of the body and our animal origins but also in their investment in the ideals of human perfectibility, rationality, autonomy, and agency. In contrast to this dream of transcendence and perfectibility, posthumanism in my sense points toward the necessity of moving beyond the philosophical simplifications of humanism (many of them self-flattering, of course!) to arrive at a much thicker, more complex and layered description of this thing we call human and how it is bound up with all sorts of forces and factors that arent human at all (our animal biological inheritance and how it shapes our emotions, our behavior, our needs and wants; our ecological embeddedness as creatures of evolution in a web of life not of our making; the ahuman exteriority and technicity of the archives and prostheses of memory and culture, and so on).

Posthumanism in this sense thus forces us to attend to the paradox that we can become who we are only by virtue of being constituted by somethingactually, many somethingsthat we are not. Chief among these, perhaps, is language. You can think of language as humanism doesas something that institutes not just a phenomenological difference but an ontological difference between normal human beings and the rest of the universe (a view that draws into its wake a vast collection of very different thinkers from Heidegger to Daniel Dennett); or you can think of language as I do (following a similarly diverse genealogy that includes Gregory Bateson, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, and Jacques Derrida): as an essentially ahuman prosthesis, a technique and a machine that itself is a subset and second-order phenomenon of a larger domain of meaning that includes all sorts of non-linguistic forms of communication not limited to the human domain alone. This gives you a much more robust and nuanced picture of how language is (and is not) constitutive of human behavior; it allows you to describe how meaning gets made in recursive exchanges across previously discreet ontological domains (say, between humans and animals); and it also enables you to understand how human communication is a multi-dimensional and often asynchronous process that continues to be inhabited by the evolutionary and biological background out of which linguistic domains (to use Maturana and Varelas phrase) emerged. Or as Gregory Bateson once put it (humorously and perceptively), If you say to a girl, ‘I love you,’ she is likely to pay more attention to the accompanying kinesics and paralinguistics than to the words themselves (Steps to an Ecology of Mind 86). (This is one of the reasons, incidentally, that e-mail is such a brittle and incendiary form of communication; there is no such dampening mechanism, and it is difficult to make up for the loss of tone of voice, body posture, eye contact, and so on in such a thin and impoverished medium–hence the invention of that paltry substitute called the emoticon.)

What all of this suggests is that our thoughts, our concepts, are in an important sense not ours at all, but rather they derive from our constitution by something radically not us. And this in turn points to a second dimension of the argument of What Is Posthumanism?: that it is not enough to think of it simply as a kind of content, as merely a thematics of the historical moment in which the human becomes decentered by and disseminated in technological, informational, pharmacological, and communicational apparatuses that render it no longer master in its own house (as Marx, Freud, and Nietzsche long ago realized in their different, albeit problematic, ways). After all, as I have already suggested with the examples of transhumanism and animal rights philosophy, it is perfectly possible to do posthumanism in a thoroughly humanist way. The question of posthumanism, then, obtains not just on one level but on twonot just what posthumanism thinks about but also, and more importantly, how it thinks about it.

—–

Cary Wolfe is Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English at Rice University. He is author of What Is Posthumanism?, the 8th installment in the University of Minnesota Press’s Posthumanities Series. His previous books include Critical Environments: Postmodern Theory and the Pragmatics of the Outside (Minnesota, 1998) and Animal Rites: American Culture, the Discourse of Species, and Posthumanist Theory, and he is editor of Zoontologies: The Question of the Animal (Minnesota, 2003).

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Cary Wolfe: What Is Posthumanism? – UMP | University of …

Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now | TED Talk

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Posthuman – Wikipedia

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

In critical theory, the posthuman is a speculative being that represents or seeks to re-conceive the human. It is the object of posthumanist criticism, which critically questions humanism, a branch of humanist philosophy which claims that human nature is a universal state from which the human being emerges; human nature is autonomous, rational, capable of free will, and unified in itself as the apex of existence. Thus, the posthuman position recognizes imperfectability and disunity within him or herself, and understands the world through heterogeneous perspectives while seeking to maintain intellectual rigour and a dedication to objective observations. Key to this posthuman practice is the ability to fluidly change perspectives and manifest oneself through different identities. The posthuman, for critical theorists of the subject, has an emergent ontology rather than a stable one; in other words, the posthuman is not a singular, defined individual, but rather one who can “become” or embody different identities and understand the world from multiple, heterogeneous perspectives.[4]

Critical discourses surrounding posthumanism are not homogeneous, but in fact present a series of often contradictory ideas, and the term itself is contested, with one of the foremost authors associated with posthumanism, Manuel de Landa, decrying the term as “very silly.”[5] Covering the ideas of, for example, Robert Pepperell’s The Posthuman Condition, and Hayles’s How We Became Posthuman under a single term is distinctly problematic due to these contradictions.

The posthuman is roughly synonymous with the “cyborg” of A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway.[6] Haraway’s conception of the cyborg is an ironic take on traditional conceptions of the cyborg that inverts the traditional trope of the cyborg whose presence questions the salient line between humans and robots. Haraway’s cyborg is in many ways the “beta” version of the posthuman, as her cyborg theory prompted the issue to be taken up in critical theory.[7] Following Haraway, Hayles, whose work grounds much of the critical posthuman discourse, asserts that liberal humanism – which separates the mind from the body and thus portrays the body as a “shell” or vehicle for the mind – becomes increasingly complicated in the late 20th and 21st centuries because information technology puts the human body in question. Hayles maintains that we must be conscious of information technology advancements while understanding information as “disembodied,” that is, something which cannot fundamentally replace the human body but can only be incorporated into it and human life practices.[8]

The idea of post-posthumanism (post-cyborgism) has recently been introduced.[9][10][11][12][13] This body of work outlines the after-effects of long-term adaptation to cyborg technologies and their subsequent removal, e.g., what happens after 20 years of constantly wearing computer-mediating eyeglass technologies and subsequently removing them, and of long-term adaptation to virtual worlds followed by return to “reality.”[14][15] and the associated post-cyborg ethics (e.g. the ethics of forced removal of cyborg technologies by authorities, etc.).[16]

Posthuman political and natural rights have been framed on a spectrum with animal rights and human rights.[17]

According to transhumanist thinkers, a posthuman is a hypothetical future being “whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards.”[18] Posthumans primarily focus on cybernetics, the posthuman consequent and the relationship to digital technology. The emphasis is on systems. Transhumanism does not focus on either of these. Instead, transhumanism focuses on the modification of the human species via any kind of emerging science, including genetic engineering, digital technology, and bioengineering.[19]

Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or a symbiosis of human and artificial intelligence, or uploaded consciousnesses, or the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound technological augmentations to a biological human, i.e. a cyborg. Some examples of the latter are redesigning the human organism using advanced nanotechnology or radical enhancement using some combination of technologies such as genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, life extension therapies, neural interfaces, advanced information management tools, memory enhancing drugs, wearable or implanted computers, and cognitive techniques.[18]

As used in this article, “posthuman” does not necessarily refer to a conjectured future where humans are extinct or otherwise absent from the Earth. As with other species who speciate from one another, both humans and posthumans could continue to exist. However, the apocalyptic scenario appears to be a viewpoint shared among a minority of transhumanists such as Marvin Minsky[citation needed] and Hans Moravec, who could be considered misanthropes, at least in regard to humanity in its current state. Alternatively, others such as Kevin Warwick argue for the likelihood that both humans and posthumans will continue to exist but the latter will predominate in society over the former because of their abilities.[20] Recently, scholars have begun to speculate that posthumanism provides an alternative analysis of apocalyptic cinema and fiction, often casting vampires, werewolves and even zombies as potential evolutions of the human form and being.[21]

Many science fiction authors, such as Greg Egan, H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Bruce Sterling, Frederik Pohl, Greg Bear, Charles Stross, Neal Asher, Ken MacLeod, Peter F. Hamilton and authors of the Orion’s Arm Universe,[22] have written works set in posthuman futures.

A variation on the posthuman theme is the notion of a “posthuman god”; the idea that posthumans, being no longer confined to the parameters of human nature, might grow physically and mentally so powerful as to appear possibly god-like by present-day human standards.[18] This notion should not be interpreted as being related to the idea portrayed in some science fiction that a sufficiently advanced species may “ascend” to a higher plane of existencerather, it merely means that some posthuman beings may become so exceedingly intelligent and technologically sophisticated that their behaviour would not possibly be comprehensible to modern humans, purely by reason of their limited intelligence and imagination.[23]

Read more here:

Posthuman – Wikipedia

Amber Case: We are all cyborgs now | TED Talk

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Kraken Exchange Review: Facts to Know Before Buying Any Cryptocurrency

Kraken Exchange Review
Kraken is one of the most popular exchanges where users can buy and sell cryptocurrencies. It is arguably the largest Bitcoin exchange, based on liquidity. Kraken was also the first Bitcoin exchange to have its trading price and volume displayed in the “Bloomberg Terminal”.

Having established its reputation in the cryptocurrency world, Kraken is the first choice of many international cryptocurrency traders.

The following table is a Kraken exchange review with all the basic info you need.
Kraken.

The post Kraken Exchange Review: Facts to Know Before Buying Any Cryptocurrency appeared first on Profit Confidential.

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Kraken Exchange Review: Facts to Know Before Buying Any Cryptocurrency

Stellar Lumens Applications: Businesses That Accept XLM Currency

What is Stellar Lumens
Stellar is an open source network with the same blockchain technology used by bitcoin. But unlike bitcoin, Stellar’s transactions settle in 2 to 5 seconds allowing users to quickly exchange government-backed currencies. Stellar’s native coins are officially called lumens, or xlm. The best way to answer ‘what is Stellar lumens’ is to compare it with Ripple. Stellar lumens (xlm) is to the layman what Ripple (xrp) is to banks and financial institutions.

The year 2017 saw big names like IBM and Deloitte becoming.

The post Stellar Lumens Applications: Businesses That Accept XLM Currency appeared first on Profit Confidential.

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Stellar Lumens Applications: Businesses That Accept XLM Currency

Litecoin Price Prediction: Upcoming Litecoin Upgrade To Make it Even Cheaper Than Bitcoin

Daily Litecoin News Update
It’s a quiet day in the cryptocurrency world. The storm has settled and the sun is out. Investors are finally out of choppy waters and trading with more peace of mind. Top cryptos, including Litecoin are trading in the green. At this point another piece of good news may serve as the icing on the cake that Litecoin investors may have been longing to taste.

Litecoin founder Charlie Lee updates from the headquarters that Litecoin’s next upgrade is on its way. As promised, the developers will be cutting down transaction fees to further make LTC transactions cheaper for users.

Later, he also updates that Litecoin, like Bitcoin, would be integrating.

The post Litecoin Price Prediction: Upcoming Litecoin Upgrade To Make it Even Cheaper Than Bitcoin appeared first on Profit Confidential.

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Litecoin Price Prediction: Upcoming Litecoin Upgrade To Make it Even Cheaper Than Bitcoin

Ripple Price Forecast: Korbit, IMF & Other Causes of XRP Price Crash

Ripple News Update
At the end of last week, it looked like cryptocurrencies would outrun the storm of government regulations bearing down on them. But that analysis was all wrong—it’s now clear that we were sitting in the eye of the storm.

However, the momentary calm wasn’t so bad. It led to a short-lived rally in Ripple prices, which in turn revived some enthusiasm on Reddit and other discussion boards.

Then a barrage of bad news broke over the weekend. Not only did this snap the optimism, but it reminded us that governments are getting.

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Ripple Price Forecast: Korbit, IMF & Other Causes of XRP Price Crash

Litecoin Price Prediction: Aliant Payments to Support LTC & Other Great News

Daily Litecoin News Update 
Yesterday’s Litecoin news update had some bad news. Although none had anything to do with Litecoin directly, they seemed to affect its price. Today’s update is a 180-degree turn from there. I bring you some good news that would brighten up your day if you’re an LTC “HODLer.” Here goes:

A major merchant processor just confirmed it would be adding support for Litecoin payments..

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Litecoin Price Prediction: Aliant Payments to Support LTC & Other Great News

Litecoin Price Forecast: Bad News Is Scaring Jumpy Investors, But Worry Not

Daily Litecoin News Update
A dark cloud is once again hanging over crypto-land. After two days of recovery following the massive crash, cryptocurrencies are back in the red zone. But this cloud has a silver lining that investors must not miss.

Here are three major negative headlines that have sparked pessimism in the crypto-world in the past couple days.

First, South Korea continued the tradition by leading the charge against cryptocurrencies. To begin with, South Korea’s largest bank will no longer be supporting bank accounts linked with cryptocurrency exchanges.

Secondly, the largest Korean exchange, Korbit, says it will no longer be entertaining.

The post Litecoin Price Forecast: Bad News Is Scaring Jumpy Investors, But Worry Not appeared first on Profit Confidential.

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Litecoin Price Forecast: Bad News Is Scaring Jumpy Investors, But Worry Not


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