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From Humanism to Meta-, Post- and Transhumanism?

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Edited By Irina Deretić and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner

The relationship between humanism, metahumanism, posthumanism and transhumanism is one of the most pressing topics concerning many current cultural, social, political, ethical and individual challenges. There have been a great number of uses of the various terms in history. Meta-, post- and transhumanism have in common that they reject the categorically dualist understanding of human beings inherent in humanism.
The essays in this volume consider the relevant historical discourses, important contemporary philosophical reflections and artistic perspectives on this subject-matter. The goal is to obtain a multifaceted survey of the concepts, the relationship of the various concepts and their advantages as well as their disadvantages. Leading scholars of many different traditions, countries and disciplines have contributed to this collection.
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Irina Deretić & Stefan Lorenz Sorgner - Introduction

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Irina Deretić & Stefan Lorenz Sorgner

Introduction

The relationship between humanism, metahumanism, posthumanism and transhumanism is one of the most pressing ones concerning many current cultural, social, political, ethical and individual challenges. There have been a great amount of uses of the various terms in past and contemporary philosophical exchanges. The goal of the present volume is to provide a multifaceted survey of the concepts, the relationship of the various concepts and their advantages and disadvantages. There is an Ancient, a Renaissance, Enlightenment, a secular humanism and many other types of humanism. When dealing with the various movements which claim to go beyond humanism, the concept “humanism” implies the affirmation of categorical ontological dualities, e.g. the immaterial and the material. Consequently, a secular humanism which holds a secular, naturalist or this-worldly ontology also rejects a humanism which affirms such dualities and could be classified as lying beyond humanism. Similar challenges need to be considered when talking about meta-, trans- or posthumanism. However, the following meanings of the various movements represent possible initial definitions which are helpful when investigating in more detail the various contemporary approaches.

Posthumanism represents the attempt to avoid affirming categorical ontological dualities in theoretical and practical circumstances. The term was coined first by Ihab Hassan in the article “Prometheus as Performer: Toward a Posthumanist Culture?” from 1977. Hence, it reveals its origin in the tradition of literary theory, cultural studies and continental philosophy. To move beyond humanism does...

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