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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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Mikhail Epstein, Emory University, Atlanta - Creative Disappearance of the Human Being: Introduction to Humanology

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Mikhail Epstein

Emory University, Atlanta

Creative Disappearance of the Human Being: Introduction to Humanology1

The Death of Man?

In the beginning of the 21st century, the destiny of a man is usually perceived in the framework of his historical death and entrance into a Posthumanism era. The idea itself is not new. Already in the beginning of the 20th century, posthumanistic groups were inspired by the superhuman philosophy of Nietzsche and later by the poststructuralist episteme of the “end of man” (M. Foucault). However, at the beginning of 21st century, the idea of an exhaustion and the overcoming of a human being gained a new impulse in the impressive success of the technical and especially cyber civilization.

Transhumanism had emerged in the USA in the 1990s. This movement is trying to merge discoveries in IT, genetics and a philosophy of the overcoming of fundamental human limitations. The stage of a slow evolution of the human intellect is coming to an end, followed by the new stage of an accelerated evolution of the intellect in the form of constantly-changing and improving cybernetic systems. Transhumanism is aimed to create the singularity, a breaking-point of development, which, according to contemporary futurologists, such as Raymond Kurzweil, is predicted to start in the middle of the 21st century, when cyber systems, created by the human intellect, will surpass their creators and will guide them as less developed (and even resisting) beings. In...

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