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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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Karen Gloy, Universität of Luzern - Post-Humanistic Thinking and Its Ethical Evaluation

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Karen Gloy

Universität of Luzern

Post-Humanistic Thinking and Its Ethical Evaluation

I The Two Revolutions: Gene Manipulation and Technology

In his science fiction novel, Schismatrix, the U.S. writer and futurist Bruce Sterling describes the future of our solar system. On earth, mankind as we know it continues to live unmodified and is considered to be a natural preserve by the artificially-advanced human species. On other planets, two different, competing trans- or post-human groups are living. One of these has achieved its trans-humanity by gene modification, the so-called “Shapers,” the other group by the use of technology, the so-called “Mechanists”. Sterling makes reference to the two procedures dominant today, which have caused a radical change in our worldview and anthropology in the last decades and which continue to be in the process of generating basic changes in the existence of human beings and their way of life: Gene manipulation, on the one hand, and computer and robot technology as well as nanotechnology, artificial intelligence research and artificial emotionality research on the other hand. While the first at least still operates with living reproducible material, the second is even more radical insofar as it attempts to substitute natural materials, processes and conditions with artificial ones.

It is only natural that such revolutions in the thinking, acting and life projection of human beings have provoked support and criticism not only on the theoretical level, but also on the ethical...

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