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From Humanism to Meta-, Post- and Transhumanism?


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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Humanism has dominated Western culture for many centuries. It is characterized by the judgement that human beings have a special status in the world which implies that they are categorically different from natural beings. The central ideas of Darwin and Nietzsche, as well as scientific advances and technological innovations, initiated several movements away from this type of humanism. The most influential movements in this respect are transhumanism and posthumanism. Both criticize the humanist understanding of the anthropou which also implies a critique of the traditional understanding of human dignity. Transhumanism primarily affirms the immense variety of enhancement technologies and attempts to bring about the trans- and the posthuman. Posthumanism is characterized by the attempt to transcend dualisms and to analyze the interaction between human beings and technologies from an anthropological point of view. There are also other approaches, like metahumanism or naturalism, which can get examined in this context. All the movements can be considered from various perspectives. The book series Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism represents a forum for monographs and essay collections, in which reflections that belong to this field of topics can be expressed. I am grateful that the publishing house Peter Lang is interested in promoting this innovative topic, and I am glad that many experts of the disciplines anthropology, art history, biology, ethics, literary theory, literature studies, philosophy, political sciences and sociology support this project as editorial board members.

Der Humanismus bestimmte jahrhundertelang die westliche Kultur. Er ist entscheidend durch das...

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