Future Courses of Human Societies
Critical Reflections from the Natural and Social Sciences
The future as a field of inquiry, debate or forecasts continues to flourish. However, this book differs from existing literature in several important ways. It is not another publication on future scenarios guided by a linear technological fix - nor is it simply a volume of new statistics on economic, demographic or geopolitical developments. Rather, Future Courses of Human Societies explores and builds a general framework for the long-term evolution of human societies.
Drawing upon a wide range of insights from across the social and natural sciences, the authors of this title present original, exploratory methodological and analytical approaches to examining the future. Encouraging the reader to deepen their knowledge and encourage critical thinking, three themes are considered in their complexity and multi-dimensionality: technological innovations; future ‘progress’; and the critical aspect of organizing collective life in the future. Furthermore, in contrast to previous studies which have embraced a relatively short time-span, this text incorporates perspectives from the immediate to the distant future, extending to several centuries and even millennia.
An interdisciplinary and internationally comprehensive volume, Future Courses of Human Societies is a key source for students and researchers interested in fields such as future studies, technology in society, interdisciplinary learnings on social and natural sciences and future economic and political evolutions.
Table of Contents
PART ONE: METHODOLOGICAL AND ANALYTICAL CONTEXTUALIZATION
Chapter 1: Future as an Object of Inquiry: An Introduction
PART TWO: CONTRADICTORY ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY
Chapter 2: Physics, Science and Technology in the Future
Chapter 3: The Evolution of Future Societies with Unlimited Energy Supply?
Chapter 4: Nanotechnology and Future Technological Evolutions
PART THREE: MEANING AND OBJECT OF PROGRESS IN THE FUTURE
Chapter 5: 3D printing: A New Industrial Revolution?
Juan Pablo Ripamonti
Chapter 6: Technology, Work and Social Conflictuality
Chapter 7: Economic Progress and Civilizational Changes in the Far-off Future
PART FOUR: ORGANIZATION OF COLLECTIVE LIFE IN THE FUTURE
Chapter 8: On Democracy and Technology in the Long Term
Chapter 9: Ethics and Laws of the Future
Kléber Ghimire is Professor at the International College of Arts, Yokohama City University, Japan
"This work is engaged in future studies in a very original and genuine way. It shows in particular how the articulation of knowledge needed for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of the future is still much ignored within the scientific circles".
Rolande Borrelly, Présidente, Institut des sciences mathématiques et économiques appliquées, Paris
"This book is a major collection of some critical essays on recent technological innovations such as energy technologies, nanotechnology, 3D printing, robotics, AI, space exploration. It brings to light many uncertainties in innovation processes and their evolving future impacts".
Andrzej Cichocki, Professor artificial intelligence and biomedical applications, Skolkovo Institute of Science of Technology, Moscow
"The book is an essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the future courses of human societies, especially the debates concerning technological evolutions and their long-term outcomes".
Enzo Di Fabrizio, Professor in physical science, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
"This insightful book explores the far-off future interdisciplinarilly covering social sciences and natural sciences. Its broad and diverse approaches open a horizon to new areas of the future studies".
Jin K. Lee, President, Korea Social Science Research Council, Seoul
"This timely and thought-provoking volume provides a convenient map for a journey into the future where technology should not, and cannot, arrive alone without its eternal companions of social science, humanities, art, law and ethics. This is a must read for students, teachers and members of the general public alike who are enthusiastic time travelers and invested in the future".
Steven K. Wisensale, Professor of public policy, University of Connecticut, USA