1st Edition

Post-Human Futures Human Enhancement, Artificial Intelligence and Social Theory

Edited By Mark Carrigan, Douglas V. Porpora Copyright 2021
    186 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    186 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume engages with post-humanist and transhumanist approaches to present an original exploration of the question of how humankind will fare in the face of artificial intelligence. With emerging technologies now widely assumed to be calling into question assumptions about human beings and their place within the world, and computational innovations of machine learning leading some to claim we are coming ever closer to the long-sought artificial general intelligence, it defends humanity with the argument that technological ‘advances’ introduced artificially into some humans do not annul their fundamental human qualities. Against the challenge presented by the possibility that advanced artificial intelligence will be fully capable of original thinking, creative self-development and moral judgement and therefore have claims to legal rights, the authors advance a form of ‘essentialism’ that justifies providing a ‘decent minimum life’ for all persons. As such, while the future of the human is in question, the authors show how dispensing with either the category itself or the underlying reality is a less plausible solution than is often assumed.

    1. Being Human (or What?) in the Digital Matrix Land: The Construction of the Humanted

    Pierpaolo Donati

    2. Being Human as an Option: How to Rescue Personal Ontology from Transhumanism, and (Above All) Why Bother

    Andrea M. Maccarini

    3. Perplexity Logs: On Routinized Certainty Work and Social Consequences of Seeking Advice from an Artificial Intelligence

    Emmanuel Lazega

    4. Artificial Intelligence and the Challenge of Social Care in Aging Societies: Who or What Will Care for Us in the Future?

    Jamie Morgan

    5. Why Should Enhanced and Unenhanced Humans Care for Each Other?

    Ismael Al-Amoudi and Gazi Islam

    6. Can Humans and AI Robots be Friends?

    Margaret S. Archer

    7. Humanity’s End: Where Will We Be in a Million Years?

    Douglas V. Porpora


    Mark Carrigan is Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK.

    Douglas V. Porpora is Professor of Sociology in the Department of Communication at Drexel University, USA.

    "The book contributes to debates about the dualism of structure and agency which have their origins in (critical) realism. Post-Human Futures: Human Enhancement, Artificial Intelligence and Social Theory (Carrigan and Porpora 2021) distinguishes between the epistemological and the ontological realms and establishes a new humanism that will be meaningful to praxis. "
    -Birgul Ulutas, Postdigital Science and Education