Posthuman Ethics Embodiment and Cultural Theory
Posthuman theory asks in various ways what it means to be human in a time when philosophy has become suspicious of claims about human subjectivity. Those subjects who were historically considered aberrant, and our future lives becoming increasingly hybrid show we have always been and are continuously transforming into posthumans. What are the ethical considerations of thinking the posthuman? Posthuman Ethics asks not what the posthuman is, but how posthuman theory creates new, imaginative ways of understanding relations between lives. Ethics is a practice of activist, adaptive and creative interaction which avoids claims of overarching moral structures. Inherent in thinking posthuman ethics is the status of bodies as the site of lives inextricable from philosophy, thought, experiments in being and fantasies of the future. Posthuman Ethics explores certain kinds of bodies to think new relations that offer liberty and a contemplation of the practices of power which have been exerted upon bodies. The tattooed and modified body, the body made ecstatic through art, the body of the animal as a strategy for abolitionist animal rights, the monstrous body from teratology to fabulations, queer bodies becoming angelic, the bodies of the nation of the dead and the radical ways in which we might contemplate human extinction are the bodies which populate this book creating joyous political tactics toward posthuman ethics.
’This is an exhilarating and thought-provoking book. Neither judgmental nor unconditionally celebratory of the posthuman condition, MacCormack's analyses make for compelling reading. The core of the argument is a passionate call for rethinking ethics starting from the multiple '"others" who were never quite human to begin with. Posthumanism will never be the same again after reading this remarkable study.’ Rosi Braidotti, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands ’Written in the finest tradition of Spinoza’s practical philosophy, Patricia MacCormack’s Posthuman Ethics envisages a life without the dominating discourse of human subjectivity, the undoing of us as the basic ethical standard. Building upon Michel Serres’ concept of grace as a stepping aside, a ceding of place through ineffable silence, MacCormack forces us to think the unthinkable as pure flesh, as creative becoming.’ Colin Gardner, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA