This volume is the first of a trilogy which investigates, from a broadly realist perspective, the place, and challenges, of the human in contemporary social orders. The authors, all members of the Centre for Social Ontology, ask what is specific about humanity’s nature and worth, and what are their main challenges in contemporary societies?
Examining the ways in which recent advances in technology threaten to blur and displace the boundaries constitutive of our shared humanity, Realist Responses to Post-Human Society: Ex Machina explores the philosophical and ethical questions raised by these developments, and discusses the dangers posed by the combination of transhumanism with post-humanist social theories and antihumanist practices, institutions and ideologies.
List of Contributors
1. Introduction: Post-humanism in Morphogenic Societies (Ismael Al-Amoudi and Jamie Morgan)
2. Bodies, Persons and Human Enhancement; Why these distinctions matter (Margaret S. Archer)
3. Vulcans, Klingons, and Humans: What Does Humanism Encompass? (Douglas V. Porpora)
4. Transcending the Human: Why, Where, and How? (Pierpaolo Donati)
5. Yesterday’s tomorrow today: Turing, Searle and the contested significance of Artificial Intelligence (Jamie Morgan)
6. Trans-Human (Life-)Time: Emergent Biographies and the ‘Deep Change’ in Personal Reflexivity (Andrea M. Maccarini)
7. The Evisceration of the Human Under Digital Capitalism (Mark Carrigan)
8. Management and dehumanisation in Late Modernity (Ismael Al-Amoudi)
Until the most recent decades, natural and social science could regard the ‘human being’ as their unproblematic point of reference, with monsters, clones and drones were acknowledged as fantasies dreamed up for the purposes of fiction or academic argument. In future, this common, taken for granted benchmark will be replaced by various amalgams of human biology supplemented by technology – a fact that has direct implications for democracy, social governance and human rights, owing to questions surrounding standards for social inclusion, participation and legal protection. Considering the question of who or what counts as a human being and the challenges posed by anti-humanism, the implications for the global social order of the technological ability of some regions of the world to ‘enhance’ human biology, and the defence of humankind in the face of artificial intelligence, the books in this series examine the challenges posed to the universalism of humankind by various forms of anti-humanism, and seek to defend ‘human essentialism’ by accentuating the liabilities and capacities particular to human beings alone.