Posthumanism: A Critical Analysis

Stefan Herbrechter

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationLondon, UK
    ISBN (Print)9781780936062
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2013

    Bibliographical note

    Author's note: This authored monograph looks at posthumanism as a popular and academic discourse that has established itself in the past ten years as an effect of the current crisis of humanism and anthropocentrism. The integrity of the human has been challenged by technocultural and technoscientific developments (cyborgisation, prosthesisation, bio-, info-, nanotechnologies and cognitive science – which have all questioned the idea of a stable and universal “human nature” or a clearly definable “humanity”). The volume produces a critique of the technological determinism that underlies many of the imagined scenarios of human replacement by the figure of some “successor species” (robots, AI, “enhanced” posthumans etc.). Instead it establishes critical genealogies, prefigurations and theoretical anticipations of the posthuman and argues for a critical posthumanism “without” technology. This volume provides a major shift and problematisation of the current debate on the idea and significance of the posthuman.
    The volume provides a rigorous anchoring and critique of the current debate within the history of humanism, the anti-humanism of the predominant theoretical paradigm within the humanities over the last three to four decades (poststructuralism and deconstruction) and the genealogy of the figure of the “posthuman”. It also analyses the variety of theoretical positions within the growing field of posthuman studies (from theologically motivated neohumanist to radically disembodied forms of transhumanism). There is reason to believe that it will become one of the major reference points and introductions to this growing interdisciplinary field of investigation in the humanities, social theory and critical science studies.

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