'Posthumanities: The Dark Side of "The Dark Side of the Digital"'

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Abstract

In What is Posthumanism? Cary Wolfe insists “the nature of thought itself must change if it is to be posthumanist.”1 Our argument, made manifest by this special issue of the Journal of Electronic Publishing, is that it is not only our ways of thinking about the world that must change if they are to be posthumanist, or at least not simply humanist; our ways of being and doing in the world must change too. In particular, we view the challenge to humanism and the human brought about by the emergence of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, robotics, bioscience, pre-emptive, cognitive, and contextual computing, as providing us with an opportunity to reinvent, radically, the ways in which we work, act, and think as theorists. In this respect, if “posthumanism names a historical moment in which the decentering of the human by its imbrication in technical, medical, informatics, and economic networks is increasingly impossible to ignore,”2 then it generates an opportunity to raise the kind of questions for the humanities we really should have raised long before now, but haven’t because our humanist ideas, not just of historical change and progression (i.e. from human to posthuman, to what comes after the human),3 but of the rational, liberal, human subject, and the associated concepts of the author, the journal, and copyright that we have inherited with it, continue to have so much power and authority.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Electronic Publishing
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

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