How Human Will Posthumans Be? with David Roden

October 24, 2014

It is common to imagine posthumans as humans made superhumanly intelligent or resilient by future advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science. Many argue that these enhanced people might live better lives; others fear that tinkering with our nature will undermine our sense of our own humanity. Whoever is right, it is generally assumed that our technological successor will be an upgraded or degraded version of us: Human 2.0.

However, the recent book Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human by David Roden argues that this enhancement debate projects a human face onto an empty screen. We actually do not know what will happen and, not being posthuman, cannot anticipate how posthumans will assess the world.

Posthuman Life develops a position called “speculative posthumanism” which the author distinguishes from both:

• ”Critical Posthumanism” – which seeks to “deconstruct” the philosophical centrality of the human subject in epistemology, ethics and politics;

• Transhumanism – which proposes the technical enhancement of humans and their capacities.

Posthuman Life argues that only a truly speculative posthumanism can support an ethics that meets the challenge of the transformative potential of technology.

This London Futurists event features the author of Posthuman Life who will address the question “How human will posthumans be?”.

About David Roden

Dr David Roden is a Lecturer in Philosophy at The Open University, UK, where he is a member of its Mind, Meaning and Rationality Research Group.