Enhancing Transhumanism’s Foundation with the Complex Posthuman Subject

Lewis, R. (Speaker)

Activiteit: Talk or presentation at a conference


Technologies are not only ubiquitous in our lives; they are increasingly merging with, and affecting, our very being. Traditional technologies, for the most part, have been approached as closed-systems, where the variables can be controlled and where engineering is extremely effective. However, life exists in open and complex systems. The transhumanist goal of uploading a human mind to a machine is an attempt to bring a complex being into a complicated (and controllable) system. While there might be laudable reasons for this goal, from a complexity standpoint it is not approaching the solution from the correct direction. In fact, the latest technologies are moving towards the complex end of the spectrum, functioning more like "living" technologies (such as AI and deep learning), which are fundamentally different than traditional, 'closed-system' technologies.

By developing the concept of the complex posthuman subject, I challenge the Cartesian adherence to a separate and autonomous individual. We are always and already in relations, not only with other humans but with technologies as well. For example, I don't just have a mind that exists in isolation in my body; my mind is in relation with the world around me. These relations are complex, situated, dynamic, and emergent. As a subject, I am never static or a single (essential) entity. How these relations influence me continually changes. Just the ability to bring my awareness to a particular relation can affect the amount of influence the relation has on me.
Periode11 jul 2019
EvenementstitelBeyond Humanism: Critical Posthumanism and Transhumanism: The Posthuman Paradigm Shift
LocatieLille, France
Mate van erkenningInternational