what is the philosophy of the posthumanists?
(asking for a friend…)
you could ask a hundred posthumanists what posthumanism is and they would all give a different answer. what i would say is that there is no such thing as posthumanism - there are only humans working out how posthumanists could be.
posthumanists don’t have a philosophy or a metaphysics or an ontology or an ideology but a question, or a set of questions.
or perhaps it is a calling, a calling from everything that isn’t human to humans. perhaps you hear it too?
one question is, what if humans are not the centre of the universe?
others : what if everything doesn’t begin and end with humans? what if being human isn’t the be all and end all of what is? what if there are many other ways to be, many other kinds of intelligences and consciousnesses? what if matter is intelligent? does a rock have an internal world?
what if the problem with humanity and the world and the way that humans interact with the world and every thing and every being in it and each other is that humans act from a centre which they call the self?
and what if this centre is an illusion, a kind of crust (which hides a festering wound) formed first of all by several millennia of various theistic religions and subsequently by other cultural influences, for example logocentric philosophies and ideologies which see phenomena in terms of binary oppositions and which emphasise presence over absence, stillness over flux, male over female, object over subject, and most importantly, self over other.
what if all the talk of ‘cogito ergo sum’ (i think therefore i am) has led humanity up a garden path (which turned out to be not a garden at all but a wasteland where all kinds of toxic stuff has been dumped)?
what happens if we say, i think therefore i am not?
how do we get out this secular abyss in which we find ourselves, bereft? can we imagine a different way of being in the world? can we find a way of talking about this and thinking about this together? and what happens when we put these ideas into practice? can we experiment with different ways of being in the world?
i guess the short answer is that posthumanism is thinking and talking about how a posthuman could be… and a posthumanist is doing that…
and what we find is that when we do that together, what happens is… extraordinary.
these ideas are in more or less constant flux - how could they not be? there are other places where i written at other times about different aspects of how a posthuman could be :
my website is always a mess. i never seem to have the time or inclination to fix it properly.