We 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 assumed that our technological successor will be an upgraded or degraded version of us: Human 2.0.
Posthuman Life argues that the enhancement debate projects a human face onto an empty screen. We do not know what will happen and, not being posthuman, cannot anticipate how posthumans will assess the world. If a posthuman future will not necessarily be informed by our kind of subjectivity or morality the limits of our current knowledge must inform any ethical or political assessment of that future. Posthuman Life develops a critical metaphysics of posthuman succession and argues that only a truly speculative posthumanism can support an ethics that meets the challenge of the transformative potential of technology.
David Roden is Lecturer in Philosophy at The Open University, UK. His published work has addressed the relationship between deconstruction and analytic philosophy, philosophical naturalism, the metaphysics of sound, and posthumanism.
Introduction: Churchland's Centipede 1. Humanism, Transhumanism and Posthumanism 2. A Defence of Pre-Critical Posthumanism 3. The Edge of the Human 4. Weird Tales: Anthropologically Unbounded Posthumanism 5. The Disconnection Thesis 6. Functional Autonomy and Assemblage Theory 7. New Substantivism: A Theory of Technology 8. The Ethics of Becoming Posthuman. Index