Liudmyla Zadorozhna MA

April 10th* until October 09th, 2022

Affiliation: Ivan Franko National University of Lviv / Ukraine

Research for a study about:

Historical and philosophical preconditions of the discourse of posthumanism

Topic: Historical and philosophical preconditions of the discourse of posthumanism
Substantiation of the research topic: this research will focus on the historical and philosophical background and ethical issues of modern discourse of posthumanism.

The relevance of this topic: we observe the worldview of the above discourse in the public space in the form of eco-activism, ecofeminism, intersectional theory, postcolonialism, queer theory, postgenderism, cyberfeminism, deep media art and others. According to our observations, the main features of these phenomena are an interdisciplinary approach, emancipatory intentions, rejection of anthropocentrism, criticism of globalization and capitalism, often attention to the phenomenon of empathy and rethinking of the role of a human being, rejection of binary oppositions, as well as any teleology, which requires a responsible understanding of human activities.

Subject: posthumanism as a critique of anthropocentrism and its manifestations in public space.
Object: historical and philosophical preconditions and ethical issues of the modern discourse of posthumanism.

The study aims: to investigate the historical and philosophical preconditions of posthumanism and to analyze the hypothetical emancipatory and transformational programs of human evolution as a species stated in it.

The critique of anthropocentrism, known as posthumanism, branches into two problematic issues. The first concerns the understanding of the opposition "human being/ nature", the second - "human being/ technique and technology". The biological sciences have been particularly powerful in shaping ideas about the inhabitants of the Earth since the 18th century, the time of intensive imperialization. Homo sapiens – human being as a species, Anthropos as a human race and modern human, synonymous with the "crown of creation" and the owner of earthly resources - were the main products of these practices of knowledge. Instead, different versions of "ecological philosophy" actualize a different view, often referring to Benedict Spinoza and the German Romantics, where human is seen as part of the organic world. The second question, about technique and technology, at first glance, seems to concern a completely different area. However, post-humanism touches on this issue precisely in terms of understanding technique and technology as a continuation of human existence. The technical integration of human is becoming more widespread (let's mention Martin Heidegger's "Questions of Technology", Bruno Latour's actor-network theory or Gilbert Simondon's theory of individuation). Both questions lead us to rethink the above-mentioned oppositions "human / nature" and "human / technique and technology" in order to deconstruct these hierarchies by strengthening rational humanism and human conceptual activity.
1.    Martin Heidegger. The Question Concerning Technology.
2.    Donna Haraway. Staying with the Trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucene, Duke University Press, Experimental Future, 2016
3.    Gilbert Simondon's Psychic and Collective Individuation: A Critical Introduction and Guide.
4.    Bruno Latour. Politics of nature: how to bring the sciences into democracy.
5.    Reza Negarestani. Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (Re.Press, 2008)
6.    Ben Woodard. Slime Dynamics: Generation, Mutation, and the Creep of Life.




Historical and Philosophical Preconditions of the Discourse of Posthumanism

Date:   May 27th, 2022

Time: 4 pm (CET)

Venue: Lecture hall 2H at the NIG