Transcendent Conformity: The Question of Agency for Postdigital Humans

Book chapter


Thomas, A. 2021. Transcendent Conformity: The Question of Agency for Postdigital Humans. in: Savin-Baden, M. (ed.) Postdigital Humans: Transitions, Transformations and Transcendence Springer. pp. 169-185
AuthorsThomas, A.
EditorsSavin-Baden, M.
Abstract

The dynamic co-evolution of humans and technology is increasingly undermining stable and long-held notions of the human condition and the conceptual boundaries which have demarcated human beings as individuals. The disintegration of ontological boundaries brought about by digital, genetic, and cybernetic developments require an ongoing normative investigation into the structures, interests, and consequences of this process. Two competing schools of thought that engage with the loss of essentialism and stability of the human are transhumanism and posthumanism. Posthumanism provokes profound critical and ethical consideration of the implications of the unmooring, whereas transhumanism tends to claim a clear and advantageous direction of travel. This chapter will draw upon these movements as a means to illuminate its central question concerning human agency in the postdigital age. The chapter argues that awareness of the growing influence of a technical rationality directing the co-evolution of humans and technology is vital. Every step of the development of radical technologies demands an equivalent ethical co-evolution of our social world. Human embeddedness in a wider complex ecology of techno-capitalist relations undermines simplistic notions of individual self-determination and demands ongoing normative re-evaluations of the human.

Book titlePostdigital Humans: Transitions, Transformations and Transcendence
Page range169-185
Year2021
PublisherSpringer
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Publication dates
Online25 Apr 2021
Print26 Apr 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Mar 2022
SeriesPostdigital Science and Education
ISBN978-3-030-65591-4
978-3-030-65592-1
ISSN2662-5334
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65592-1_11
Web address (URL)https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-65592-1
Copyright holder© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021
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