The post-humanist project: inheritances and future duties

Posted: Settembre 15th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: anthropos, epistemes & società, posthumanism | 48 Comments »

by Roberto Marchesini


The post-humanistic philosophy represents a paradigmatic event in the Western culture, since it is able to change deeply the way to consider human ontology and, broadly, the human relationships with non-human alterities. In doing so, the post-humanistic philosophy introduces a hybrid conception of identity (relational ontology) instead of the traditional autarchic and self-poietic conception, typical of the humanistic thought (reflexive ontology) as we can see, for example, in Descartes. This shift determines the overcoming of several dichotomies still in force, as nature/culture, human/non-human, conscious/unconscious. This revolution has been launched, since the second half of 19th century, by the work of some authors who put into question the ground of humanistic thought. Among them, we should quote first Charles Darwin, not only for having mined the disjunctive conceptions of Essentialism, but also for highlighting the “bottom-up cause” in the evolution, which widens the status of artefact to the human identity. Then we must remember Freud who, through an initial and coherent wording of the concept of “unconscious”, showed the inconsistency of the rational domain over the individual behaviour, transforming the identity into a field where different forces operate from the outside. A substantial contribution was given by the phenomenology – from Bretano to Merleau-Ponty – regarding the “principle of intentionality” that is the external reference that lies at the base of being. Lastly, we cannot ignore Nietzsche, who remarked the Dionysian coordinate of fluidity of the human being, based on an on-going overcoming. This paper aims to show the conceptual shifts brought by these authors and therefore the debts and the roots of post-humanistic philosophy. Moreover, the paper shows the changes and the cultural storm occurred in the 21st century, which has influenced art, literature, ethic, aesthetic, anthropology and techno-science: a deep metamorphosis which cannot be reduced or trivialized to a futuristic kaleidoscope with morpho-poietic outcomes on the human being.


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