Humanity 2.0: What it Means to be Human, Past, Present and Future
How will we ascribe status to human life in a ‘post-human’ and ‘trans-human’ world? We have gone from asking whether humans needed to be social to realize their nature, to whether the social needs to be human at all. Fuller’s Humanity 2.0 is an ambitious attempt to bring about a full discussion of our present and post-human future. Fuller challenges us to take post-humanism seriously and proposes the need to define and value humanity in the face of a future that will only otherwise confer advantage on the few. He provides a robust argument in favour of the contribution that the social sciences can bring to this discussion, defending them from a ‘pincer attack’ by biology and theology. Fuller shows how definitions of ‘humanity’ have changed since the 18th century, framed by the relationship between science, religion and society. Looking forward, his urgent task is to formulate an original, sociological perspective on how technology and biology are colliding to radically transform our post-human and trans-human future. From science policy makers to sci-fi enthusiasts, artists and technogeeks, philosophers and commentators, whose ideologies run the gamut from collectivism to libertarianism, a large constituency is already engaged with our enhanced future. As our desire and capacity to explore various ‘post-human’ conditions increases, this constituency may radically reconfigure the global political space. Fuller will be in conversation with Darian Meacham, University of the West of England.
This Festival of Ideas event is part of a regular series of live discussions with Julian Baggini recorded at Foyles for the microphilosophy podcast series.
Steve Fuller holds the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. He is acknowledged with founding social epistemology (a broad set of approaches to the study of knowledge) and has published over 17 books including Kuhn vs Popper, The Intellectual, and Dissent over Descent – the subject of intense and heated debate.
Darian Meacham is senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of the West of England. His current research interests are in phenomenology and political philosophy. He is particularly interested in problems surrounding the concept of Europe and post-national political institutions, and the ethical and anthropological issues raised by the technological enhancement of the human body and mind.
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