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This book offers an original and accessible introduction to the contemporary debates on the notion of the posthuman. It develops two lines of argument. First, contemporary market economies profit from the control and commodification of all forms of life. 'Second Life', genetically modified food, advanced prosthetics, robotics and reproductive technologies are familiar facets of our globally linked and technologically mediated societies. This high degree of bio-technological development results in hybridization, erasing categorical distinctions between the human and other species, seeds, plants, animals and machines. The dislocations produced by posthuman cultures therefore make possible a critique of anthropocentrism. Post-anthropocentric politics, as exemplified by environmentalism, encompass not only other species but also the sustainability of our planet as a whole.The second line of argument is concerned with the shape of contemporary philosophical debates about the human. Braidotti explores the extent to which a post-humanist perspective displaces the traditional unity and universality of the subject. Rather than perceiving this as a loss of cognitive self-mastery and ethical decency, she argues that the posthuman condition helps us make sense of, and find a new moral compass within, our globalised culture. The book concludes by providing some intellectual and ethical guidelines for the new and alternative modes of non-anthropocentric thinking that are emerging today. The challenge of the posthuman condition is to seize the opportunities for creating new forms of social bonding and community building, while pursuing economic sustainability, empowerment and social justice.
Rosi Braidotti is a distinguished university professor at Utrecht University and founding director of the Centre for the Humanities.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments Preface Chapter One: Post-humanism: Life beyond the Self. Chapter Two: Post-anthropocentrism: Life beyond the Species. Chapter Three: The Inhuman: Life beyond Death. Chapter Four: Posthuman Humanities; Life beyond Theory. Conclusion Bibliography