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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-11-04
  • Publisher: Polity

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This timely book examines the rise of posthumanism as both a material condition and a developing philosophical-ethical project in the age of cloning, gene engineering, organ transplants and implants.

Nayar first maps the political and philosophical critiques of traditional humanism, revealing its exclusionary and ‘speciesist’ politics that position the human as a distinctive and dominant life form. He then contextualizes the posthumanist vision which, drawing upon biomedical, engineering and techno-scientific studies, concludes that human consciousness is shaped by its co-evolution with other life forms, and our human form inescapably influenced by tools and technology. Finally the book explores posthumanism’s roots in disability studies, animal studies and bioethics to underscore the constructed nature of ‘normalcy’ in bodies, and the singularity of species and life itself.

As this book powerfully demonstrates, posthumanism marks a radical reassessment of the human as constituted by symbiosis, assimilation, difference and dependence upon and with other species. Mapping the terrain of these far-reaching debates, Posthumanism will be an invaluable companion to students of cultural studies and modern and contemporary literature.

Author Biography

Pramod K. Nayar is a member of the Department of English at the University of Hyderabad, India.

Table of Contents

1. Revisiting the Human: Critical Humanisms
Terms and Definitions
Critical Humanisms and the Origins of Posthumanism
2. Consciousness, Biology and the Necessity of Alterity
Cognition, Consciousness and Autopoiesis
Biology, Systems and Systems Biology
Dealing with/in Alterity
3. The Body, Reformatted
Biomedia, the Body Mathematized and Postvital Life
Other/ing Bodies
The Body as Congeries, Assemblage and Interface
4. Absolute Monstrosities: The ‘Question of the Animal’
Monster Theory: Cultures of Otherness
Animal Nature, Human Nature
The Humanimal
5. Life Itself: The View from Disability Studies and Bioethics
Disability Studies and the Norms of the ‘Human’
Bioethics and Personhood
6. Posthuman Visions: Toward Companion Species
Posthuman Biology
Posthumanist Biology
Companion Species
Conclusion: Posthumanism as Species Cosmopolitanism

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