Human Enhancement and the Post-Human; the Converging and Diverging Pathways of Human, Hybrid and Artificial Anthropoids
The expression “human enhancement” could be placed in the ontological, cognitive, and symbolic dimension in which we conceive and experience the faculty, that is constitutive of human beings, of giving name and thus consistence to things, relations and phenomena in general. It is necessary to point out that this symbolic dimension of emerging technologies has been obstinately and jealously anthropocentric, at least in the modern Western world. In this contribution, I aim to develop a philosophical account of post-human enhancement that allows us to conceive a future society of humanoids – humans, hybrids, artificial beings – who are free and equal. This expression – “post-human enhancement” – is to be understood as referring to symbols and phenomena different from those associated with “trans-human”. Post-human is to be interpreted here as material, not anthropocentric but rather interspeciesist, osmotic and relational, horizon of effective sharing of experiences, dangers and challenges. In contrast, trans-human is meant to refer to the transcending of humans into the pure ether of an ‘ideal’, immaterial network made up only of software, and lacking of relations with any material beings in the ecosystem or cosmos. On my account, reframing the debate about human enhancement means to guarantee widest possible conditions of non-hegemonic or expansive conscious contextuality of legislative and decisional systems. I focus rather on the social circumstance whereby we see ourselves as subjects that already co-inhabit multiform social identities, in changeable and hybrid bodies and identitary images, in potential or latent conditions of moral and political asymmetry. These conditions, I hold, are therefore to be preventively identified and neutralized.
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