12/4/2022 0 Comments
The Post Human Condition
"What is meant by the ‘posthuman condition’? First, it is not about the ‘End of Man’but about the end of a ‘man-centred’ universe or, put less phallocentrically, a ‘human-centred’ universe. In other words, it is about the end of ‘humanism’, that long-held belief in the infallibility of human power and the arrogant belief in our superiority and uniqueness. This ‘end’ will not happen abruptly. Belief in the ideals of humanism have existed at least since the fourteenth century and will continue to exist well into the future. Second, it is about the evolution of life, a process not limited to genetics, but which includes all the paraphernalia of cultural and technological existence. If life can run more efficiently and become ‘fitter’ in collaboration with mechanical systems then it will do so. By the same token, if humans are able to exist more effectively by acquiring further machine-like enhancements then they will do so. This does not necessarily mean the extinction of the human genome. Even if distinct mechanical life-forms emerge there is no reason to suppose that they should replace other forms of life which may carry on indefinitely. Earth still abounds with species that predate humans; evolution does not necessarily discard old species when it generates new ones. Third, posthumanism is about how we live, how we conduct our exploitation of the environment, animals and each other. It is about what things we investigate, what questions we ask and what assumptions underlie them. The most obvious manifestations of the end of humanism are those movements that resist the worst 171THE POSTHUMAN CONDITION aspects of humanist behaviour: feminism — the movement against the exploitation of women, animal rights — the movement against human exploitation of animals, environmentalism — the movement against human exploitation of the earth’s resources, and anti-slavery — the movement against human exploitation of other humans. The very existence of such movements over the last 200 years or so suggests the gradual overturning of a human-centred world is well underway. More importantly, the recognition that none of us are actually distinct from each other, or the world, will profoundly affect the way we treat each other, different species and the environment. To harm anything is to harm oneself. This is why posthumanism is not just about the future, it is also as much about the present. To some extent we live for the future; it promises better things. But this can lead us to forget that the future, and whatever benefits it may bring, is not something that just happens to us — we create it by our conduct in the present. We all have an influence now on the way the future will turn out. One reason for writing this book is that many people remain unaware of the huge implications of the technologies that are now being developed, and few of us are invited to take an active part in those decisions that will profoundly affect the course of human development: who is in charge of the future? The awkward question posed by the changes we have labelled posthumanism, is not ‘Will we develop machines that are equal or superior to humans?’ We have already described how this will probably happen. The difficult question is, ‘Why do we want to develop such machines and to what ends will they be put?’" (Pepperell, R. (2003). The Posthuman condition: Consciousness beyond the brain. Intellect Books.)
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This section of the website will include reflections for Lauren's MA Study. This page is linked to Lauren Tucker's studies and creative practice which is broader than the work of Tuckshop Dance Theatre. Please enjoy my reflections in this learning journey.
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