Philosophy of Engineering and Technology

Human Nature in an Age of Biotechnology

The Case for Mediated Posthumanism

Authors: Sharon, Tamar

  • Presents a comparison of models via an exploration of key issues, from human enhancement, to eugenics, and new configurations of biopower
  • Offers a new perspective on human-technology relations that evades the dichotomy of “protecting” ourselves from technology vs. embracing technology as progress
  • Includes a special chapter on molecular biomedicine and evolutionary biology links STS and philosophy of technology to current trends in biology
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  • ISBN 978-94-007-7554-1
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Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-7553-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm ET) to place your order.
  • Due: November 4, 2016
  • ISBN 978-94-024-0598-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

New biotechnologies have propelled the question of what it means to be human – or posthuman – to the forefront of societal and scientific consideration. This volume provides an accessible, critical overview of the main approaches in the debate on posthumanism, and argues that they do not adequately address the question of what it means to be human in an age of biotechnology. Not because they belong to rival political camps, but because they are grounded in a humanist ontology that presupposes a radical separation between human subjects and technological objects.

The volume offers a comprehensive mapping of posthumanist discourse divided into four broad approaches—two humanist-based approaches: dystopic and liberal posthumanism, and two non-humanist approaches: radical and methodological posthumanism. The author compares and contrasts these models via an exploration of key issues, from human enhancement, to eugenics, to new configurations of biopower, questioning what role technology plays in defining the boundaries of the human, the subject and nature for each. 

Building on the contributions and limitations of radical and methodological posthumanism, the author develops a novel perspective, mediated posthumanism, that brings together insights in the philosophy of technology, the sociology of biomedicine, and Michel Foucault’s work on ethical subject constitution. In this framework, technology is neither a neutral tool nor a force that alienates humanity from itself, but something that is always already part of the experience of being human, and subjectivity is viewed as an emergent property that is constantly being shaped and transformed by its engagements with biotechnologies. Mediated posthumanism becomes a tool for identifying novel ethical modes of human experience that are richer and more multifaceted than current posthumanist perspectives allow for.

The book will be essential reading for students and scholars working on ethics and technology, philosophy of technology, poststructuralism, technology and the body, and medical ethics.

Table of contents (9 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Sharon, Tamar

    Pages 1-16

  • A Cartography of the Posthuman

    Sharon, Tamar

    Pages 17-56

  • The Human Enhancement Debate: For, Against and from Human Nature

    Sharon, Tamar

    Pages 57-78

  • Towards a Non-Humanist Posthumanism: The Originary Prostheticity of Radical and Methodological Posthumanism

    Sharon, Tamar

    Pages 79-111

  • From Molar to Molecular Bodies: Posthumanist Frameworks in Contemporary Biology

    Sharon, Tamar

    Pages 113-134

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-7554-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-7553-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm ET) to place your order.
  • Due: November 4, 2016
  • ISBN 978-94-024-0598-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Human Nature in an Age of Biotechnology
Book Subtitle
The Case for Mediated Posthumanism
Authors
Series Title
Philosophy of Engineering and Technology
Series Volume
14
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-007-7554-1
DOI
10.1007/978-94-007-7554-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-007-7553-4
Softcover ISBN
978-94-024-0598-9
Series ISSN
1879-7202
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 241
Number of Illustrations and Tables
2 b/w illustrations
Topics