The Story of Humanity and the Challenge of Posthumanity

Simon ZB (2019)
History of the Human Sciences 32(2): 101-120.

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Zeitschriftenaufsatz | Veröffentlicht | Englisch
Abstract / Bemerkung
Today’s technological-scientific prospect of posthumanity simultaneously evokes and defies historical understanding. One the one hand, it implies a historical claim of an epochal transformation concerning posthumanity as a new era. On the other, by postulating the birth of a novel, better-than-human subject for this new era, it eliminates the human subject of modern Western historical understanding. In this essay, I attempt to understand posthumanity as measured against the story of humanity as the story of history itself. I examine the fate of humanity as the central subject of history in three consecutive steps: first, by examining how classical philosophies of history achieved the integrity of the greatest historical narrative of history itself through the very invention of humanity as its subject; second, by recounting how this central subject came under heavy criticism by postcolonial and gender studies in the last half-century, targeting the universalism of the story of humanity as the greatest historical narrative of history; and third, by conceptualizing the challenge of posthumanity against both the story of humanity and its criticism. Whereas criticism fragmented history but retained the possibility of smaller-scale narratives, posthumanity does not doubt the feasibility of the story of humanity. Instead, it necessarily invokes humanity, if only in order to be able to claim its supersession by a better-than-human subject. In that, it represents a fundamental challenge to the modern Western historical condition and the very possibility of historical narratives – small-scale or large-scale, fragmented or universal.
Erscheinungsjahr
Zeitschriftentitel
History of the Human Sciences
Band
32
Ausgabe
2
Seite(n)
101-120
ISSN
PUB-ID

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Simon ZB. The Story of Humanity and the Challenge of Posthumanity. History of the Human Sciences. 2019;32(2):101-120.
Simon, Z. B. (2019). The Story of Humanity and the Challenge of Posthumanity. History of the Human Sciences, 32(2), 101-120. doi:10.1177/0952695118779519
Simon, Z. B. (2019). The Story of Humanity and the Challenge of Posthumanity. History of the Human Sciences 32, 101-120.
Simon, Z.B., 2019. The Story of Humanity and the Challenge of Posthumanity. History of the Human Sciences, 32(2), p 101-120.
Z.B. Simon, “The Story of Humanity and the Challenge of Posthumanity”, History of the Human Sciences, vol. 32, 2019, pp. 101-120.
Simon, Z.B.: The Story of Humanity and the Challenge of Posthumanity. History of the Human Sciences. 32, 101-120 (2019).
Simon, Zoltán Boldizsár. “The Story of Humanity and the Challenge of Posthumanity”. History of the Human Sciences 32.2 (2019): 101-120.