Our Posthuman Future, by Francis Fukuyama

"Posthuman," the newest buzz word, is beginning to eclipse "postmodern." Postmodernism consists of a philosophical reexamination of foundational suppositions of the Enlightenment: objectivity, realism, universal truths, rationalism, the blank slate, essences and metanarratives (socialism, liberalism, etc.). But "posthuman" refers to biology, as thinkers grapple with the fact that we have entered a period of monumental advance in the life sciences. Just as splitting the atom in 1945 set the stage for the cold war, so the discovery of DNA in 1953 launched us into a new era of biotechnology. While postmodernism deconstructed the idealism of the Enlightenment, posthumanism is about constructing a new human. Ironically, it remains to be seen whether that reconstruction can happen without the ideals of the Enlightenment.

 

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