Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4)


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Posthumanism is alas, far too often a term that covers the absence of resistance to the modern requirement for permanent change. The permanent call to change is accompanied by the promise that consists of going beyond the separation between nature and technique, nature and technology, and human and non-human.


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Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism , ed. Jason W. The question is to know whether, in place of the Cartesian-capitalist divide that leads directly to climate change, the intensification of hurricanes, and to further havoc, one must substitute a forcible hybridization, in other words, abolish all separation. If it is a laboratory, a Silicon Valley industry, or a myriad of humans, then the fabrication itself retains, when it comes to the subject and production, what it claims to go beyond with regard to the object being produced!

When we abolish the gap between human and non-human, we risk filling it with spyware, a backdoor, surveillance software, or a surveillance cable, thanks to which we will be able to, in all humanity, gather all of the big data on you that is essential to your happiness—on amazon. Thus, when questioning the figures of the posthuman, it is necessary to know who is giving the orders: who or what, within the cyborg, is at the helm.

On the other hand, how are the human-machine or mice-technology alliances inherently better than their separation? In Videodrome as in The Fly , David Cronenberg clearly saw that the fusion of human and technology, or even of human, animal, and technology, could quickly become a nightmare. However, the criticisms that I am making here are in no way a refusal of the relationship between humans and technology, but rather to be considered as a non-fusional alliance , a marriage, an encounter that establishes a field of intensity between the instances at stake, one that is in a position to redistribute their existences.

An example? What appears then, in favor of the alliance between Quasimodo and Notre-Dame, is not technological prowess, or a bio-art gadget, but a metaphor: not our dreams-that-have-finally-come-true, but reality finally raised to the status of dream. Now the metaphor held as such requires that something remain unachieved, or not built. The unachieved, or unbuilt, instead of proposing a gap between nature and human beings, proposes a place to be left vacant, the place of the metaphor.

Metaphor Square, could this be the place of no place that the whole city secretly desires? You advocate the need for a new anti-humanism to drive a politics of existences, of multiple singularities, of different forms of life according to Wittgenstein. What do you mean by this? Does this new existentialism seem to you to follow in the wake of, or be out of step with, the precepts of flat ontology?

I used the expression anti humanism for the reasons that I have just given: in order not to miss the end of humanism, or in order to avoid the fake end of humanism. Anti humanism is not an end in itself, this term does not describe a desired world, rather it describes what is required to achieve a world that is not that of the capitalocene.

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Anti humanism promises to go back to the two ideas that I have just mentioned: the labyrinth as a monument in memory of that which we have had to forget to remain foreign to our own selves, and the alliance as an encounter via which singularities are revealed to be other than themselves. What it is important to grasp each time is the singularity of existences. Whereas the term existence must be taken, etymologically, as being-on-the-outside.

A being does not begin first by being within itself, before going outside of itself. This content is made freely available by the publisher. It may not be redistributed or altered. All rights reserved.

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Email alerts Latest Books. For Merleau-Ponty, however, this is not the biologically reductive or deterministic essentialism that feminism mostly abhors. Despite his quarrels with certain aspects of phenomenology, Deleuze also acknowledges its potential in various ways. See also Tamsin Lorraine 4. While it is possible to read a problematic ablism into Merleau-Ponty particularly in his discussions of pathological embodiment , it is also possible to deploy his insights for understanding bodies in more inclusive terms.

See also Note 1 above on the natural attitude.

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In this way, Toadvine convincingly defends Merleau-Ponty against charges of what Object-Oriented Ontologists call correlationism. Mallin never published work on this methodology which he robustly worked up over decades of practice. My own understanding of phenomenology is immensely indebted to Mallin, even in our moments of disagreement. Shown at the Koffler Gallery in Toronto, This contrasts with the dominant twentieth-century experience of ourselves as discretely bounded individuals, which emerged in tandem with Western allopathic medicine that saw disease as intrinsic to an individual body and isolatable body parts Alaimo : In other words, Leder argues, while such apparatus give us data, we still do not experience our insides; the absences persist.

Leder does suggest that other systems of knowledge, such as Taoism and Buddhism, may be better equipped at bringing the subtle rather than completely absent workings of our molecular selves into perception, and he hints that such Eastern knowledge would also be a matter of training. This also clears the way for my own wager, namely that we can hone or train our phenomenological attunement paradoxically by using the knowledge of the very systems that also obfuscate the appearance of visceral embodiment to us.

Deleuze not only tolerates a scientific perspective, but in fact demands that our philosophy of bodies include it — yet is careful not to slip into science as mere symbol or metaphor. My thinking in this chapter picks up on and extends this collaborative work. Chandler expounds the notion of gestationality in reference to the work of Emmanuel Levinas Indeed, a certain body of feminist scholarship has devoted itself to examining the relation between Irigaray and Deleuze. See Grosz , , , Braidotti , , , b , inter alia , Lorraine , Colebrook , Olkowski , Haynes See Ahmed , Sullivan , and van der Tuin and Dolphijn To suggest that Irigaray is an early even anachronistic feminist posthuman thinker or new materialist, as I do in this chapter, underlines that feminist new materialism is not amenable to linear narratives, but rather gathers possible pasts and potential futures in an ongoing unfolding.

Breath is dealt with in many texts Irigaray , a , b , and is arguably the element on which she has most explicitly focused. Fire has not been extensively examined by Irigaray, although she notes that in an unpublished study she examines fire in relation to the work of Karl Marx A.

Martin : n In her descriptions, the relation of the feminine body to the sea is on some level metaphorical, but it is also materially constitutive and topographical, that is, the feminine is not only like water but also of water and in water in a variety of ways. However, when Irigaray refers to ice, vapour or other manifestations of water, they are referred to by those other names. These cuts are enacted by all kinds of apparatuses of knowledge.

Shildrick, like Irigaray, reminds us that the foetus has a necessary relationship to and a dependence on a specific gestational medium that, I am stressing, is also a body of water itself.

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Interestingly, however, Zarathustra also makes several references to his relation to the sea. Let the river of my love plunge where there is no way! How could a river fail to find its way to the sea?


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Reading the work of Deleuze and Irigaray together, and particularly through our bodies of water, I suggest, shows that both would reject such binaristic options. It is possible to note the necessity of feminine waters for the proliferation of human life without tying it to an argument for the elevation of female reprosexuality. At the same time, while the possibility of ectogenesis out-of-body gestation looms imminent on our horizon, we have not yet accomplished it.

Shall science deliver to us this possibility in any viable or sustainable way, the very real elision of the maternal-gestational waters will no doubt bring with it questions and consequences we are only beginning to contemplate. See, for example, Olkowski on the intersubjective significance of the maternal-embryonic relation.

On the feminist philosophical implications of ectogenesis see, for example, Gelfand, ed. Or, as Irigaray : herself writes:. The sexuation of the living is thus an essential key to an ecological ethics. It is also a crucial aspect of such an ethics, as it allows the species to survive through natural generation for which no fabrication can be substituted. Besides, whatever the technical mediations, the sex hormones must intervene to produce a new embryo. And it would be a pity if technical mediation would become substituted for an amorous union in the reproduction of living, as, alas!

Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4) Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4)
Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4) Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4)
Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4) Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4)
Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4) Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4)
Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4) Sartre and Posthumanist Humanism (Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism, Volume 4)

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