What remains of the human being? On the anthropology of trans- and posthumanism

Stefan Herbrechter is one of the most influential proponents of Critical Posthumanism, a line of thought that aims to deconstruct humanism and anthropocentrism. He held teaching posts in Leeds, Heidelberg and Coventry. Dr. Herbrechter is the author of Posthumanism – A critical analysis (2013), an important introduction to the subject, and is one of the directors of the Critical Posthumanism Network.

Steve Fuller holder of the Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick. He is a Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and a Senior Fellow at Käte Hamburger Kolleg: Cultures of Research. Professor Fuller has written over 20 books on various subjects. He is interested in how we redefine our notion of what it means to be human in light of modern technological advancements. His most important publications on transhumanism include Preparing for Life in Humanity 2.0 (2012) and The proactive imperative: a foundation for transhumanism (2014).

Cheryce von Xylander is visiting professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Art Sciences of the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. She has extensive interdisciplinary experience in cognitive science, philosophy of science and history. Dr. Xylander has taught in Darmstadt and Berlin. His research focuses on the historicity of concepts and subjectivity in the context of digital transformation.

Paul Benanti is a Franciscan friar and professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is particularly interested in the anthropological and ethical implications of technological innovation. Prof. Father Benanti was appointed ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy for Life by Pope Francis where he is an expert in technology. He has also helped the Italian government on several occasions in the development of a national strategy to face the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence.

Martina Hessler holds the chair of the history of technology at the Technical University of Darmstadt. She is an expert in the field of historical anthropology of technology and has taught in Munich, Potsdam and Aachen. Currently, Professor Heßler is studying the question of emotional attachment to technological objects, the history of the idea of ​​humans as “defective” beings and the narrative of the substitution of humans by machines.

James Hughes is one of the best known transhumanists. From 2004 to 2006, he was general manager of the World Association of Transhumanists (now Humanity+) and in 2004 he founded (with Nick Bostrom) the Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET). A sociologist by training, Dr. Hughes is one of the very few transhumanists who address the social and political consequences of the movement. In his book Citizen Cyborg (2004): Why democratic societies must respond to the reimagined human of the futurehe pleads for a “democratic transhumanism”.

Thomas Fuchs is Karl Jaspers Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry in the Department of General Psychiatry at the University of Heidelberg. He works at the intersection between phenomenology, neuroscience and psychology. He is a resolute opponent of transhumanist anthropology. In his Verteidigung des Menschen (2020), Professor Fuchs argues against the monistic ontology of information and the understanding of the brain as an input-output machine. Instead, he offers an anthropology that places bodily experience at the center of human existence.

Stefan Lorenz Sorgner is considered the main advocate of transhumanism in Germany. He is the co-founder of the Beyond Humanism Network. His main research interests include the philosophy of Nietzsche (whom Dr. Sorgner considers a precursor to transhumanist thought), the philosophy of music, and the ethics of emerging technologies. He currently teaches at John Cabot University in Rome.

Stephane Herzberg holds the chair of history of philosophy and practical philosophy at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology. He specializes in the philosophy of Aristotle and develops an argument against improvement from a neo-Aristotelian perspective. Together with Heinrich Watzka he edited the volume Transhumanism: Über die Grenzen technischer Selbstverbesserung (2020), an important collection of essays on the metaphysical and anthropological assumptions of transhumanism.

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