2008 - The Post/Human Condition - University of Auckland
Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy (ASCP)
University of Auckland, Dec 3–5, 2008
What is it to be human? The advent of modern science, the industrial revolution, the rise of the modern nation-state, and the development of evolutionary theory conspired to bring about the collapse of traditional understandings of the human condition during the Enlightenment. But recently the modern and postmodern paradigms that emerged out of this period of philosophical upheaval have themselves been put to the test by an unprecedented constellation of phenomena: biotechnologies, globalization, the ecological crisis, and the virtualization of social relations, to name but a few.
How then are we to think about the human experience today? What language can we find for it? Indeed, what language would provide not only a descriptive but also the necessary critical perspective on the human condition in the contemporary context? Is the category of "the human" still viable, or should we now speak of "the post-human"? Are we better served by categories such as "animal" or "life"? Are the "de-centering" strategies of postmodernism to be further developed, or is it imperative, as some have maintained, to revive the concept of the "subject"? What is the status of the body and embodiment in an age of technological prosthesis and genetic manipulation? How is the social or "plural" character of human existence to be theorized in view of contemporary patterns and possibilities of familial, economic, and political interaction? What, if anything, has been contributed by the recent "post-secular turn" in philosophy to questions concerning the human condition? And finally, what, if anything, can be said by the philosopher about the "ends" of humanity today?
Prof. Leonard Lawlor (Penn State)
Prof. Ewa Ziarek (SUNY Buffalo)
Prof. David Wills (SUNY Albany)
A/Prof. Nikolas Kompridis (York)
Animality and Humanity
Bare Life and Biopolitics
The Posthuman Body
Phenomenology of Life
Phenomenology and Post-Phenomenology
Arendt and the Human Condition
Hegel, Desire, Subjectivity
Levinas and the Humanism of the Other
Humanism and Anti-Humanism
The Legacy of Existentialism
Philosophy & Literature
A Post-Human Aesthetics?
Richard Rorty in memoriam
Philosophy of the Future
The Human To-Come