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Humanity 2.0: What it Means to be Human Past, Present and Future [Paperback]

Steve Fuller
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.99
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Book Description

6 Oct 2011
Social thinkers in all fields are faced with one unavoidable question: what does it mean to be 'human' in the 21st century? As definitions between what is 'animal' and what is 'human' break down, and as emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and nano- and bio- technologies develop, accepted notions of humanity are rapidly evolving.

Humanity 2.0 is an ambitious and groundbreaking book,offering a sweeping overview of key historical, philosophical and theological moments that have shaped our understandings of humanity. Tackling head on the twin taboos that have always hovered over the scientific study of humanity - race and religion - Steve Fuller argues thar far from disappearing, they are being reinvented.

Fuller argues that these new developments will force us to decide which features of our current way of life - not least our bodies - are truly needed to remain human, and concludes with a consideration of these changes for ethical and social values more broadly.

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Humanity 2.0: What it Means to be Human Past, Present and Future + H+/-: Transhumanism and Its Critics + The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future
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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (6 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230233430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230233430
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 412,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'Fuller is the closest thing to a Foucault writing today in the English language.' - Metascience
'Takes the debate up a level (if not several levels) in terms of active and considered engagement with the future.' - BioCentre,

'This is a brave and interesting book, which combines discourses that should mutually engage, but normally do not: biological and theological discussions of "humanity", discussions of transhumanism and evolution, and the policy discussions of convergent technology. Connecting them provides an opportunity to rethink the category of the human. Steve Fuller grasps this opportunity with gusto, in an accessible and wide-ranging overview.' - Professor Stephen Turner, University of South Florida, USA

'Humanity 2.0 offers a wide-ranging and timely account of the next stage of technoscience: the development of a new stage of humanity. Fuller bridges the concerns of science studies and science policy, exploring the historical and philosophical currents underlying the creation of a new biotechnological species, and highlights how the technoscientific industrial complex seeks to construct a new humanity as both product and consumer.' - Robert Frodeman, Director, Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity, University of North Texas, USA
'Our understanding of humanity is sure to evolve in the course of this century, and this book enables us to think critically about our prospects.' - The Scientific and Medical Network Review
"Humanity 2.0 can be considered a milestone in Fuller's work." - Francis Remedios, LSE Review of Books

Interview with Steve Fuller:

Book Description

An ambitious and groundbreaking examination, by leading scholar Steve Fuller, on both historical definitions of, and the future for, what it means to be human

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
`Humanity 2.0' are the various ways in which people are already thinking (and doing, in some cases) about their lives that go beyond the standard conception of the free-standing human. Fuller sees the entire issue as a secular, techno-scientific version of long-standing theological debates that go back to the Middle Ages. The basic question is: Should we become more re-embedded in nature or blast off into the spirit world. In the Middle Ages it was a battle between pagans and Christians, now it's between animal lovers and cyberfreaks. This is the tabloid version of how Fuller sees the issue. I was at the book launch at the Royal Society of Arts in London a couple of weeks ago. There was a very interesting debate (you can find it online) about how new and subtle forms of eugenics play into this space. One of the panellists, the dystopian science-fiction writer China Mieville, became very disturbed by Fuller's view that we are due for a serious culture clash that may be resolved by people coming to give a more positive spin on death, even at a mass level. I strongly recommend the book for provocations like this, but you need to realize that Fuller isn't really interested in the gee whiz side of `Humanity 2.0' but in how it's getting us to re-think our past as a way of leveraging into a new future. Several interviews are already available of Fuller concerning this book are on the web. He basically supports the cyberfreak transhumanists but without the rose-coloured libertarian spectacles that these people often wear. In an exchange with Mieville at the RSA, he described himself as a kind of `Cold Warrior' of transhumanism, presumably analogous to the Cold War defenders of democracy (whose spectacles were anything but rose-coloured). The book confirms that image.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what it says on the lid. 16 Dec 2013
By Tab
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't often write reviews, usually only if I'm pleasantly surprised or utterly disapponted by something I've purchased from Amazon.

Unfortunately, this case falls into the latter catagory.

Cute cover, sexy title.

However, the book itself does very little to discuss the subject of humanity's next techno-enhanced incarnation, its effects upon society and the ethical problems such a sea-change would bring. Which is a pity.

What it does do, at great and witheringly detailed length, is provide a history of sociology's past and present, which is I suppose, useful, and make rather incoherrent arguements concerning science and Abrahamic religion, which, at least in my opinion, is not.

There are better books if you want to read about evolution vs. intelligent design, and better books if you want to read about a possible reapproachment of science by theism.

Not very good. Sorry.
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