July 31, 2016

An interview with philosopher Peter Sloterdijk

Huffington Post: The term “anthropotechnics” points to the fact that the process of the humans’ domestication by humans, which began very early on, retains an open future. by Nathan Gardels via The World Post at Berggruen Center

'Firstly, it describes the largely unconscious secession of humans from pure animality — whereby they became not only members of the “symbolic species,” a “ritual animal” (as Wittgenstein remarked on occasion), indeed a mythological narrative animal, but also a technical creature.

'Secondly, it points to future possibility of conscious self-shaping through forms of training of the mind, through chemical modifications, perhaps even through genetic impulses.

'The concept of “anthropotechnics” thus refers to the entire autopoiesis, or self-creation, of “mankind” in its many thousands of cultural specializations. It is empirical, pluralistic and egalitarian from the ground up — in the sense that all individuals, as heirs to the memory of mankind, are free to surpass themselves.

'Ray Kurzweil’s idea of “singularity,” by contrast, contains futuristic, monistic and elitist elements. Although “singularity,” according to its logical and rhetorical design, is meant to integrate mankind as a whole, it is evident that it could only encompass a tiny group of exceptional transhuman individuals.'

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