Humanity 2.0 - Introduction (What is Humanity 2.0?) from Virtual Futures on Vimeo.

In Humanity 2.0, Professor Steve Fuller outlines how he would have once been referred to as a ‘humanist’, but now he sees himself as a transhumanist. The Humanity+ Organisation describes transhumanism (or ‘H+’) as ‘the ethical use of technology to transcend limits of the human body’.

In this video, Fuller talks about how humans have experienced a dichotomised view of our humanity: on the one hand we feel embedded to our animal nature (the legacy of Darwanism on how we think of ourselves), and on the other hand, we use concepts like consciousness, rationality, the mind and the soul to signify those qualities which we feel transcend other animal species. These are the elements of human imagination and human experience which societies feel deserve to be explored and preserved.

From Marx, Durkehim and Weber’s analyses of how industrialisation changed social structures; to the rise of sociobiology in the 1960s and 1970s (such as The Naked Ape); and to the sociology of post-Fordist technologies (Guns Germs and Steel and I Cyborg), sociology has wrestled with the idea that technology somehow fundamentally transforms our humanity.

Here’s more about Fulller’s Book:

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 ground-breaking 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. 

Watch the rest of Fuller’s videos here. Book here.

Via University of Warwick