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  • Posthumanism as a Spectrum: Reflections on Paul Rekret’s Chapter

    Robert Cowley

    Chapter from the book: Chandler D. & Fuchs C. 2019. Digital Objects, Digital Subjects: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Capitalism, Labour and Politics in the Age of Big Data.


    In his essay ‘Seeing Like a Cyborg: The Innocence of Posthuman Knowledge’, Paul Rekret argues for greater reflexivity about the contingent conditions through which posthumanist thought has emerged. For posthumanists themselves, however, contingency is likely to be acknowledged and embraced. This chapter therefore explores the possibility that Rekret’s critique will fall on deaf ears among those whose worldview he most directly challenges. It begins by identifying three elements of posthumanism’s contemporary appeal, with reference to Rekret’s discussion. These elements are then brought into play with reflections on the uneven appeal of posthumanism, to suggest that in practice posthumanism takes the form of a spectrum of thinking, rather than a discrete school of thought. Accordingly, Rekret’s position is not as straightforwardly antithetical to posthumanism as it may seem. Rather, it leaves open the possibility for alternative forms of ‘hybrid thinking’ to be developed in future.

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    Cowley, R. 2019. Posthumanism as a Spectrum: Reflections on Paul Rekret’s Chapter. In: Chandler D. & Fuchs C (eds.), Digital Objects, Digital Subjects. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book29.g

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    Published on Jan. 29, 2019