Chapter

Humanism after Posthumanism

Sonia Kruks

in Simone de Beauvoir and the Politics of Ambiguity

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780195381443
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979165 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195381443.003.0001

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

Humanism after Posthumanism

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This chapter sympathetically considers posthumanist critiques of humanism, agreeing that the abstract conceptions of “rational man,” so central to Western humanism and liberalism, are politically exclusionary and dangerous. However, the chapter argues that it is important not to dismiss but rather to reconstitute humanism. For humanist values are still those invoked in many struggles against oppression. Beauvoir's account of the embodied and situated nature of human action offers resources for a humanism that better acknowledges human differences and knowingly works with the tensions between solidarity and conflict in political action. Such a humanism is self-critical and aware of the failures that attend well-intentioned political action. It accepts responsibility for the harms that, in a world of conflict and contingency, may follow from the pursuit of its own values.

Keywords: action; Beauvoir; conflict; contingency; humanism; posthumanism; responsibility; solidarity; values

Chapter.  13926 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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