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MARXIST TRANSHUMANISM OR TRANSHUMANIST MARXISM?

 

CALL FOR PAPERS

For a Special Issue of: New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Guest editors: James Steinhoff and Atle Mikkola Kjøsen

In this special issue call, New Proposals asks authors to explore how Marxism and Transhumanism might be brought into conjunction. Could there be a transhumanist Marxism or a Marxist transhumanism?

Transhumanism is defined by its proponents as an “intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities” (Humanity+ n.d.). While this description says nothing about politics, transhumanism has been deeply pro-capital due to its popularization in the 1990s via techno-libertarian “extropianism” (More 1990). Because of this, the promethean project of improving the human condition by technological means tends to be joined with, and confused for, capital accumulation. Some of the most radical transhumanist thinkers have tended to assume to continued functioning of capital amid cataclysmic socio-technological change. For example, although transhumanist luminary Ray Kurzweil argues that the coming technological singularity (the moment when machines exceed human capacities in all respects) will irreversibly transform every aspect of human life, and even “death itself,” he still expects there to be a need for “business models” (2005, 7). Today, transhumanism is tacitly represented in the operations of venture capitalists and the giant tech capitals. DeepMind, acquired by Google in 2014, seeks to “solve intelligence” by creating AI with generalized learning abilities and Elon Musk’s Neuralink aims to provide a seamless machine connection to the human brain.

However, transhumanism is not inherently incompatible with Marxist thought and communism. While transhumanism today appears to be a capitalist project, its historical lineage can be traced back to early twentieth century socialist thinkers such as Alexander Bogdanov, J. B. S Haldane, and J. D. Bernal (Bostrom 2005; Stambler 2010; Hughes 2012). Marx himself has many, what we might call “high modernist” moments in which he argues for overcoming human and natural limits, and advocates the socialized use of technology to achieve freedom from necessity for all humans. This high modernist Marx can be read as expressing a transhumanist impulse toward technologically augmenting the human condition (Steinhoff 2014). With a few exceptions (Armesilla Conde 2018), Marxists have shown little interest in transhumanism, other than as an object of critique (Rechtenwald 2013; Noonan 2016). One exception to this are the left accelerationists/postcapitalism theorists, who draw on transhumanist motifs, such as cyborg augmentation, terraforming and full automation (Srnicek and Williams 2015; Mason 2016; Bastani 2019). Left accelerationism has, however, picked up transhumanist motifs while dropping the capital/labour antagonism central to Marxist thought, glossing over much of the difficult question of how exactly capital is supposed to come to an end. We suggest that left accelerationism forgets its Marxist roots as it is blinded by transhumanist futures.

We argue that the issues central to transhumanism should not be the purview solely of representatives of capital like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, nor of the left accelerationists. Instead, Marxist thought should seriously engage with transhumanism in order to “decouple it from its blindly capitalist trajectory, reflect on Marx’s own high modernist tendencies, and delineate a social project to embrace or escape” (Dyer-Witheford, Kjosen & Steinhoff, 2019, 161). Therefore we ask how a Marxist transhumanism or a transhumanist Marxism might be possible.

For this special issue of New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry we are interested in contributions that engage transhumanism and Marxism with one another. We are not interested in Marxist dismissals of transhumanism. That is not to say that we do not welcome Marxist critiques of transhumanism. We are, however, seeking critiques which take at least some elements of the theory and/or practice of transhumanism seriously from within a Marxist framework.

Possible topics include:

  • Syntheses of transhumanism and Marxism
  • Transhumanism and value theory (e.g. engagement with core concepts like social form, labour-power, the working day, surplus-value etc.)
  • Critically engaging with and/or embracing the high modernist moments in Marx’s thought
  • Staking out a communist approach to transhumanism and/or the singularity (e.g. a communist version of Kurzweil’s intelligence explosion)
  • Engaging with the transhumanist kernel in left-accelerationist thought from a Marxist perspective
  • Engaging with transhumanist projects or technologies from a Marxist perspective (e.g. radical life extension, terraforming, morphological freedom, space exploration, genetic modification, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, intelligence augmentation, brain emulation)
  • Connecting transhumanism to the history of Marxist thought and socialist societies (e.g. Soviet space endeavours, central planning)

 

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words in length, plus a short biography, to Dr. James Steinhoff (jsteinh@uw.edu) and Dr. Atle Mikkola Kjøsen (atlemk@gmail.com) by February 29th, 2020. Please put “New Proposals special issue” in the subject line. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by March 31st, 2020. Full-length papers are 5,000 – 10,000 words.

Timeline:

29 February – deadline for submitting abstract and biography.

31 March – notifications of acceptance

1 August – deadline for submission of full-length (5,000 to 10,000 words) paper for peer review

15 November – submission of final revised paper

Early 2021 – papers published.

Please note that acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication. All submissions will be peer reviewed once papers are submitted.

 

References

Armesilla Conde, Santiago Javier. 2018. Is a Marxist Transhumanism possible? Eikasía – Revista de Filosofía 82, 47-86.

Bastani, Aaron. 2019. Fully automated luxury communism. Verso Books.

Bostrom, Nick. 2005. “A history of transhumanist thought”. Journal of Evolution & Technology 14:1.

Dyer-Witheford, Nick, Kjosen, Atle Mikkola and Steinhoff, James. 2019. Inhuman Power: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Capitalism. London: Pluto Press.

Hughes, James J. 2012. “The Politics of Transhumanism and the Techno‐Millennial Imagination, 1626–2030”. Zygon 47:4, 757-776.

Humanity+. n.d.. “What is transhumanism?” https://whatistranshumanism.org/

Kurzweil, Ray. 2005. The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Penguin.

Mason, Paul. 2016. Postcapitalism: A guide to our future. Macmillan.

More, Max. 1990. “Transhumanism: Towards a futurist philosophy.” Extropy 6:6, 11.

Noonan, Jeff. 2016. “The Debate on Immortality: Posthumanist Science vs. Critical Philosophy”. The European Legacy 21:1, 38-51.

Rechtanwald, Michael. 2013. “The Singularity and Socialism.” Insurgent Notes. http://insurgentnotes.com/2013/10/the-singularity-and-socialism/

Srnicek, Nick, and Alex Williams. 2015. Inventing the future: Postcapitalism and a world without work. Verso Books.

Stambler, Ilia. 2010. “Life extension – a conservative enterprise? Some fin-de-siècle and early twentieth-century precursors of transhumanism. ” Journal of Evolution & Technology 21:1, 13-26.

Steinhoff, James. 2014. “Transhumanism and Marxism: Philosophical Connections”. Journal of Evolution & Technology 24:2, 1-16.

New Proposals : Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry represents an attempt to explore issues, ideas, and problems that lie at the intersection between the academic disciplines of social science and the body of thought and political practice that has constituted Marxism over the last 150 years. New Proposals is a journal of Marxism and interdisciplinary Inquiry that is dedicated to the radical transformation of the contemporary world order. We see our role as providing a platform for research, commentary, and debate of the highest scholarly quality that contributes to the struggle to create a more just and humane world, in which the systematic and continuous exploitation, oppression, and fratricidal struggles that characterize the contemporary sociopolitical order no longer exist.

New Proposals is a fully open access journal. We do not charge publication or user fees as a condition of publication. However, if your institution provides funding to support open access publications we ask authors of accepted papers to apply for open access funding support from their institution. For authors at open access funded institutions the production fee is $350 for articles. There are no production fees for student feature articles, or for book reviews, commentaries or reflections of 5,000 words or less. If you have any questions please contact us. We fundamentally support the principles of full open access in academic publishing. It does cost money to do this, even as we rely upon a lot of good will, volunteer labour, and self-exploitation to get the publication out the door. Any support or assistance is always appreciated!

Special issue editors:

Dr. James Steinhoff is a UW Data Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Washington. He researches the artificial intelligence industry, data science labour, Marxist theory and automation. He is author of the forthcoming book Automation and Autonomy: Labour, Capital and Machines in the Artificial Intelligence Industry (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021) and co-author of Inhuman Power: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Capitalism (Pluto Press 2019). .

Dr. Atle Mikkola Kjøsen is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. He researches Marxist value theory, media theory, logistics, artificial intelligence, androids, and post-singularity capitalism. With Nick Dyer-Witheford and James Steinhoff, he is co-author of Inhuman Power: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Capitalism (Pluto Press 2019).

 

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

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Postdigital Science and Education

MARXIST EDUCATION ACROSS THE GENERATIONS: A DIALOGUE ON EDUCATION, TIME, AND TRANSHUMANISM

 

A Dialogue by Derek R. Ford and Glenn Rikowski

A pre-print of this Dialogue was published in Postdigital Science and Education on 9th January 2019

 

In this dialogue, two educational theorists discuss a range of topics at the nexus of Marxism and education, exploring the rich and diverse paths traversed within and around Marxist educational theory. The first part consists of a synthesis of their own trajectories and how they fit into broader social movements and political and academic conversations. In particular, they focus on the social production of labor-power and pedagogical logics. The second part concentrates on postdigital debates, including conceptions of time and transhumanism.

In June of 2018, Derek Ford contacted Glenn Rikowski proposing a collaboration, and Glenn suggested a dialogue. After a few months of preparation, they began the dialogue over e-mail in early October. A few weeks later, Derek visited Glenn in England for 5 days. They finished the conversation over e-mail, completing it in December 2018.

This dialogue is now available in pre-print format at Academia: https://www.academia.edu/38235324/Marxist_Education_Across_the_Generations_a_Dialogue_on_Education_Time_and_Transhumanism

 

END

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

imagesTRANSHUMANIST EDUCATION, POLITICS, AND DESIGN

Call for Papers

“Transhumanist Education, Politics, and Design”

Confero: Essays on Education, Philosophy and Politics

For this special issue on ‘Transhumanist Education, Politics, and Design’, we welcome contributions from scholars with various disciplinary backgrounds to debate transhumanistic issues in relation to education, politics, and design.

In the soon to come future, technological revolutions are likely to change future societies, bodies and minds in more far-reaching ways than ever before history.

Transhumanism can be described as ‘a new paradigm for thinking about humankind’s future’ (World Transhumanist Association). Transhumanism is a philosophy, a cultural movement and a growing field of study. More specifically, transhumanism is the belief in morphological freedom and the aspiration to enhance human abilities and attributes and thereby transcend human biological limits.

This special issue of Confero encourages contributions that approach and analyse transhumanism transhumanism in relation to education, politics, and design.

 

Topics suitable for this special issue could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Transhumanism, corporeality and (un)learning
  • Transhumanism and disease(s)
  • Transhumanism and monstrosity
  • Transhumanism and citizenship
  • Transhumanism and surveillance
  • Transhumanism and cognitive science
  • Transhumanism and values (social, economical, ethical, juridical, environmental, moral, instrumental, utilitarian, hedonic etc.)
  • Transhumanism and intersectionality (e.g. race, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, able-bodied, crip)
  • Human enhancement, prosthesis and extension
  • Morphological freedom
  • Educating the transhuman
  • Queering transhumanism
  • Transhumanism and speed
  • Transhumanist design
  • Definitions, practices and consequences of transhumanism (e.g. bio-hacking and DIY citizenship)
  • A battle for/of the anthropocene? Posthumanism vs. transhumanism
  • Transhumanism as subversive power

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Notes for Contributors

We encourage authors to use the Oxford referencing system. To give the essay form and improve its readability, we ask that the essay has a clearly defined topic or theme that is laid out in the introduction of the piece. We also encourage the writer to divide the text into sections, using headings to promote its readability. Authors are encouraged to refrain from selfreferences. The text should be proofread before submission. The journal applies double-blind peer review. Authors will also be invited to review papers for this special issue. Guest editors for this special issue are Mattias Arvola (Linköping University), Lina Rahm (Linköping University), and Jörgen Skågeby (Stockholm university).

The editorial group can be reached at confero@liu.se. A first full draft of the essay should be sent toconfero@liu.se on or before 1 April 2016. The subject line of the submission should read “Submission for SI on transhumanism”.

For further information and instructions, please visit our homepage: http://www.confero.ep.liu.se

download (3)

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Ruth Rikowski at Serendipitous Moments: http://ruthrikowskiim.blogspot.co.uk/

download (1)

 

images (24)BIOTECHNOLOGY, BIOPOLITICS & BIOCAPITAL

Friday October 23, 2015

2.30 – 6.00 pm

216 Asa Briggs Hall

Richmond University

17 Andsell Street, London, W8 5BN

Advances in our ability to make circulate, to intervene and to enhance biological functions have meant that the realm of culture now involves the transformation and commodification of ‘nature’ at its most elemental and molecular levels. This workshop interrogates changing understandings of ‘life’, the human, and the natural in the context of these and related developments in biotechnology, biopolitics and bio-capital.

images

Benoît Dillet (Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies) ‘Automation, Desire and Capital’

Alexander R. Wilson (Aarhus University) ‘Chronopolitics, Biotechnology, and the Post-Human Narrative’

Danielle Sands (Royal Holloway) ‘Gaia, Gender, and the Anthropocene’

Paul Rekret (Richmond) ‘Cogito Ergo Habum’

 

All welcome.

 

Please register at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/biotechnology-biopolitics-biocapital-tickets-18625940690

For enquiries contact Paul Rekret rekretp@richmond.ac.uk

Part of the ‘Living in the Anthropocene: Rethinking the Nature/Culture Divide’ Workshop Series: http://rethinkingtheanthropocene.blogspot.co.uk/

images (23)

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Ruth Rikowski at Serendipitous Moments: http://ruthrikowskiim.blogspot.co.uk/

BIOdownload

Cyborg

Cyborg

CYBORGS, KNOWLEDGE AND CREDIT FOR LEARNING

Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain

London Branch

Cyborgs, knowledge and credit for learning
Ben Kotzee (Birmingham University)
Wednesday 7 October
Institute of Education, UCL, 20 Bedford Way
Room 828
5:30 – 7:15
All are welcome.
Enquiries: sun.yun.14@ucl.ac.uk

download (2)

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Ruth Rikowski @ Academia: http://lsbu.academia.edu/RuthRikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Ruth Rikowski at Serendipitous Moments: http://ruthrikowskiim.blogspot.co.uk/

Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski

SOME ADDITIONS TO ACADEMIA: FEBRUARY 2015

 

Over the last month I have added quite a few items to my Academia site.

 

Here are the main additions that have not been included on other blogs:

 

 

 

PAPERS

 

The Confederation of British Industry and the Business Takeover of Schools (2007)

https://www.academia.edu/11138462/The_Confederation_of_British_Industry_and_the_Business_Takeover_of_Schools

 

Postmodernism in Educational Theory (with Peter McLaren, 2002)

https://www.academia.edu/11135246/Postmodernism_in_Educational_Theory

 

Prelude: Marxist Educational Theory After Postmodernism (2002)

https://www.academia.edu/11012712/Prelude_Marxist_Educational_Theory_After_Postmodernism

 

Time and Speed in the Social Universe of Capital (with Mike Neary, 2002)

https://www.academia.edu/10545768/Time_and_Speed_in_the_Social_Universe_of_Capital

 

Marxist Educational Theory Transformed (2000)

https://www.academia.edu/11086968/Marxist_Educational_Theory_Transformed

 

Working Schoolchildren in Britain Today (with Mike Neary, 1997)

https://www.academia.edu/11108460/Working_Schoolchildren_in_Britain_Today

 

 

 

VOLUMER ARTICLES

 

Post-Fordism and Schools in England (2008)

https://www.academia.edu/11048029/Post-Fordism_and_Schools_in_England

 

Forms of Capital: Critique of Bourdieu on Social Capital (2008)

https://www.academia.edu/11049106/Forms_of_Capital_Critique_of_Bourdieu_on_Social_Capital

 

Utopia and Education (2008)

https://www.academia.edu/11139021/Utopia_and_Education

 

Globalisation and Education Revisited (2008)

https://www.academia.edu/11109450/Globalisation_and_Education_Revisited

 

Snowballs and Risk in Schools (2008)

https://www.academia.edu/11027085/Snowballs_and_Risk_in_Schools

 

Nihilism and the Devaluation of Educational Values in England Today (2008)

https://www.academia.edu/11135945/Nihilism_and_the_De-valuation_of_Educational_Values_in_England_Today

 

Forms of Capital: Critique of Bourdieu on Cultural Capital (2008)

https://www.academia.edu/11048536/Forms_of_Capital_Critique_of_Bourdieu_on_Cultural_Capital

 

Playground Risks and Handcuffed Kids: We Need Safer Schools? (2007)

https://www.academia.edu/11074776/Playground_Risks_and_Handcuffed_Kids_We_Need_Safer_Schools

 

On Education Studies (2007)

https://www.academia.edu/11137286/On_Education_Studies

 

Education the HSBC Way (2007)

https://www.academia.edu/11109879/Education_the_HSBC_Way

 

The ‘Standards’ Language-game for Schools in England (2007)

https://www.academia.edu/11109014/The_Standards_Language-game_for_Schools_in_England_Today

 

Higher education and Confused Employer Syndrome (2006)

https://www.academia.edu/11075569/Higher_Education_and_Confused_Employer_Syndrome

 

On Tranhumanism and Education (2006)

https://www.academia.edu/11108794/On_Transhumanism_and_Education

 

 

Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Knowledge

Knowledge

CAPITAL AS COMPUTATION & COGNITION

 

Capital as Computation & Cognition: From Babbage’s Factory to Google’s Algorithmic Governance

Seminar syllabus [draft, in progress]

New Centre for Research and Practice, 3-24 March 2015.

Enroll –› thenewcentre.org/seminars/capital-as-computation-cognition

Instructor: Matteo Pasquinelli –› matteopasquinelli.org

 

Since the times of Smith, Ricardo and Marx, if not for even longer, capital has functioned as a form of computation constituted by and as a complex mathematical system. As Simondon noticed, the industrial machine was already an informational relay, that was separating the source of energy (nature) from the source of information (the human). After WWII the numeric essence of capital has been coupled with the informational dimension of cybernetics and computing machines, while also subsuming emergent forms of augmented intelligence. Capitalism, as a form of accounting and as an exterior mnemonic technique, is in itself a form of transhuman intelligence. Cognitive capitalism, Specifically, on the basis of its infonumeric procedures, from layman’s accounting to sophisticated algotrading, as well as from immaterial labour to scientific research, is an institution of computation.

The aim of the seminar is twofold: on the one hand, it will provide an introduction to some critical keywords (such as abstract labour, general intellect, cybernetic loop, calculation problem, immaterial labour, cognitive capitalism, augmented intelligence, computational limit, etc.) and to more recent debates around the technological form (on Accelerationism and algorithmic governance, for instance). On the other hand, the seminar wants to provide a compact and accurate bibliography about the canonical approaches to the relation between capital, technology, knowledge and labour. A specific attention will be given to the precise historical contexts in which fundamental ideas were originated and crucial books published. All the bibliographies are therefore compiled in chronological order to make genealogies and the circulation of ideas more comprehensible (and to clarify also epic misunderstandings, weak intepretations and harsh criticism).

The seminar in structured in four parts that correspond roughly to four different historical periods and to their relative types of machinic assemblage. The seminar aims to illuminate each historical moment according to a specific composition of the three variables: capital, computation and cognition. The first technological assemblage to be covered is Marx’s industrial machine, that inaugurated the bifurcation between energy and information. The second one is the cybernetic machine, distinguished by the feedback loop system and by the first experiments at the scale of national economy. Third, the Turing machine more in general will be taken as the basic diagram of cognitive capitalism and the network society and as the terrain of a further bifurcation, that is of the split between data and metadata. Fourth, algorithms for data mining will be discussed as models of the last stage of capitalism and its algorithmic governance, marking the passage from metadata to a global machinic intelligence.

Each seminar presents two or three historical and fundamental texts that are selected from a general bibliography. Documents that will be discussed during the seminar are underlined in bold and marked with an arrow (it is mandatory to read only the texts marked with an arrow: titles in bold are highly recommended). At the end of the seminar, students will be asked to pick up one text or more and to reconstruct how the diagram of the composition of capital/computation/cognition emerges in a specific author or historical moment, or to propose new trajectories of analysis.

 

As a general introduction to the seminar is recommended the reading of:

➡ Pasquinelli, Matteo (2014) “Italian Operaismo and the Information Machine“, Theory, Culture

and Society, first published 2 February 2014. http://matteopasquinelli.com/operaismo-informationmachine

➡ Pasquinelli, Matteo (2014) “Augmented Intelligence”, in: Critical Keywords for the Digital

Humanities, Lüneburg: Leuphana university, 2014.

http://cdckeywords.leuphana.com/augmented_intelligence

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

PosthumanALIEN LIFE: MARX AND THE FUTURE OF THE HUMAN

My article, Alien Life: Marx and the Future of the Human, is now available at Academia.

It was published as:

Rikowski, G. (2003) Alien Life: Marx and the Future of the Human, Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, Volume 11 Issue 2, pp.121-164.

The article can be viewed on Academia at: http://www.academia.edu/10986589/Alien_Life_Marx_and_the_Future_of_the_Human

It was a polished and heavily edited version of a paper I presented a few years earlier at one of the Birkbeck College Seminars on Marx, Individuals & Society, run by the late Cyril Smith: Marx and the Future of the Human (2000).

This paper is also on Academia, at: http://www.academia.edu/6043714/Marx_and_the_Future_of_the_Human

For those interested in the interface of Marxism and Post/Trans-humanism, my article Education, Capital and the Transhuman may also be of value.

This article is also at Academia, at:

http://www.academia.edu/9033532/Education_Capital_and_the_Transhuman

Also of interest on this theme is Planet of the Capitorg

This can also be found at Academia:

https://www.academia.edu/6921390/Planet_of_the_Capitorg

Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski

@ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Posthuman

Posthuman

POSTHUMANISM & SOCIETY

Call For Papers

Glocal Symposium

“POSTHUMANISM & SOCIETY”

NYU, New York City, May 8th 2015

In collaboration with the New York Posthuman Research Group we are delighted to announce the first Glocal Symposium, to be held at the Program of Liberal Studies, New York University (NYC)

In contemporary scholarship, “posthuman” has emerged as a key term in the effort to redefine the human in light of multiple and profound impacts of twentieth and twentyfirst century social, philosophical and technological trends.

On one hand, the biotechnological possibility of human enhancement, the growing significance of virtuality as an extension of the self, the scientific and cultural expectations of space migration have raised crucial questions which require the input of society as a whole.

On the other hand, the cumulative impact of anthropocentrism has become so massive that geologists have dubbed the present era the “Anthropocene” since human actions have had a profound systemic affect, leading to an ecological point of no return.

Capitorg

Capitorg

The New York Posthuman Research Group invites multiple perspectives to converge on these and related questions.

Keynote Speaker: Professor Rosi Braidotti

Connecting live from the University of Utrecht (Holland)

There will be parallel events in different International Universities around the world.

*Glocal: The survival of local specificities in a globalized world.

 

SUBMISSIONS & DEADLINES

We invite abstracts of up to 150 words and a short bio, to be sent to:

NYposthuman@gmail.com

Abstracts should be received by February 28th 2015.

*Presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes. Each presentation will be given 10 additional minutes each for questions and discussions with the audience, for a total of 20 minutes.

 

The Academic Committee:

Francesca Ferrando

Farzad Mahootian

Yunus Tuncel

Posthuman

Posthuman

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Posthuman

Posthuman

CRITIQUING TECHNOLOGIES OF THE MIND

CALL FOR PAPERS

Critiquing Technologies of the Mind: Enhancement, Alteration, and Anthropotechnology

Special Issue of Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

Over the past twenty or even thirty years, an international and interdisciplinary body of research has developed on the various ethical and philosophical issues raised by the possibility of using technological means to transform the human body beyond medical ends. The phrase that has emerged in the English-speaking bioethical debate to describe this new field is ‘human enhancement’. Some authors, particularly in France, have raised objections to the positive valuation that is implied in the preferred English terminology. As an alternative, the terms ‘anthropotechnics’ and ‘anthropotechnology’, combining the Greek words ‘anthropos’ and ‘techne’, have been suggested as preferable conceptual tools, which avoid the implicit positive valuation of ‘enhancement’, while directly addressing the question of technological intervention in and on the body for extra-medical ends.

This special issue will investigate a specific area of the anthropotechnics/enhancement debate: those modifications of the body aimed at affecting the processes of the mind. This field is generally referred to as ‘cognitive enhancement’, we prefer the more neutral and encompassing expression ‘technologies of the mind’. The issue will aim to address the fundamental ethical and philosophical questions surrounding this area of technology through the prism of the philosophically productive contrasts and conceptual differences between the (broadly speaking) Anglo-American and the (broadly speaking) French debates. The idea of anthropotechnics has emerged out of different philosophical traditions than the mainstream Anglo-American philosophical discourse around enhancement. We argue that a careful interrogation of the conceptual resources drawn upon by the French and, rather coarsely speaking, continental philosophical traditions (here we include phenomenology, hermeneutics, French epistemology, and post-structuralism) examined against a backdrop of the ‘enhancement’ debate more familiar perhaps to English speaking readers, will significantly enrich and broaden the philosophical literature in this area, as well as enlarging its international conceptual scope.

We propose four main axes for consideration, but welcome contributions on all topics and from all approaches within the scope outlined above:

What are the different technologies that are currently presented as cognitive enhancers? To what extents are the virtues attributed to them a reality? This includes the stage they are at on the path from hypothetical modification to widely used products, and the various philosophical questions arising from their use.

How is the concept of cognition is itself deployed in the idea of cognitive enhancement? Nick Bostrom and Anders Sandberg, two of the most prominent philosophers studying ‘enhancement’ define cognition as a set of processes that comprise acquiring information (perception), selecting (attention), representing (understanding) and retaining (memory) information, and using it to guide behaviour (reasoning and coordination of motor outputs)’. They insist that ‘interventions to improve cognitive function may be directed at any one of these core faculties’. But these faculties are generally approached uncritically in the literature, as is the question of how they overlap and interact with one another as well as with emotion, and aspects of embodiment. Also, most of the products that are presented as potential ‘cognitive enhancers’ (caffeine, Adderall, etc.) often appear, after more detailed studies, not to improve cognition itself, but the conditions of use of existing cognitive abilities. Likewise, in the existing literature, there are few studies interested in issues such as altered perception: the focus on a few products and specific functions like alertness and memory appears to hinder the consideration of technologies that may affect other aspects of cognition, and in other ways than enhancement narrowly conceived.

Does the modular approach to cognition, often ignoring the first-person perspective, and widespread in the ‘cognitive enhancement’ literature, present an accurate account of subjectivity, and specifically of the enhanced subject? In this respect, some qualitative studies already provide a more complete picture of the enhanced subject. But we argue that a wider use of phenomenological, neurophenomenological and narrative approaches to the subject is also needed, alongside more conceptually sophisticated accounts of subjective relations with environment.

What role should speculation and fiction play in the study of cognitive enhancement? Some philosophers emphasize the need for a ‘pre-emptive’ approach that tries to bring out the potential issues in technologies not yet developed, but on a speculative horizon, so as to be ethically and politically ready when they appear. But is this a legitimate and productive methodological approach? Are there past examples of such successful ‘pre-emptive’ philosophies of technology? How do these general considerations about speculative ethical thinking affect the particular topic of cognitive enhancement?

This aim of this issue is to explore these and other approaches to the questions surrounding ‘technologies of the mind’, in particular by setting up an dialogue between analytical and continental, English-speaking and French-speaking, philosophical traditions.

*Submission information*

Word limit: 8000 words

Deadline for submissions: 30 June 2015

Publication is expected in 2016/17

Peer review: all submissions will be subject to a double blind peer-review process. Please prepare your submission for blind reviewing.

Submissions should be made directly via the journal’s online submission system: (http://www.editorialmanager.com/phen) indicating: Special Issue: Critiquing Technologies of the Mind.

For further details, please check the website of Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences: http://www.springer.com/philosophy/philosophical+traditions/journal/11097

Specific questions about the special issue can be addressed to Darian Meacham (darian.meacham@uwe.ac.uk), Ruud ter Meulen (R.terMeulen@bristol.ac.uk), or Sylvie Allouche (allouche.sylvie@gmail.com). Please include the text “Special Issue: Critiquing Technologies of the Mind” in the subject line of the email.

 

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‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.co.uk/

Capitorg

Capitorg

POSTHUMANISMS

Call for Papers

Symploké: A journal for the intermingling of theoretical scholarship

Symploké: http://www.symploke.org/

Posthumanisms (Vol. 23, No. 1-2 [2015])

Welcome are papers that engage posthumanism in ways that avoid flattening “the human” into a monolithic or homogenous problematic. We are especially interested in papers that take up posthumanism in relation to the crisis of the humanities and the ongoing crises faced by marginalized “humans” around the globe. How might posthumanist thought be symptomatic of the crisis of the humanities and (higher) education more broadly? How has posthumanist inquiry ignored the lived heterogeneities of humanness distributed across raced, classed, gendered, and differently abled bodies? How can posthumanism’s critical political project benefit from being brought into intimate connection with critical race, queer, feminist, anti-colonial, and disability theories?(Deadline: 31 December 2014.)

Manuscripts must be received by December 31, 2014.

Submissions of any length which are appropriate to the aims of symplokē will be considered, although those between 4,000 and 6,500 words (approximately 16-26 typed, double-spaced pages) are preferred. Please keep in mind that submitted manuscripts need not be intended for an upcoming special issue; general submissions of high quality are encouraged. The editors reserve the right to make stylistic alterations in the interest of clarity. Authors will receive a complementary issue of the journal. All submissions must strictly follow the guidelines for copy preparation listed below. Articles not conforming to these guidelines may be sent back to the author for revision.

Preparation of Copy:
1. All submissions must provide a complete listing of references and use footnotes rather than endnotes.
2. Footnotes should generally consist only of references and are to be consecutively numbered throughout the manuscript.
3. References must include the names of publishers as well as places of publication. Also include full names and a complete listing of translators and editors.
4. The format of the manuscript must conform to the current MLA Style Manual.
5. All manuscripts must be submitted in duplicate. If the manuscript was word-processed, include a copy of your IBM- or Macintosh-compatible disk. Microsoft word or ASCII files are preferable.
6. All quotations, titles, names and dates must be checked for accuracy.
7. All articles must be written in English.
8. This journal has a policy of blind peer reviewing; thus the author’s name should not appear on the manuscript and a separate title page must be provided.
9. Material not kept for publication will be returned if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Address submissions to:

symplokē
Jeffrey R. Di Leo, Editor-in-Chief
University of Houston-Victoria
3007 North Ben Wilson
Victoria, TX 77901.

Or send attached files to the Editor-in-Chief at: editor@symploke.org.

All materials published in this journal are copyrighted by symplokē. Submission of an article to this journal entails the author’s agreement to assign copyright to symplokē. Articles appearing in symplokē may be reproduced for research purposes, personal reference, and classroom use without special permission and without fee payment. This permission does not extend to other kinds of reproduction such as copying for general distribution, for the creation of collected works or anthologies, for advertising or promotional purposes, or for resale. These and all other rights are reserved.

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ Academia: http://independent.academia.edu/GlennRikowski

Glenn Rikowski @ ResearchGate: http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Glenn_Rikowski?ev=hdr_xprf

Online Publications at The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.co.uk

 

Glenn Rikowski’s latest paper, Crises in Education, Crises of Education – can now be found at Academia: http://www.academia.edu/8953489/Crises_in_Education_Crises_of_Education

Glenn Rikowski’s article, Education, Capital and the Transhuman – can also now be found at Academia: https://www.academia.edu/9033532/Education_Capital_and_the_Transhuman