The transformation and transcendence of the human being has long been a subject of philosophic inquiry. Currently, however, through advances in technology and scientific understanding of the functioning of the brain, the human being is increasingly subject to fundamental modification. Progress in the scientific understanding of human cognition and behaviour, as well as the potential modification of these, challenge long-held beliefs about responsibility, autonomy and free will.
Technological developments in the fields of artificial intelligence, human/machine interfaces and implant technology further blur the boundaries between human and non-human. These changes challenge moral and ethical concepts, human identity and agency, and may gradually transform the human into what might be called the posthuman. The new technologies of the self do not require to work on oneself anymore, but have become instrumental and have turned humans into technological selves.
In this seminar, we will explore these issues and phenomena as well as their aesthetic manifestations in texts, films, images and artefacts.