Posthuman Subjectivity: Beyond Modern Metaphysics

  • Tamar Sharon
Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 14)


This chapter explores the implications of posthumanist subjectivity via a discussion on subjectivity in the work of some important precursors of non-humanist posthumanism on subjectivity, such as Heidegger, Levinas and Deleuze, to methodological and radical posthumanists like Latour and Haraway. The human being is conceptualized here not as an independent and autonomous entity with clear cut boundaries but as a heterogeneous subject whose self-definition is continuously shifting, and that exists in a complex network of human and non-human agents and the technologies that mediate between them.

The discussion on subjectivity in the methodological and radical posthumanist approaches brings to light several significant shortcomings. Methodological posthumanism, after having argued for the agency of technological artifacts, too often fails to carry through the implications this has for human subjects. While radical posthumanism too often concedes to a celebration of hybridity (per se) and the claim that emerging biotechnologies have the potential to bring about a fundamental break with modernity. This critique serves as a platform to introduce the mediated posthumanist approach by reading Foucault’s work on subject constitution via the notion of technological mediation and extending his notion of “technologies of the self” to biotechnologies. In this reading, the subject is constituted in specific ways by its technological mediations with the world, but it also develops an active relation to them, so that technologies can be seen as ethical practices that an interconnected, dynamic and molecular subject works with to constitute itself.


Posthuman subjectivity Symmetry Technologies of the self Cyborg Hospitality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tamar Sharon
    • 1
  1. 1.PhilosophyMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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