Why Space Migration Must Be Posthuman

  • Francesca Ferrando
Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)


This chapter responds to the urgency for reflecting on the large-scale ethical and ecological implications, socio-political challenges and technological preconditions of space migration , by highlighting the importance of treating outer space in relation to Earth, and not as a separated otherness. Instead of the utilitarian view, which perceives space as the ultimate resource, this chapter will engage with an onto-epistemological standpoint inspired by Heidegger’s definition of technology: outer space will be thus accessed as “a way of revealing”, allowing for an original understanding of this notion in the processual constitution of human and posthuman identities. In the first section, this chapter will demonstrate that, in the ancient world, astronomical insights were crucial to the perception of the Earth and to the development of human civilizations. The second section will underline how, in the space race, humans lost their ontological primacy, in relation to non-human animals and robots; it will also critically analyze the history of humans in space according to practices of discrimination such as: anthropocentrism , sexism and racism. The third section will highlight how space pragmatics should be revised by developing sustainable space technologies in order to comply with the theoretical principles of the “Outer Space Treaty” (1967), expanding the beneficial vision of space exploration, from humans and Earth, to non-human beings and non-human agents, including other planets. The dynamics of space migration will be inquired by reconciling the varied philosophical landscape of the posthuman, bridging different schools of thought such as: Posthumanism, Transhumanism, New Materialism and Object-Oriented Ontology .


Posthumanism Transhumanism New materialism Object-Oriented Ontology Gender Race Human enhancement Futures studies Overview effect Heidegger Animal studies Sustainability Robots Archaeoastronomy 



Many thanks to Thomas Roby and Ellen Delahunty Roby for proofreading of the chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liberal Studies ProgramNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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