Humans Have Always Been Posthuman: A Spiritual Genealogy of Posthumanism



This article wishes to unveil the relevance of spirituality in the genealogy of Cultural, Critical and Philosophical Posthumanism. In its genealogical endeavor, this article expands the lens of the posthuman outside of Western academia, to Eastern traditions of thought such as Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Yoga and Tantrism. This article wishes to recognize the important contribution of different spiritual traditions in the development of Posthuman Studies. In order to do so, it first provides an introduction to the topic of Posthumanism and spirituality. Secondly, it highlights ancient spiritual traditions which are in tune with the posthuman approach; lastly, it elaborates on the development of the spiritual politics of the posthuman, by emphasizing the relevance of Posthumanism as a contemporary philosophy of life. This article argues that spirituality, in its all-encompassing signification, corresponds to the core meaning of the posthuman post-dualistic perspective. In this sense, humans have always been posthuman. And still, this article also wishes to emphasize that no specific tradition can be regarded as fully representative of the posthuman, as most of these traditional systems of thought, once systematized, have adapted to the anthropocentric paradigm. This is why, although Posthumanism is deeply indebted to the spiritual realm, its offerings are unique, original and very much needed. In the age of the Anthropocene, Posthumanism is required to develop daily ethics of living based on an integral investment of its post-anthropocentric premises. The notion of spirituality helps us answer these questions, as it dramatically broadens our understanding of the posthuman, allowing us to investigate not only technical technologies (robotics, cybernetics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, among others), but also, technologies of existence. In this sense, we have always been posthuman.


Nonhuman Animal Full Awareness Spiritual Tradition Sanskrit Word Eastern Tradition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Special thanks to Ellen Delahunty Roby, Thomas Roby, Renata Prato, Ugo Ferrando, Alisa and Remi Trumpele-Gletsos.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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