- Ankita Sarkar
Deconstructing the psychology of (post)humanism
Updated: May 8, 2022
Humanists believe man is omnipotent and that if there's a hierarchy in the world, then man is at the top of the world. But posthumanism believes in multi-species kinship- animate or inanimate(there is no hierarchy). There's no difference between human beings and nonhuman beings. They tend to think that no self's different from others and that there's only a network and everything is a part of that network. Whereas humanism believes in the concept of binary(human/nonhuman), and the nonhuman creatures are at the periphery. So posthumanism is trying to replace this "/" sign with a "-", and it's an endeavour to acknowledge that. As Gaia hypothesis, named after the ancient Greek goddess of Earth, posits that Earth and its biological systems behave as a single colossal entity. They are vital and not just inanimate objects.
Creating something anew has fascinated man ever since the early days of evolution; a quest for curiosity, creation, and thinking that they are the most powerful being in the world has moulded man continuously into the being they are now. Foucault's ideas, particularly the notion that society's norms are enforced not only by actual police but also by our internalisation of these norms, like the psychological trap, make it difficult even to imagine a way out of them. And that makes psychologically trapped people believe that in self-destruction lies the freedom from society(humanism). And they tend to recreate themselves, change themselves into something they are not just for a glimpse of liberation.
The "I" is the most problematic letter in posthumanism. Because "I" represents humanists(power). As in the time of Rennaisance, Man was considered to be the most powerful being. As Lamartine once said, "Man discovered himself and the universe". Even in the text of "Doctor Faustus", we see Faustus's inexhaustible thirst for knowledge; his interest in sorcery and magic makes him the man of the Renaissance.
I would intend to locate the ideas where humanists' tendencies dismantle to re-examine the relationship between the human and the self by understanding the psychology of the humanist. Find out the transition from humanism to posthumanism. And with the help of Freudian Uncanny, find out if we are facing the uncanny sensation while taking the journey of freeing the self from the hurdle of humanism? And if the suppressed desire is leading us towards a posthumanist notion. And find out about the transition from humanism to posthumanism.
ARE WE GETTING TRANSFORMED INTO A POSTHUMAN WHILE DECODING THE NOTION OF HUMANISM?