Thoughts on Post-humanism


Some post-humanists believe that humans have already evolved beyond human. Due to technology, both invasive and pervasive at this point in time, we are now a new species – post-human. I am not sure I believe that, but I am willing to engage in the thought experiments this idea generates.

I can’t disagree with the idea that what it means to be human has changed drastically from ancient times to today. We have vaccines that protect us from diseases that would have killed us not long ago. We have plastic surgery to fix physical defects and appeal to our vanity. Our food is enriched with additional vitamins and our water treated. We even have medical conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome that can be caused by the technology we use every day.  Post-humanists would argue this makes us a new and different species from the humans of 4000 years ago. I am not convinced.

However, I am left pondering: what about pets? Are they also post-insert animal name here? I vaccinate my cats against diseases that could kill them. People pay money to have their animal’s appearance changed in some way. We shared our home with a dog that needed metal pins to replace a damaged hip. The food I buy for my pets is vitamin-enriched. Even the crickets the newt eats have been gut loaded with additional vitamins and coated in calcium. And the water I give to the cats is filtered and treated. Our pets can grow obese due to over-feeding and increasingly sedentary, or pampered, lives. They live vastly different lives than animals 4000 years ago. So are my tabby cats post-cats?

I know I will read more on the subject as I have only read a limited number of essays by post-humanists, but I wonder what others think.

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