Heidegger's influence on posthumanism: The destruction of metaphysics, technology and the overcoming of anthropocentrism

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Philosophy Department

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Research Article

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History of the Human Sciences

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While Jacques Derrida's influence on posthumanist theory is well established in the literature, given Martin Heidegger's influence on Derrida, it is surprising to find that Heidegger's relationship to posthumanist theory has been largely ignored. This article starts to fill this lacuna by showing that Heidegger's writings not only influences but also has much to teach posthumanism, especially regarding the relationship between humanism and posthumanism. By first engaging with Heidegger's destruction of metaphysics and related critique of anthropocentrism, I show that, while rejecting Heidegger's conclusions for being too humanist, posthumanism shares, and indeed is largely unreflectively defined by, Heidegger's critique of the binary logic underpinning anthropocentric humanism. With this, posthumanism aims to go beyond Heidegger by overcoming all forms of humanist understanding, an attempt that brings us back to the relationship between humanism and posthumanism and Heidegger's notion of trace. With this, I not only show that Heidegger influences posthumanism through his destruction of metaphysics, critique of anthropocentrism and notion of trace, but also point towards an understanding of posthumanism that distinguishes it from humanism and transhumanism. © The Author(s) 2013.

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