What does it mean to live in an era of ‘posts’? At a time when ‘post-truth’ is on everyone’s lips, this volume seeks to uncover the logic of post-constructions – postmodernism, post-secularism, postfeminism, post-colonialism, post-capitalism, post-structuralism, post-humanism, post-tradition, post-Christian, post-Keynesian and post-ideology – across a wide array of contexts. It shows that ‘post’ does not simply mean ‘after.’ Although post-prefixes sometimes denote a particular periodization, especially in the case of mid-twentieth-century post-concepts, they more often convey critical dissociation from their root concept. In some cases, they even indicate a continuation of the root concept in an altered form. By surveying the range of meanings that post-prefixes convey, as well as how these meanings have changed over time and across multiple and shifting contexts, this volume sheds new light on how post-constructions work and on what purposes they serve. Moreover, by tracing them across the humanities and social sciences, the volume uncovers sometimes unexpected parallels and transfers between fields usually studied in isolation from each other.
in world-experience. What is often called post-humanism ( Braidotti, 2013 ) brings several contemporary positivist stands together.
These include the new empiricism, speculative realism and actor network theory. Post-humanist
thought draws on process-oriented behavioural ontologies of becoming. These privilege
individuals understood as cognitively limited by their unmediated relationship with their
enfolding environments ( Galloway, 2013 ; Chandler, 2015 ). An individual’s
‘world’ reduces to the immediate who, where and when of their
this idea might be advanced and, drawing on the rich heritage of critical theory, he did so well in advance of post-phenomenology’s fashionable ‘post-humanism’. Moreover, it is worth noting that for all his attempts to distance himself from Feenberg’s approach, Verbeek only ends up joining him in calling for greater democracy in technology design.
Feenberg’s theory includes resources to develop an immanent ethics of design because he identifies, in humanistic and pragmatic terms, the basic motivation of technology. His preferred example here is medicine, which he
often also its market-driven, neoliberal, or libertarian political orientations.
Critical and cognitive theory and singularity
Critical theory tends to distance itself from singularity science discourses, particularly in their populist forms, whilst itself entertaining a series of somewhat discrete positions. In an article in Existenz Francesca Ferrando ( 2013 ) helpfully disambiguates by dividing transhumanist thinking on singularity from forms of critical post-humanism, which begin by decentring
This chapter argues that his attachment to the idea of critique inhibits Feenberg from delivering fully on the radical, utopian aims that motivate his theory of technical politics. Feenberg defines critique as a form of thought that is marked by ‘persistent reference to nature, reflection and individuality’, and which, on this basis, opposes ‘the totalitarian power of technology’. He adds that this critique of technology, ‘distinguishes critical theory from various forms of postmodernism and post-humanism’ ( 2002 : 33). At the same time, however, Feenberg