The emerging political economy of Humanity 2.0
Fuller, Steve, 1959-. (2012) The emerging political economy of Humanity 2.0. Innovation :The European Journal of Social Science Research, Vol.25 (No.1). pp. 79-92. ISSN 1351-1610
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13511610.2012.660408
'Humanity 2.0' refers to the title of my recent book (Humanity 2.0: What It Means to Be Human Past, Present and Future, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), in which I present humanity as historically poised to re-negotiate its sense of collective identity. There are at least five reasons for this, which are addressed in this paper: (a) the prominence of digital technology in shaping everyday life and human self-understanding; (b) the advances (both promised and realized) in biotechnology that aim to extend the human condition, perhaps even into a phase that might be called 'trans-' or 'post-' human; (c) a growing sense of ecological consciousness (much of it promoted by a sense of impending global catastrophe); (d) a growing awareness of the biological similarity between humans and other animals, reviving doubts about strictly naturalistic criteria for demarcating the 'human'; and (e) an increasing sense of human affection and sympathy migrating to animals and even androids, during a period when national health budgets are stretched perhaps to an unprecedented extent. The article is structured into two parts. The first part follows the humanistic implications of the claim that the computer was the innovation that most changed the human condition in the twentieth century. The overriding significance of the computer provides a gateway to our emerging sense of 'Humanity 2.0'. The second part focuses on the implications of Humanity 2.0 for welfare policy, concluding with a thought experiment concerning health policy. Here the basic point is that the ontological framework for conceptualizing the just liberal society is subtly shifting from the potential to the virtual as the normative benchmark of our humanity.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HM Sociology|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Humanity, Technology -- Social aspects, Welfare state|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Innovation :The European Journal of Social Science Research|
|Page Range:||pp. 79-92|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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