Debate 4

14:15 – 16:30 - Debate 4 - Moderator: Dr. Piotr Jakubowski

Dimensions of posthumanism

Dr. Francesca Ferrando

Posthuman Simulations and the Challenge of Hypermimesis

Prof. Nidesh Lawtoo

A different, immanent, embodied, and relational conception of imitation (mimesis) is currently informing the posthuman turn. Emerging from an ERC-funded project titled Homo Mimeticus, this lecture argues that mimesis, understood as an unconscious tendency to mimic others (be they human or nonhuman) provides an important and still missing genealogical link to account for the capacity of (post)humans to become other—for both good and ill. Turning to contemporary simulations that are not simply illusory or hyperreal but spellbinding and hypermimetic—from conspiracy theories to (new) fascist injunctions to algorithmic bubbles—the lecture questions the ideal of a volitional, autonomous, and fully rational subject to cast light on some of the ethical and political challenges homo mimeticus faces in the present and will continue to face in the future.

Myth, ideology, and utopia of transhumanism

Prof. Anna Bugajska

In the recent decades, transhumanism as a philosophical and social movement has been on the rise, and has propelled research in many technological solutions whose aim is to improve the human life. At the same time, though, it has been accused of anti-humanism that in the end will lead to human extinction. In many publications on the subject it has been characterized as a contemporary mythology (Hauskeller 2016), a dangerous ideology (Fukuyama 2004), and a biotechnological utopia, giving rise to a new concept in utopian studies (evantropia; Bugajska 2019, Misseri 2016). In my paper I would like to evaluate these characterizations, with the view to the fact that each of the proposed terms is very complex and that the correct understanding of what transhumanism constitutes in impacts the paths taken in research and in the establishment of legal frameworks for the proposed technological solutions, as well as social attitudes shaped by the chosen perspective.

Debate 4 - Moderator

Dr. Piotr Jakubowski

Piotr Jakubowski, PhD, independent researcher in a field of cultural studies, former assistant professor at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, constant associate of SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and Warsaw Film School. Author of the book Pułapki tożsamości. Między narracją a literaturą [The Obstacles of the Identity. Between Narrative and Literature], Universitas 2014, and several articles published in both Polish and international journals. Main investigator in the research project Konstruowanie wizerunku uchodźców w polskim dyskursie publicznym, NCN Sonata 2017 [Constructing the Image of the Refugees in Polish Public Discourse, National Science Centre]. His main areas of interest are: digital culture and new media, visual culture, intercultural communication, semiotics, literature and film studies.