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Humans: Humans, or Homo sapiens, are the most intelligent and widespread species of primates. Humans are characterized by bipedalism, large brains, and capacity for articulate speech and abstract reasoning. Humans are social creatures who live in complex societies. See also Society, Reason, Thinking, Brain, Intelligence, Language.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Postmodernism on Humans - Dictionary of Arguments

Gaus I 49
Humans/Postmodernism/Bennett: Postmodern theorizing repositions the human in relation to the non-human entities and forces with which it shares the world. Its metaphysics of immanence displaces humans from the centre of the universe.
We are viewed instead as a particularly complex and reflexive formation, differing from other forms in significant degree but not in kind.
The human is pictured as a mixture of categories of things against which it has traditionally been defined. We are hybrids of animal and machine, culture and biology, language and affect.
Cf. >Animal, >Animal language, >Thinking, >Artificial intelligence, >Language, >Culture, >Affects.
Haraway: We are cyborgs, says Donna Haraway (1989)(1), who examines the advantages and disadvantages of this for democratic politics, feminism, and multicultural coexistence.
>Democracy, >Feminism.
Bruno Latour: Latour says that the human is not one pole to be opposed to another called the non-human, but rather a ‘weaver of morphisms’: ‘The expression “anthropomorphic” considerably underestimates our humanity. We should be talking about … technomorphisms, zoomorphisms, physiomorphisms, ideomorphisms, theomorphisms, sociomorphisms, psychomorphisms … Their alliances and their exchanges, taken together, are what define the anthropos’ (1993(2): 137).
>B. Latour.
Deleuze: Deleuze and Guattari’s (1987)(3) discussion of the childhood game of ‘becoming animal’ explores the positive potential of this mobile hybridity. The game, they say, reveals the child’s sense of herself as born from an over-rich field of protean forces and materials, only some of which are tapped by her current, human form. In playing their barking, mooing, chirping, growling games, children bear witness to an ‘inhuman contrivance with the animal’ within them (...).(3)
>G. Deleuze, >F. Guattari.
Gaus I 50
Ball: The postmodern emphasis on the shared material basis of all things – of humans, animals, artifacts and natural objects – also advances an ecological sense of interconnectedness.
>Ecology, cf. >Deep ecology.
Becoming: Postmodern theorists picture the human being, like everything else that is, to be engaged in ongoing transitions between being and becoming. For Derrida, becoming is what makes possible any progress or improvement toward an ideal in political life (...).(4)
>J. Derrida, >Change.

1. Haraway, Donna (1989) Primate Visions. New York: Routledge.
2. Latour, Bruno (1993) We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
3. Deleuze, Gilles and Guattari, Felix (1987) A Thousand Plateaus, trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
4. Derrida, Jacques (2001) ‘An interview with Jacques Derrida’. Theory & Event, 5 (1).

Jane Bennett, 2004. „Postmodern Approaches to Political Theory“. In: Gaus, Gerald F. & Kukathas, Chandran 2004. Handbook of Political Theory. SAGE Publications.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Gaus I
Gerald F. Gaus
Chandran Kukathas
Handbook of Political Theory London 2004

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