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Beyond Human: From Animality to Transhumanism [Paperback]

Claire Molloy , Steven Shakespeare , Charlie Blake

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Book Description

May 10 2012 1441150110 978-1441150110
<em>Beyond Human</em> investigates what it means to call ourselves human beings in relation to both our distant past and our possible futures as a species, and the questions this might raise for our relationship with the myriad species with which we share the planet. Drawing on insights from zoology, theology, cultural studies and aesthetics, an international line-up of contributors explore such topics as our origins as reflected in early cave art in the upper Palaeolithic through to our prospects at the forefront of contemporary biotechnology. In the process, the book positions "the human" in readiness for what many have characterized as our transhuman or posthuman future. For if our status as rational animals or "animals that think" has traditionally distinguished us as apparently superior to other species, this distinction has become increasingly problematic. It has come to be seen as based on skills and technologies that do not distinguish us so much as position us as transitional animals. It is the direction and consequences of this transition that is the central concern of <em>Beyond Human</em>. >

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This fascinating collection of essays is oftenchallenging and always engaging.Drawingon an astonishing breadth of approaches this book offers a stimulatingexploration of what it means to be both embodied human and animal in anincreasingly post-human world.
From the opening chapter with its provocative idea ofhanding animals tools for their own, much needed, revolution through to thefinal chapter which unsettlingly forces the reader to considerhuman-technological melding, this book will force to you see – and think aboutthe world – differently.
(Sanford Lakoff)

The chapters in this incisive collection offer important challenges to anthropocentric prejudices – just as the title promises, readers are taken “beyond human.” Vivid, passionate, ethically-charged critical writing embodies resistance to fixed ideas that diminish other animals. Boundaries are contested and conventions are transgressed as these writers celebrate a consciousness that displaces man as the measure of all things. This memorable and important compilation of scholarship creatively advances the agenda of human-animal studies. (Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Charlie Blake is Senior Lecturer in Critical and Cultural Theory and Head of the Department of Media, Film and Communication at Liverpool Hope University, UK.
Claire Molloy is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts and Media at University of Brighton, UK. She has published on anthropomorphism, representations of animals in videogames and literature and dangerous dogs, media and risk. She is the author of Memento (EUP 2010) and Popular Media and Animal Ethics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
Steven Shakespeare is Lecturer in Philosophy at Liverpool Hope University. He is the author of Kierkegaard, Language and the Reality of God (Ashgate, 2001) and Radical Orthodoxy. A Critical Introduction (SPCK 2007). He is also coauthor, with Hugh Rayment-Pickard, of The Inclusive God. Reclaiming Theology for an Inclusive Church (Canterbury, 2006).

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