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Egenis · Events

Seminar with Professor Steve Fuller 'Humanity: The Always Already - or Never To Be - Object of the Social Sciences?'

Seminar   30.03.2010






Professor Steve Fuller, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick

Organised by

Egenis and Department of Sociology and Philosophy


Rm. B10, Hatherly Labs

Event details

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 PM

Abstract ‘Humanity’ as the name for both an object of study and a political project has been the hallmark of a distinct set of disciplines that since the 19th century have been called the ‘social sciences’. However, today ‘social science’ is losing its salience as a brand name. Recent developments in both science policy and popular science – ranging from the NSF’s ‘converging technologies’ agenda to John Brockman’s ‘third culture’ publishing ventures – suggest that philosophically enhanced natural scientists are prepared to take up the fundamental theoretical tasks of re-defining the human condition for the 21st century. Emerging from these developments is the following question: Are humans defined in terms of where they came from or where they are going – the actual past or the potential future? The figures of Peter Singer and Ray Kurzweil – animal rights vs. spiritual machines – vividly epitomize the choice, which appears to reinvent classic definition of humanity in terms of the mind-body dualism. I shall explore this apparent revival of dualism and its implications for both human self-understanding and the fate of the social sciences.

Further details