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In the name of posthumanity: visions and justifications of liberal order in contemporary anglophone transhumanism

Abstract : This dissertation examines the political thought of contemporary transhumanism. It brings together political theory, the history of political thought, and science and technology studies (STS). Transhumanism involves biological, technological, and political ideas and practices meant to transform the human condition. This dissertation proposes a contextualist analysis of transhumanism, focusing on American, British, and transnational sites of liberal thought from the early 1960s onwards, and connecting the history of postwar Anglo-American liberal political thought with the history of Cold War science and technology.This research contributes to ongoing scholarship on three ways: first, by providing a detailed empirical study of transhumanist discourse, which remains under-studied in political theory and history; second, by demonstrating how transhumanist projects and arguments drew from, appropriated, and departed from conventional repertoires of liberal discourse, but also retraced the boundaries of liberalism in a set of contexts of knowledge production and claims over expertise. Second, this dissertation traces the inscription of notions of the posthuman future into languages of liberalism in moral and political theory, as well as policy analysis and machine learning. As such, it sheds new light on the contemporary ideological features of liberalism. Third, it offers a methodological contribution to the history of political thought, by highlighting how technoscientific practices and imaginaries reshape political concepts, as well as in contemporary languages of liberal theorizing.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 21, 2021 - 11:14:12 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 9:30:27 AM

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Apolline Taillandier. In the name of posthumanity: visions and justifications of liberal order in contemporary anglophone transhumanism. Political science. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po, 2021. English. ⟨NNT : 2021IEPP0006⟩. ⟨tel-03498846⟩

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