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Contribution to Book

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This chapter traces the origins, meanings and characteristics of “the human” in recent time – its forms. The chapter contends that, instead of being immutable, “the human” has taken different forms, been ascribed different meanings, and exhibited different characteristics over time. Our approach to “the human” contributes to this volume on digital existence, which confronts existential questions centered on being and technology, with historical and anthropological awareness. We aim to show, through Foucault’s (1971 ) insistence upon the forms of subjectivity as opposed to its substance, how understandings of “the human” are subject to change and transformation. Exploring these diverse understandings helps us to capture how human beings have related to each other and the world, and understood themselves at different points in time. This exploration also shows how human beings’ relationships have developed in conjunction with new configurations of politics and technology.



Publication Information

Digital Existence: Ontology, Ethics and Transcendence