Professor Stefan Lorenz Sorgner on Posthuman Paradigm Shift and Discrimination
John Cabot University Philosophy Professor Stefan Lorenz Sorgner was recently featured in The Immortalists, a transhumanist lifestyle and educational magazine featuring world-renowned thinkers, artists, and scientists.
In his interview, Professor Sorgner discusses the relationship between the posthuman paradigm and discrimination. He explains how racism and other types of discrimination are rooted in dualistic Western culture, which rests on the distinction between an evil material world of becoming and a perfect immaterial world of being. Professor Sorgner stresses that “it must be recognized that we have inherited many encrusted structures from the past with significant discriminatory implications, as Western culture has an ontologically dualistic foundation.”
During the Middle Ages, it was believed that there was only one truth, accessible by means of reason, which constitutes our human nature. Human nature is not accessible empirically as it is not part of the material world. This truth is in another world, to which we will return after we die. Proper knowledge becomes available only by accessing this other world, the “real world.” This would allow humans to grasp the good, the true, and the beautiful. When the “real world” gets mixed with the world accessible by the senses, evil, falsehood, and ugliness come about.
Professor Sorgner also reflects on how this dualistic world order led to sexism, speciesism, and heteronormativity. He goes on to explain how the various posthuman philosophies attempt to move away from these categorically dualistic structures.
In order to better understand how the current pandemic is being perceived in various parts of the world, Professor Sorgner co-organized the 1st Beyond Humanism Forum at which scholars, artists, and intellectuals from 5 continents and 11 countries addressed this issue from a variety of posthuman perspectives. Among the participants was Stelarc, one of the most famous posthuman artists whose work focuses heavily on technologically modifying the human body.
The 1st Beyond Humanism Forum was organized by Jaime del Val (a transdisciplinary media artist, philosopher, and activist), Evi Sampanikou (Art History and Visual Culture Professor at the University of the Aegean, Greece), and Professor Stefan Lorenz Sorgner. Chrysoula Sotiriadi, a recent JCU English Literature and Psychology graduate, was part of the organizing committee of the event.
Watch the videos from the 1st Beyond Humanism Forum on the “Posthumans go Viral” YouTube channel.
A leading expert on transhumanism, Professor Sorgner is the director and co-founder of the Beyond Humanism Network. In Fall 2020, he will be teaching PH 325 Ethics of Emerging Technologies, PH/RL 224 Living the Good Life: Religious and Philosophical Ethics, and PH 101 Introduction to Philosophical Thinking.