Expressing Life-worlds: Intertwining Phenomenology and Posthumanism

Angus McBlane
Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar

Posthumanist philosophy is, simply put, a model of philosophical inquiry and interrogation which does not take as its starting or its end point the human. While it may be concerned with the human as such or a human in an experiential mode this should not be to the detriment of the myriad of other beings which express alongside the human. It may be concerned with notions of the posthuman, but this does not mean that there is a being which is or comes after ‘man’ or the human or that it signals a merging of humanity and technology as such. Rather, posthuman is simply a designation, an already established designation, which signals a certain kind of philosophizing. A form of philosophizing that makes its home in the limits of various boundaries, suspended in the abyssal in-between of a multiplicity of life-worlds. It is a form of philosophical interrogation firmly planted in the borderlands of everyday experience – not only ‘mine’ or the ‘human’ but yours and other beings.

Therefore, for all the talk of potentially transgressive machine acts (intentional machines, integration of humans and technology and so forth) and the cultural, philosophical, and ethical ramifications that they may have on humans little, or, rather, not enough has been written about what posthumanist philosophy actually is. The question for this paper is not whether phenomenology is posthumanist in the sense that it is attendant to the bifurcations and exclusions inherent within humanism which has developed into a mode of cultural criticism and analysis, rather it is in demonstrating how phenomenology, particularly in its Merleau-Pontyan and existential phenomenological mode, contributes or signals a beginning of posthumanist philosophy, or, rather, of posthumanist forms of philosophizing.