FYI, my article, "Posthuman Trajectories: Cartesian Logic and Ethical Technoprogressivism" is now live at Word and Text.
Here's the abstract:
This article analyses the posthuman trajectories established in René Descartes’s 1637 A Discourse on the Method of Correctly Conducting One’s Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences. Moving beyond its references to automata and other ‘technological’ characterizations of the human body and mindedness, I locate a more forceful philosophical trajectory in the text that informs and sustains the very notion of ‘progress’ upon which cultural conceptions of subjectivity, technological development, and transhumanist positions continue to evolve. Descartes’s privileging of the ideal over the material positions the human self as the locus of enquiry and discourse from which progress originates. This may allow one to perceive a certain transhumanist, eschatological trajectory in the Cartesian text. My reading, however, shifts its focus onto Descartes’s desire to see human endeavour as a means of easing human suffering. This, I argue, opens the possibility of an ethical technoprogressivism that can inform our debates over post- and transhumanism today.
The general ideas for this article were developed informally in my blog. I thought it would be interesting for readers to see the final product.