Bodily Alienation, Natality and Transhumanism

Arendt Studies 6:139-168 (2023)
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Transhumanism proposes human enhancement while regarding the human body as unfit for the future. This fulfills age-old aspirations for a perfect and durable body. We use “alienation” as a concept to analyze this mismatch between human aspirations and our current condition. For Hannah Arendt alienation may be accounted for in terms of earth- and world-alienation, as well as alienation from human nature, and especially from the given (“resentment of the given”). In transhumanism, the biological body is an impediment to human accomplishment. At most, this movement accepts “clean” bodies, not bodies with excretions. We argue that real human bodies are valued in the event of giving birth, so a modified concept that Arendt proposed, natality, seems a suitable way to explore the dialectic alienation-reconciliation involving the body (Arendt’s “A child has been born unto us”), when re-read by some feminist scholars.

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Eduardo R. Cruz
Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo


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