Humanity at the Turning Point

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Dennis Matthew Weiss


This essay aims to demonstrate that the philosophical anthropology of Michael Landmann provides important critical tools and resources for intervening in the debate over the posthuman and the turning point that humanity faces due to the advancing powers of technologies such as genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and cybernetics. Landmann’s view of the human being, which emphasizes the correlative conditions of creativity and culturality, freedom and determinacy, and malleability and fixity, provides the grounds on which to critique the current structure of the debate over the posthuman and resituate it in terms of our historicity and self-images. The rhetorically charged trope of the posthuman, with its emphasis on a break or turning point, risks cutting us off from significant resources for understanding human nature, including the resources of philosophical anthropology, and does not advance our understanding of our current situation and the current dilemmas human beings face in light of our advancing technological powers.

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