Beyond Humanism - The End of Modern Humanity and the New Transformations of Human Being
This article aims to trace a historical trajectory of “Humanism” as a Modern scientific concept in the light of Michel Foucault’s genealogy. Generally, we believe that Humanism is a natural and eternal idea for mankind, because no one doubts that he or she is not included in the category of a “Human Being.” On the contrary, according to French philosopher Foucault, the Idea of Humanism, or anthropocentrism, appeared only in the Modern Age, from the 16th century downward. Before the Renaissance, human beings did not occupy the most important status in Nature, and only existed as natural beings. As soon as mankind was liberated from the superstitious of fear and religious dogma, the concept of “Human Being” is supplied with new meanings and values. The famous maxim, such as, “Man is the lord of creation” constitutes modern human science as an inviolable category of modernity. However, Foucault tried to illuminate the hidden sides of humanism, and gave us the strict warning on the end of the human beings, which turned out to be an object of Modern knowledge. If there would be no reason to maintain a knowledge system of Modernity, in other words, Modernity as knowledge would lose its validity and we could give up Humanism as a heavy burden. Moreover, it is very clear that we are confronted with the critical moments of radical skepticism on the meaning and value for Humanity. That means that we need to think about the new transformations of Human Beings, which will probably appear in the forms of “Non-Humans,” “Machines (Deleuze & Guattari),” or “Post-Humans” etc. At the present time, we cannot know if it will be positive, or negative for mankind. We should look back at the history of Humanism from a genealogical perspective, which is why we have to investigate the conceptual trajectory of Humanism in this moment.