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Koers

versão On-line ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.75 no.2 Pretoria  2010

 

Die informatisering van ons mensbeeld

 

The informatisation of our image of the human being

 

 

C.S. de Beer

Departement Inligtingkunde, Universiteit van Pretoria, PRETORIA. E-pos: fanie.debeer@up.ac.za

 

 


OPSOMMING

Diepgaande refleksie is nodig om te bepaal waar ons vandag met ons voorgestelde beeld van die mens staan. Die beeld wat ons handhaaf, is van die uiterste belang. Dit bepaal tussenmenslike verhoudings en ook menslike handeling. Die tradisionele opvatting van die menslike subjek as absoluut, selfversekerd en outonoom is gedurende die afgelope dekades deeg-lik bevraagteken en kan as uitgedien beskou word. Hierdie herdinkproses het 'n lang geskiedenis en 'n verskeidenheid insigte is deur baie invloedryke denkers ontwikkel. Informatiserings-prosesse speel 'n betekenisvolle rol in die ontwikkeling van hierdie verskillende perspektiewe.
Drie ontwikkelings blyk voorrang te geniet. Die eerste is die ontwikkeling van die nosie van die sogenaamde "gedesentreerde subjek". Die tweede ontwikkeling plaas meer klem op die meganiese - die meganisering van die gees, waarin afstand gedoen word van die menslike gees. Hierdie perspektief is die voorloper van die derde ontwikkeling wat 'n verdere degenerasie van die menslike subjektiwiteit behels. Die liggaam-lose bewussyn kan nou op rekenaars afgelaai word. Die posthumane figuur verskyn. Probleme van feilbaarheid, sterflikheid en veroudering gaan verdwyn. Hoewel so 'n apokaliptiese uitgangspunt besonder belowend klink, laat dit heelwat belangrike vrae onbeantwoord.
Aan die ander kant kan hierdie herdinkproses sekere ryk en nuwe artikulasies na vore bring oor wat dit beteken om mens te wees. Dit kan ook van groot betekenis wees vir individualiteit en sosialiteit in die lig van die krisisse wat wêreldwyd dreig om hedendaagse samelewings op 'n fatale wyse te laat ontspoor. Dit is egter ook nie heeltemal onverwant aan die ander drie ontwikkelings nie en kry selfs inspirasie daaruit.

Kernbegrippe: bewussyn liggaamlikheid mensbeeld posthumane subjek


ABSTRACT

Serious reflection is required to determine our position regarding our image of the human being. The image we maintain is of critical importance. It determines interhuman relations and human action. The traditional notion of the human subject as absolute, self-certain and autonomous has been comprehensively questioned for some decades and can be considered outdated. This rethinking has a long history and a diversity of insights has been developed by many influential thinkers. Processes of informatisation play a significant role in the development of these different perspectives.
Three developments seem prominent. The first is the development of the notion of the so-called "decentred subject". The second development puts more emphasis on the mechanical -more specifically the mechanisation of the mind, with the consequent renunciation of human spirituality. This perspective is a predecessor of the third development which entails a further degeneration of human subjectivity. Non-corporeal consciousness can now be downloaded onto computers. The figure of the posthuman emerges. Problems of fallibility, mortality and ageing will disappear. Although such an apocalyptic viewpoint may indeed sound tempting, it leaves many crucial questions unanswered.
On the other hand, when dealt with differently, this process of rethinking brings forward some rich and new articulations of what it means to be human, which can be of great significance for individuality and sociality in the light of the crises that threaten to fatally derail contemporary societies worldwide. It is, moreover, not totally unrelated to the other three ways and receives its inspiration from them.

Key concepts: bodiliness consciousness image of the human being posthuman subject


 

 

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