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Transhuman education: Sloterdijk's reading of Heidegger's Letter on Humanism
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Peter Sloterdijk presented a reading of Heidegger's Letter on Humanism at a conference held at Elmau in 1999. Reinterpreting the meaning of humanism in the light of Heidegger's Letter, Sloterdijk focused his presentation on the need to redefine education as a form of genetic ‘taming’ and proposed what seemed to be support for positive eugenics. Although Sloterdijk claimed that he only wanted to open a debate on the issue, he could not have been surprised at the level of opposition this suggestion aroused. In the weeks following, he blamed Habermas for raising this opposition and for refusing to engage with him openly. Although Luis Arenas has chronicled the aftermath of Sloterdijk's paper, it may be of interest to educators to examine how Heidegger's text is presented. What is this new humanism? If Heidegger's new humanism was based on a mystical attitude towards Being, so Sloterdijk's new humanism was to be based on the materialist principles of a biotechnological age. Unlike Heidegger who rejected technology as yet one further example of the forgetfulness of Being, Sloterdijk seems to embrace technology and the enhancement of the human body and mind as the next great step forward in educational theory. Could he possibly be right? Is education in these times a partner or an opponent of the technological enhancement of the human being? This article tries to identify Sloterdijk's disagreements with Heidegger on the question of the human.
Transhumanism , Sloterdijk , Heidegger , Enhancement
Long, Fiachra (2016) 'Transhuman education: Sloterdijk's reading of Heidegger's Letter on Humanism', Journal of Philosophy of Education, 51(1), pp. 177-192. doi: 10.1111/1467-9752.12192
© 2016, the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Long, Fiachra (2016) 'Transhuman education: Sloterdijk's reading of Heidegger's Letter on Humanism', Journal of Philosophy of Education, 51(1), pp. 177-192, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9752.12192/epdf. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.