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Becoming Human

The problems of the term “becoming human” lie in the nature of the human being, who simultaneously is and not yet is, who is understood, following classical antiquity and Neoplatonic sources, both as a horizon and as a center between finiteness and eternity. The term “becoming human” is strongly influenced by the Christian idea of God becoming human through Christ, but in the modern era this has increasingly been replaced by the idea of the perfectibility of the human being.

In Vilém Flusser’s thought, becoming human must be seen in the context of his theory of culture and media, which coincides largely with the paleoanthropological research of André Leroi- Gourhan. Furthermore, the idea of becoming human in the Flusserian sense is already consolidated in the writings of Friedrich Schiller and his idea of the aesthetic education of man; that is, becoming human through art. One central perspective of Flusser’s view is also summed up there: “Man plays only when he is in the full sense of the word a man, and he is only wholly Man when he is playing.” (Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man, 2004, p. 80)

The idea that the history of becoming human should be understood as a history of the arts and of a playful approach to the world (Vom Subjekt zum Projekt, 1994, p. 257) was taken over by Flusser and expanded to include the history of modern technology. For Flusser, however, becoming human never simply means overcoming human deficits – such as mortality – by means of technology. Human beings only become human by means of technology, since everything inhumane – work, for example – can be transferred to machines. The art of technology is the possibility by which one finds one’s nature and becomes human (The Freedom of the Migrant, 2003, p. 99).

Original article by Dirk-Michael Hennrich in Flusseriana

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becoming_human.txt · Last modified: 2023/03/12 19:35 by steffi_winkler