Revisionary Space : .-

Methodological inhumanism

After writing the outline, and very late at night, I realized I had not adequately defined inhumanism nor methodological inhumanism at all. I should try, though I apologize preemptively for any crass definitions, sentences, and slips of the tongue and mind. Though I will try to keep it relatively simple, I will venture in some camps I have medium knowledge in. This is to say that word-by-word precision will be sacrificed for the sake of point formation.

Inhumanism is the project of the revisability of what humanity is. As defined by Reza, it is one of the ways in which to occupy the space of the concept of human in order to re-invent it. Our conceptions of humanity are radically dated, in the sense that we cling to a humanity that has long gone past. We do this with a host of theories and concepts, always latching on to a picture of humanity that is being revised practically through technological innovation, the neurosciences, physics, and mathematics. Throughout human history, the interventions of these fields have created different rifts in what humanity is. As they shockwave reverberates throughout thought, philosophy and the social sciences have remained staunchly attached to humanity-as-essence, something which to hold on to that is being erased by these fields.

The inhumanist sees the practical revision as an opportunity rather than as a tragedy for the human. For the inhumanist there is no primordial essence or conceptual definition of the human that cannot be revised, altered, and rethought. This does not mean that the inhumanist necessarily coincides with anti-humanist positions, such as siding with capital. The fear with the inhumanist position is that this is indeed the case and that the inhumanist to anti-humanist pipeline becomes a reality. In order to not adopt the anti-humanist position the inhumanist cultivates an interventionist attitude. Rather than siding with the fields which best capture the revisionary catastrophe, the inhumanist aims to critique these positions and use them for the construction of updated theories that revise what it means to be human.

Methodological inhumanism is one step removed. I am not particularly in the business of becoming a scientist, engineer, or mathematician. However, unlike classical humanists I am also not in the business of becoming a philosopher, social scientist, psychologists or else. While all the previously mentioned professions and vocations stand equal to me, I have as much interest in saving the world through engineering as I do on devising a philosophical theory of everything with diagrams included. It is just not my business, nor do I intend to occupy those spaces whatsoever.

In that sense, methodological inhumanism can be seen as the research methodology to inhumanism’s research programme. Hence, the creation of a stance and methods is not only demanded but needed. Methodological inhumanism should strive to not commit itself to the furthering of any particular field, nor to their destruction. Reza’s critique of kitsch marxism could be placed here as an example of what the revisability of a field entails, were it not 1) so short as to index a lot of different variants of Marxisms and hence short thrift them and 2) so uncharitable and bullying to its subject matter. Methodological inhumanism aims to distinguish itself from such readings by tapping into the internal dynamics of theory construction and the practical realization of a theory as tested in the world.

In this sense, this position formalizes the Deleuzian impulse to test the theory against the world and edit the former to construct better theoretical stances. Any inhumanist position employed methodologically does not disdain already stablished theories, nor does it follow them religiously. The intervening attitude here is taken to be, much to the dismay of scholars of the letter, entirely practical and unabashedly dynamic to the world. The hegelian attitude in which theories become formal laws and the world undifferentiated clay which the theory forms is then disposed of. It is, in this sense, all in the service of the research object and its apprehension.

Methodological inhumanism is by its very nature boring. It is made for researchers in a given field looking to update theoretical commitments by testing them in the world and going back to edit them. It imitates science’s rigorousness only to a point, as the consequences of some of the epistemological positions in philosophy of science are not entirely exportable to those, of for example, the social sciences without heavy editing.

One of the criticisms of inhumanism claims that inhumanism forgets the body, lived experience, etc. Consequently, I do not believe that the adoption of scientific stances should mean the adoption of any of the social sciences. Indeed, if there is one place in which methodological inhumanism can be used profitably is in the social sciences, but the position inherently attracts a disdain, if we are to adopt a mind-body dualism, for the body and psychological experience. This disdain is combined with the adoption of the neurosciences’ theoretical underpinnings, which complicates the situation further as the adoption of those commitments devolves into adoption of discourses that are opposed. It is this opposition that is the main obstruction for inhumanism, and its class is discursive. Further, it is easier for a social researcher to adopt an inhumanist stance, than it is for a staunch inhumanist to adopt any of the classic post-structuralists and mesh them with a stance of intervention without being completely dismissive.

Methodological inhumanism wishes to correct this, undertaking the boring work of conciliation in the service of objects of study that continually redefine the portrait of human drawn in the sand. The objective is not to arrive towards a definition of humanity; rather, the aim is to address however partially how our theories can be made better through the forgetting of dogmatism and the revisability inherent in all of them. The methodological inhumanists does not point to the theoretician of the flesh and mind in order to laugh, but to aid in the construction of a robust theory. Perhaps, in the end, the ideal picture of this is the librarian or a perpetual research advisor, cultivating advancements to reach the good.

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Outline I

There are a lot of places where to start. It has been a while since I wrote anything remotely theoretical, not to mention even starting to grasp the contours of what might be deemed a coherent philosophical position. The trials and tribulations of navigating contemporary culture place the need for a strategic use of theoretical position, akin to the moves of the ball in a pinball machine. As it dwells from left to right through the use of machinic prosthesis, mind realizes the need for explaining discursively, nay written, the positions in which I have often found myself. While tempting to fall in line with the whatever is en vogue, eyes glaze over the page when interests is lacking.

By all means, 2017 and 2018 was the year in which something exploded, the remnants of what used to be reveled in nothing, but when pushed inevitably to the wall, I maintained some of the initial commitments upon which I rest head.

Let’s start with one:

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