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Why we should read Rosi Braidotti

At MetaCAugs we engage in a foresight thinking: we try to detect signals about possible futures in collaboration and we actively try to build a future where people can engage into peer to peer learning.

In futures thinking it’s important to have a flexible mind. There are exercises for that, like counterfactual storytelling – e.g. you reconstruct your day but you imagine the consequences of having made other choices than you actually did.

Another way to flex your mind is philosophy. It helps us challenge presuppositions which are often implicit. What is a human? What is the place of humans in the universe? What is humanism or secular thinking all about?

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci (Wikimedia Commons, picture Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be)

The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci symbolizes the upcoming Humanism in Europe with its universal values.

Authors such as Rosi Braidotti point out how the image shows us something very significative: the Man is a male, able-bodied, European and white. He probably was straight, while da Vinci probably was not. In other words, the image shows us that the Humanist movement was not that universal at all.

Braidotti explains the impact of feminism, anti-racism and – colonialism and the environmental movement on philosophy and Humanism critique. She redefines the human in relation to the other inhabitants of Earth, to matter and machines.

Braidotti takes the technological mediation very serious in her thinking and that is one of the reasons why I think she is particularly interesting. One of her subjects is also community building. As she writes in The Posthuman, one of her most important books:

“In my own work, I define the critical posthuman subject within an eco-philosophy of multiple belongings, as a relational subject constituted in and by multiplicity, that is to say a subject that works across differences and is also internally differentiated, but still grounded and accountable. Poshuman subjectivity expresses an embodied and embedded and hence partial form of accountability, based on a strong sense of collectivity, relationality and hence community building.”

There is a lot to be said here and we could think deeper about which technologies are especially relevant in this context. It’s at least what I would like to investigate and I hope others will join me!

By Roland Legrand

I'm a journalist working for the Belgian business daily De Tijd. All opinions expressed here are my own. I'm fascinated by online collaboration, virtual communities, spatial computing (the mix of VR, AR, AI... ).

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