Posthumanism, New Humanism, and beyond

Guillermo Díaz De Liaño Del Valle, Manuel Fernandez-Gotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In this paper, we analyse some of the issues associated with the posthumanist rejection of Humanism. First, we discuss some of the possibilities and challenges that New Materialism and the Ontological Turn have brought into archaeology in terms of understanding past ontologies and decolonising archaeological thought. Then, focusing on the concept of agency,we reflect on how its use by some posthumanist authors risks turning it into an empty signifier,which can have ethical implications and limit archaeology’s potential for social critique. The concept of things’ effectancy is presented as a valuable alternative to previous conceptualisations of ‘object agency’. While we acknowledge the heuristic potential of many posthumanist proposals, we believe that humanist perspectives should not be rejected altogether. Instead of creating rigid divides, we argue that elements of New Humanism, as recently defined by philosophical anthropology, can hold value when facing current societal challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
Early online date18 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 May 2021


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