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  1. Argument • Biology of ageing and quest for prolongation of life will remain important (not just because of good ethical justification) • Because of a confluence of developments which imply a deeper cultural shift away from Enlightenment model which implied a belief in salvation by the extension of reason and by society • Shift is centered on notion of life which stands in contrast to notion of human underlying enlightenment ideals

  2. Transformations Onset of Modernity • Emptying out of „community“  individualization • Welfare state takes over community functions (expansion of social) • Expansion of social also in area of social explanation (e.g. collective causes for accidents) and social imagination (salvation by society) Today • Retraction of welfare state • Emptying out of primordial social relations • Loss of social imagination

  3. TRANSITIONS • “Society” as a historical phenomenon • Expandeable, shrinkable, transferable • Object-relations vs. social relations • Changes needed in model of the self • Homo sapiens loosing IQ& power of reason • Postmoral self • Shift in collective imagination: from salvation by society to Enhancement of Life

  4. Ethics mediated by society • Society is not aggregate of individuals on world wide plane • Society is institutional framework linked inherently to nation state since 19th century (social policy, social organization) • Strong Society/social implies social imagination

  5. „Everything seems to conspire these days against... lasting committments, eternal alliances, immutable identities. One cannot build long-term hopes around one´s job, profession, skills even; one can bet that, before long, the skills will cease to be in demand... One cannot build the future around partnership or family either: in the age of „confluent love“, togetherness lasts no longer than the satisfaction of one of the partners, committment is from the start „until further notice“, and today´s intense attachment may only intensify tomorrow´s frustrations.“ Baumann 1996:51f

  6. Coincides with other changes Rise of non-human objects • Increase of objects in the social world • Objects replacing and mediating human relationships • Objects as risk-winners of relationship risks of social relations? • Different notion of object needed

  7. Personal object relations Socio-technical systems Inhabiting technology Object-RelationsHumanoids/Cyborgs Solidarity with object-worlds (environmental movements) Integration by objects

  8. „If you want to really understand about a tumor, you´ve got to be a tumor.“ McClintock, in Fox Keller(1983:117, 207)

  9. Changes in Model of Self • From Moral Self to Post-Moral Self? • Blurring of boundaries with technical-artificial • Enhancement and „augmentation“ of self • Social movements promoting transhuman/ posthuman

  10. “Inner Censor”-Self  Spontaneous, deviant internalized norms of society I EGO YOU Me SUPEREGO Generalized other

  11. “Postmoral”-Self(narcistic; Lacan) experienced lack projected perfection SELF MIRROR IMAGE-SELF

  12. Liberation of education Postmoral Self Media and image industries, consumption

  13. SOCIAL IMAGINATION • Enlightenment model as belief in salvation by society • Excess imagination linked to idea of reason/ rationalization and science (Vernunft…) • Belief that collective reason will eliminate conflict and war, poverty, and bring about equality among nations, races, gender • 19th century: hope fixed on equality and classless society, partly achieved by redistribution

  14. SOCIAL IMAGINATION • Excess imagination shifts to subjectivity thinking • Idea of salvation by society shifts to that of enhancement of life

  15. Life • On individual level, not tied to cognitive capacities as our Descartian notion of self, but to reproductive capacities (deconstruction of cognitive capacities assist rise of notion of life) • Does allow for collective level, but collective characterized by genetic or other biological similarities rather then socially organized living unit (problem of using statistics) • Points away from distributional logic that informed notion of society and social solidarity; suggests generational/genealogical logic of solidarity and distribution

  16. Life • Biological promise of an enhanced life-course • Sociological notion of generation and generational justice replacing distributional justice • Psychological concepts of self realization as life enhancement • Psychological notion of self-realization and growth experience • Reality as reality “experience” (culturally relative and informationally enhanced) • Neo-marxist appropriation of life rather than of labor

  17. Contribution of Life Sciences • Preimplantation diagnosis and screening • Germline engineering • Psychotropic drugs • Biotechnological means of enhancing life span • Human cloning

  18. Promise vs. Virtue • Future orientation: Transitional Society looking forward rather than back, as in humanism • Convergence of image industries (media), self-help/consultancy industry and biological sciences in projecting promise as perfectibility • Responsibility for success shifts to promise giver

  19. FUTURE PROMISE INCENTIVIZATION (professional RESPONSIBILITY (shifts from promise receiver to promise giver)