Transhumanism and posthumanism

Analysis of the multidimensional character of trans- and posthumanism

Project name: APVV-17-0064 Analysis of the multidimensional character of trans- and posthumanism

Agency: Slovak Research and Development Agency

Character of research: Basic research

Department of science and technology: 60301 – Systematic philosophy

Year of project approval: 2018

Time period of the project: 01.08.2018 – 30.07.2022

Amount of funds acquired: 210 923,- Eur

Research institution: Department of philosophy and applied philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava (investigator), Institute of World Literature SAS (co-investigator), Department of British and American Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava (co-investigator).

Principal investigator: prof., RNDr. Peter Sýkora, PhD.

Investigators: Mgr. Juraj Odorčák (KFaF), PhD., Mgr. Jana Tomašovičová (KFaF), PhD., Mgr. Jozef Lenč, PhD. (KFaF), Mgr. Peter Takáč (KFaF), Mgr. Bogumila Suwara (ÚSL), PhD., Mgr. Krištof Anetta (ÚSL), Mgr. Ivan Lacko, PhD. (KAA).


The main objective of the project is multidimensional transdisciplinary research of mutual dynamic relationships related to the issue of human gene editing and posthumanism in five research domains: biology-biotechnology, philosophical reflection, (bio)ethical reflection, biopolitical analysis and democratization of science, art and culture. In particular, the project focuses on a philosophical reflection of the concept of trans- and posthumanism with an emphasis on human germline cells genome editing in relation to human nature, genetic determinism and aesthetic transformation of the human body. The issue of a transformation of the human biological species (homo sapiens) is analyzed in the context of the conflicts between a realist and social-constructivist understanding of biological categorization. At the level of bioethical and biopolitical reflection, the project analyzes the impact of trans- and posthumanist modification of the human genome on the society, its political institutions and regulatory abilities, the process of science democratization and the phenomenon of biohacking. At the cultural and artistic level, the project focuses on the analysis of artistic portrayal of trans- and posthumanism in dystopian literary, new media, film and television works. This also includes an analysis of the metaphorical language of molecular geneticists recently represented by the term "gene editing".

Main objectives

  • Analysis of the current state and trends of scientific research and development of new biotechnologies in the field of human genome/gene editing from the perspective of its potential applicability.
  • Bioethical reflection of human gene editing – of somatic and germline cells – with an emphasis on the concept of transhumanism and posthumanism.
  • Philosophical reflection of the posthumanist concept with an emphasis on human genome editing and human nature (issues of social constructivism and genetic determinism).
  • Ontological reflection of the existing concept of the biological human kind and its trans-species transformation from a semantic-logical and philosophical-biological perspective.
  • Biopolitical reflections of human genome editing from the perspective of current concepts of biopower and biosociality.
  • Aesthetic reflections of issues related to the transformation of the human body (aesthetics of trans- and posthumanism).
  • Comparative discursive analysis of democratization of science, amateur science, popular-scientific and science fiction works related to the transformative biological and genetic modification of humans.

Publications and activities

2019: Publications

Aristotelova zmena paradigmy v ontológii = Aristotle's Paradigm Shift in Ontology / Sýkora, Peter. In: Filosofický časopis - ISSN 0015-1831, Roč. 67, č. 6 (2019), s. 861-876.

K posthumánnemu človeku prostredníctvom editovania génov pre kognitívne schopnosti = Towards the Posthuman Through the Editing of Genes for Cognitive Capabilities / Sýkora, Peter. In: Filozofia. - ISSN 0046-385X, Vol. 74, No. 7 (2019), p. 511-529.

Defining Biomedia: On the Importance of Transcoding and Remediation. / Sýkora, Peter In: Remediation: Crossing Discursive Boundaries. Central European Perspective. Bogumiła Suwara a Mariusz Pisarski [Zostavovateľ, editor]. – 1. vyd. – Berlin (Nemecko) : Peter Lang, 2019, ISBN 978-3-631-79504-0, s.57-72.

On the Path to the Remediation of Academic Genres and their Presence/Absence in Central Europa. / Suwara, Bogumila. In: Remediation: Crossing Discursive Boundaries. Central European Perspective. Bogumiła Suwara a Mariusz Pisarski [Zostavovateľ, editor]. – 1. vyd. – Berlin (Nemecko) : Peter Lang, 2019, ISBN 978-3-631-79504-0, p. 92-112.

Strategies for the Creation of Meaning in Digital Art / Pisarski Marius, Szczęsna Ewa, Kubiński Piotr. In: Remediation: Crossing Discursive Boundaries. Central European Perspective. Bogumiła Suwara a Mariusz Pisarski [Zostavovateľ, editor]. – 1. vyd. – Berlin (Nemecko) : Peter Lang, 2019, ISBN 978-3-631-79504-0.

Remediation: Introducing Voices and Discourses from Central Europe. / Suwara Bogumiła a Pisarski Mariusz In: Remediation: Crossing Discursive Boundaries. Central European Perspective. Bogumiła Suwara a Mariusz Pisarski [Zostavovateľ, editor]. – 1. vyd. – Berlin (Nemecko) : Peter Lang, 2019, ISBN 978-3-631-79504-0, p. 7-15.

The Kardashian moment: hashtag, selfie and the broken Internet. / Mariusz Pisarski In: Social Communication, Vol. 5, Iss. 2, (2019), s. 53–61 doi:

2019: Conferences

Therapeutic Gene Editing in Humans (bioethical perspective). Praha: Prague School of Bioethics, 17.10.-18.10. 2019 / Prof. RnDr. P. Sýkora, PhD.

Germline gene therapy of sickle-cell disease and β-thalassemia needs to change the gene therapy paradigm. Oslo: 33rd European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Health Care: Philosophy and Ethics at the Edge of Medicine, 6.8.-10.8. 201 / Prof. RnDr. P. Sýkora, PhD.

Not Deliberate, Not Random, Someplace in Between: the Pollock Analogy as the Aesthetic and Philosophical Background in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina. Hradec Králové: Anglophone Conference 2019, 28.-29. 3. 2019 / Mgr. Ivan Lacko, PhD.

The Performativity of Simulacra, Robots, and the Human DNA Performativity and Creativity in Modern Cultures. Praha: Univerzita Karlova / Mgr. Ivan Lacko, PhD.

A short history of hashtag and the Internet. Beta-Internet, Rzeszów: University of Information Technology and Managment, 07-08. 2019 / Mariusz Pisarsky, PhD.

Prague School of Bioethics 2019, Praha, 17.-18. 10. 2019 / Mgr. Jana Tomašovičová, PhD., Mgr. Juraj Odorčák, PhD., Mgr. Pavlína Bakošová.

Festival Ars Electronica, Linz, 5.-9. 9. 2019 / Mgr. Jana Tomašovičová, PhD, Mgr. Bogumila Suwara, PhD, Mgr. Ivan Lacko, PhD, Mgr. Mariusz Pisarski, PhD.

Health technology assessment of human germline gene editing. Bratislava: The 4th European Technology Assessment Conference, organized within the GlobalTA network, 4.-6.11.2019 / prof. RnDr. Peter Sýkora, PhD.

The Current Problems of Lookism. Prešov: Global Bioethics / 21st International Conference Ethical Thinking: Past and Present, Katedra bioetiky Unesco, UNESCO Chair in Bioethics Faculty of Arts, University of Prešov, 21. 9.20019 / Mgr. Peter Takáč.

2019: Popularisation

Sci-Fi Philosophy: Technological control of love. Malý Berlín, Trnava, 9.4.2019 / Mgr. Juraj Odorčák, PhD.

Sci-Fi Philosophy: The unattractiveness of future beauty. Malý Berlín, Trnava, 7.5.2019 / Mgr. Bogumiła Suwara, PhD.

Sci-Fi Philosophy: The "treatment" of genes (about gene therapy). Malý Berlín, Trnava, 8.10.2019 / Prof. RNDr. Peter Sýkora, PhD.

Promises and perils of emerging technologies for human condition. Malý Berlín, Trnava, 7.11.2019 / Prof. Peter Sýkora, PhD., Jana Tomašovičová, PhD., Juraj Odorčák, PhD.

Philosophy night: About philosophers who want to technologically change humanity. Malý Berlín, Trnava, 21.11.2019 / Mgr. Juraj Odorčák, PhD.

Sci-Fi Philosophy: Sci-fi democracy. The government of idiots or government of superhumans. Malý Berlín, Trnava, 10.12.2019 / PhDr. Jozef Lenč, PhD.

2019: Media

Symposion: Myslenie vo veľkom = Symposion: Thinking big. Bratislava: Radio and Television of Slovakia, 8.5.2019 / Mgr. Juraj Odorčák, PhD.

Rozpędzone technologie = Accelerated Technologies. Tocznia Skrola (4). Rozmowa z Mariuszem Pisarskim. Mały Format, November 2019 / Mariusz Pisarsky, PhD.

2018: Conferences

Sentient Robots, Better Humans (?): On How Art Addresses Human Improvement Issues. Pardubice: OUTSIDE THE FRAME – 14th International Cultural Studies Conference, Univerzita Pardubice, 8.-9. 10. 2018 / Mgr. Ivan Lacko, PhD.

2018: Popularisation

Sci-fi philosophy: Westworld - destructive toys or new hope for humanity? Malý Berlín, Trnava, 9.10.2018 / Mgr. Ivan Lacko, PhD.

Automatization of beauty: Technological and aesthetical paradoxes of human enhancement. Malý Berlín, Trnava, 5. 11. 2018 / Mgr. Juraj Odorčák, PhD., Mgr. Peter Takáč.

The Eighth Day of Creation: Editing of the Human Genome. Malý Berlín, Trnava, 4.12.2018 / Prof. RNDr. Peter Sýkora, PhD.

Project partners