Digital Humanism

Fuchs, Christian. 2022. Digital Humanism. A Philosophy for 21st Century Digital Society. SocietyNow Series. Bingley: Emerald. ISBN 9781803824222. 272 pages.

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Our contemporary global digital society is not always a good place to live. Authoritarianism, hatred, false news, post-truth culture, the COVID-19 anti-vaccination movement, COVID-19 conspiracy theories, and political polarisation are organised via the Internet. The public sphere is highly polarised. Today, many humans tend to think of other humans mainly in terms of friends and enemies. Robots and Artificial Intelligence-based automation have created new challenges for the world of work. Decades of neoliberalism have increased inequalities. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the vulnerability of humanity to viruses and health crises.

Humanity and society are in a major crisis and digitalisation mediates this crisis. Digital Humanism explores how Humanism can help us to critically understand how digital technologies shape society and humanity, providing an introduction to Humanism in the digital age. Fuchs introduces the approach of Digital Humanism and outlines foundations of a Radical Digital Humanism, analysing what decolonisation of academia and the study of the digital, media and communication means; what the roles are of robots, automation, and Artificial Intelligence in digital capitalism, and how the communication of death and dying has been mediated by digital technologies, capitalist necropower, and digital capitalism. In order to save humanity and society, we need Radical Digital Humanism now.

Digital Humanism is the book we have been waiting for. Techno gurus, posthumanists, environmentalists, postcolonialists, post-structuralists will have you believe that humanist ethics is no longer relevant to the contemporary world. Yet, as this book demonstrates unflinchingly, never before has humanism been so relevant to the contemporary period. Humanism offers a philosophical and ethical reflection on the recklessness and havoc wrought by human choices and constitutes an attempt to formulate the conditions for a hospitable social world. Digital Humanism refuses to transform humans into machines and to think of machines as humans. This is why this book is such an important and timely intervention.”
– Eva Illouz, Director of Studies at EHESS, Paris

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. What is Humanism?
Chapter 3. What is Digital Humanism?
Chapter 4. Decolonising Academia: A Radical Humanist Perspective
Chapter 5. Robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Digital Capitalism
Chapter 6. Policy Discourses on Robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the EU, the USA, and China
Chapter 7. Necropower, Death, and Digital Communication in Covid-19 Capitalism
Chapter 8. Conclusion