The Humanism-Antihumanism Divide: The Concept of “Man” between the End of World War 2 and the Fall of the Berlin Wall  Cover Image
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The Humanism-Antihumanism Divide: The Concept of “Man” between the End of World War 2 and the Fall of the Berlin Wall
The Humanism-Antihumanism Divide: The Concept of “Man” between the End of World War 2 and the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Author(s): Miglena Nikolchina
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Centre for Advanced Study Sofia (CAS)

Summary/Abstract: The philosophical encounter of Louis Althusser and Merab Mamardashvili will serve here as shorthand for an issue that is much larger, both in temporal terms and in terms of the political, social, cultural, but also purely theoretical developments it involves: namely, the East-West divergence of humanist/antihumanist trends in the decades before the beginning of the changes in Eastern Europe. This divergence is, of course, interesting in purely historical terms in so far as it is bound up with the processes that ultimately led to the political changes in Eastern Europe at the end of the 1980s. However, it also has a bearing on contemporary debates concerning the human. Today, it could be argued that the field of the debate is split between what Alain Badiou has aptly termed “animal humanism” (which regards the human as one organic species among others and, one might argue, is subtended by anxieties concerning the identity of the human with respect to technological change) and trends that since the 1960s have come to be designated as “antihumanism” (represented by, among others, Louis Althusser, and declaring the end of man who, to quote Foucault’s famous concluding phrase in The Order of Things, will be “erased, like a face drawn in sand at the edge of the sea”). My wager is that the perspective exemplified in this text by Merab Mamardashvili may provide a different viable perspective to this debate.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 5
  • Page Range: 1-12
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English