Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions

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Personhood in a transhumanist context: An African perspective

Ademola Kazeem Fayemi


Personhood is an extensively discussed theme in contemporary African philosophy, which has taken metaphysical, epistemological and normative dimensions. In Western philosophical traditions, discourse on personhood is transmuting to debates on transhumanism. Missing in the African philosophical literature is consideration of transhumanism and an explication of the relationship between personhood and transhumanism. In this article, I critically examine the relationship between personhood and transhumanism in an African context. Drawing on Barry Hallen’s African metaphysical account of personhood and Thaddeus Metz’s Afro-communal normative conception of personhood, I argue that while some  transhumanist elements are embedded in African normative and ontological conceptions of personhood, some others are not. In the final analysis, I defend an Afrofuturistic account of personhood that is compatible with some censored essentials of transhumanism in African thoughts.

Keywords: Personhood, Transhumanism, Barry Hallen, Thaddeus Metz, Africa, Yoruba

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