Imperatives of human transcendence: Towards a concept of sociotechnical eudaimonia

Oliver Tafdrup

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review


Different variants of what could be called transhuman
positions are omnipresent in the contemporary discourses
of major political actors such as the OECD, WEF, and the
EU. Despite differences, a common denominator is the idea
that the technological development contains imperatives
that emphasises how humans must transcend their own
current limitations in order to meet the demands of an
imagined future where digital technologies permeates the
central domains of human existence – e.g. social relations,
the economy, the general public etc. In this presentation
I discuss how the political shaped idea of ‘a digital future’
can be understood as a transhuman
imaginary that contain values, norms, and ideas about
how humans can live a successful, happy, and flourishing
life – in other words; to realise what the philosophers of
ancient Greece referred to as eudaimonia.
The empirical basis of the discussion is a case study of
the Danish technology education discourse. I argue that
the development and implementation of the experimental course titled ‘Technology Comprehension’ in the primary
school illustrates how politics, policy, and technologies
are entangled with norms, values and competing visions
of human futures. I further argue that the concept of
sociotechnical eudaimonia can be used to analyse how
different ideas of what humans are and ought to be are
produced in political discourses.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date4 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2021
EventAnthropology of Technology Conference - Aarhus Universitet, Aarhus, Denmark
Duration: 4 Nov 20215 Nov 2021
Conference number: 2021


ConferenceAnthropology of Technology Conference
LocationAarhus Universitet
Internet address

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