This title explores the implications of our animal origins and posthuman futures for our understanding of our humanity and our relations with other species. "Beyond Human" investigates what it means to call ourselves human beings in relation to both our distant past and our possible futures as a species, and the questions this might raise for our relationship with the myriad species with which we share the planet.
Drawing on insights from zoology, theology, cultural studies and aesthetics, an international line-up of contributors explore such topics as our origins as reflected in early cave art in the upper Palaeolithic through to our prospects at the forefront of contemporary biotechnology.
In the process, the book positions 'the human' in readiness for what many have characterized as our transhuman or posthuman future.
For if our status as rational animals or 'animals that think' has traditionally distinguished us as apparently superior to other species, this distinction has become increasingly problematic.
It has come to be seen as based on skills and technologies that do not distinguish us so much as position us as transitional animals. It is the direction and consequences of this transition that is the central concern of "Beyond Human".