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David Roden

Honorary Associate

David Roden has worked for the Open University as a lecturer and associate lecturer. His published work has addressed the relationship between deconstruction and analytic philosophy, philosophical naturalism, the metaphysics of sound and posthumanism. He has written a chapter for the forthcoming Springer Frontiers volume The Singularity Hypothesis: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment.

His new book Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human is published by Routledge.

"We imagine posthumans as humans made superhumanly intelligent or resilient by future advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science. Many argue that these enhanced people might live better lives; others fear that tinkering with our nature will undermine our sense of our own humanity. Whoever is right, it is assumed that our technological successor will be an upgraded or degraded version of us: Human 2.0. 'Posthuman Life' argues that the enhancement debate projects a human face onto an empty screen. We do not know what will happen and, not being posthuman, cannot anticipate how posthumans will assess the world. If a posthuman future will not necessarily be informed by our kind of subjectivity or morality the limits of our current knowledge must inform any ethical or political assessment of that future. 'Posthuman Life' develops a critical metaphysics of posthuman succession and argues that only a truly speculative posthumanism can support an ethics that meets the challenge of the transformative potential of technology."

"Unpacking a range of debates spanning ethics, existentialism, phenomenology, and the philosophy of mind, Roden offers a compelling take on the fate of humanism in a posthuman world. … Throughout, Roden’s writing is careful, accessible, and riddled with pop-culture references. Overall, this book succeeds as both a work of original research and as a primer for those curious about posthumanity. Summing Up: Highly recommended." - L. A. Wilkinson, CHOICE

"I would recommend Roden's book to readers with at least some expertise in modern day ethics and phenomenology. Its greatest strength is that it is conceptually clear with a logical structure. The arguments are well worked out and lucid. Reading this book will lead readers to reflect about their own intuitions and preconceptions."

Kasper Raus, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Roden challenges the notion that any potential moral agents of the future that can trace their line of descent back to humanity will be something like Kantian moral agents rather than agents possessing a moral orientation we simply cannot imagine. He also manages to point towards connections of the postmodern thrust of late 21st century philosophy which challenged the role of the self/subject and recent developments in neuroscience, including connections between philosophical phenomenology and the neuroscience of human perception that do something very similar to our conception of the self. Indeed, Posthuman Life eclipses similar efforts at synthesis and Roden excels at bringing to light potentially pregnant connections between thinkers as diverse as Andy Clark and Heidegger, Donna Haraway and Deleuze and Derrida along with non-philosophical figures like the novelist Philip K. Dick." - Rick Searle, IEET

"A unique and fascinating work. I am not sure that I have ever read anything quite like it." - John Danaher, University College Cork, Ireland

David blogs at

David has been interviewed about his work by SF author and Philosopher R. Scott Bakker. Read this at Figure/Ground.

Watch David talking on the related matter of "Dark Posthumanism" in the Questioning Aesthetics Symposium held in Dublin in May 2016 (starts 26 minutes in).

Representative Publications:

2016, 'Letters from the Ocean Terminus',

2013a, ‘The Disconnection Thesis’, in Amnon Eden, Johnny Søraker, Jim Moor, and Eric Steinhart (eds.), The Singularity Hypothesis: A Scientific and Technological Assessment (2012), Springer-Verlag: Berlin Heidelberg, 281-298.

2013b, ‘Nature’s Dark Domain: An Argument for a Naturalized Phenomenology’, in Human Experience and Nature, Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 72 (London: Cambridge University Press).

2002a, Jacques Derrida: Modern Masters of Social Thought, Volumes I-IV, London: Sage Publications, 418 pp.

2010a ‘Deconstruction and Excision in Philosophical Posthumanism’ [PDF], Journal of Evolution and Technology 21(1), Nietzsche and European Posthumanisms.

2010b ‘Sonic Art and the Nature of Sonic Events’, in Bullot, N.J. & Egré, P. (eds.) Objects and Sound Perception special issue, Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1(1).

2006, ‘Naturalising Deconstruction’, Continental Philosophy Review, Volume 38, no 1/2, pp. 71-88.

2004, ‘Radical Quotation and Real Repetition’, Ratio: An international journal of analytic philosophy, Volume 17, no 2, pp. 191-206.

2008a, ‘Cylons and the Limits of Posthuman Justice’, Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy, (Blackwell Publishing), Jason Eberl (ed).

2004, ‘The Subject’, in Understanding Derrida: An Invitation to Philosophy, Jack Reynolds and John Roffe (eds.), New York: Continuum Press, pp. 93-102.

David Roden photo

Posthuman Life - book cover