Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller
The University of Warwick · Department of Sociology

PhD

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513
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5,113
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Publications

Publications (513)
Chapter
Butler is a young US theologian who identifies strongly with the Black liberation movement and sees various features of transhumanist thought as supportive of a project he calls ‘Black Transhuman Liberation Theology’ (BTLT). What follows is a wide-ranging critical examination of how Butler positions his project vis-à-vis the concept of race, which...
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An experiment with ‘Twitterizing’ collective academic writing surrounding questions of how multilateralism might be strengthened and upheld to deal with cross-border and global risks to humanity, and the current UN be reformed to reflect a more complex and evolving world system based on a fairer and more representative distribution of power and res...
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William Lynch has persistently questioned the politics underlying my appeal to science and technology studies’ flagship symmetry principle. He believes that it licenses the worst features of the ‘post-truth condition’. I respond in two parts, the first facing the future and the second facing the past. In the first part, I argue that the symmetry pr...
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This article provides a philosophical discussion and critique of the eschatological rise and fall meta-narratives that surround the issue of Western decline and Asian geopolitical preeminence. The authors provide three discrete arguments against ostensibly objective and empirical declinist meta-narratives: China's great power status within the Asia...
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This article takes a ‘naturalistic’ look at the historically changing nature of the individual and its implications for the terms on which democracy might be realized, starting from classical Athens, moving through early debates in evolutionary theory, to contemporary moral and political thought. Generally speaking, liberal democracy sees individua...
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William Lynch has provided an informed and probing critique of my embrace of the post-truth condition, which he understands correctly as an extension of the normative project of social epistemology. This article roughly tracks the order of Lynch’s paper, beginning with the vexed role of the ‘normative’ in Science and Technology Studies , which orig...
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This chapter considers the history of the human sciences as propaedeutic to humanity’s future self-understanding. Immanuel Kant is pivotal in this context, not merely as someone whose views about the human have been influential, but more importantly as someone who deeply problematized what it means to be “human” in ways that remain relevant. In par...
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This collectively written article explores postdigital relationships between science, philosophy, and religion within the continuum of enchantment, disenchantment, and re-enchantment. Contributions are broadly classified within four sections related to academic fields of philosophy, theology, critical theory, and postdigital studies. The article re...
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The article was published with an error in the reference entry of Haraway, D. (1985/1991) and Wiener, N. (1948/1961). Thus, this erratum is presented to fix this error.
Book
Th is book is designed to do what its title says, namely, to provide a guide to the post- truth condition for those who wish to feel at home and thrive in it – rather than simply avoid or attack it. It consists of a series of short chapters that are best read in the order presented but may also be read in a different order or simply in parts – as m...
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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of epidemiological models of society, I reflect on the real and metaphorical transfers of alien threats between the individual human body and the sovereign nation-state, using Carl Schmitt as my launchpad.
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Parathënia Arsimi liberal dhe liberalizmi arsimor /Konstantinos Giakoumis Pjesa I Emergjenca për edukim liberal /Edukimi liberal si qasje Edukimi liberal - karakteristika dhe koncepte /Valbona Nathanaili Kultivimi i imagjinatës: Letërsia dhe artet /Martha Nussbaum f. 25 Pjesa II Edukimi liberal dhe teatri /Edukimi liberal si praktikë Teatri dhe...
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This chapter explores the theological unconscious of artificial intelligence, which turns on two contrasting interpretations of the logos, the divine word that provides the ‘code’ underwriting the structure of reality. The historically earlier interpretation is ‘Computational Theism’, which is based on the contiguity of the divine creator and the c...
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Christian Quast has presented what he describes as a ‘role-functional’ account of expertise as a form of knowledge that purports to take into account prior discussions within recent analytic social epistemology and allied fields. I argue that his scrupulousness results in a confused version of the role-functional account, which I try to remedy by p...
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‘Knowledge socialism’ is a fine idea that needs to finally bury its Marxist heritage and re-engage with the spectrum of ‘utopian socialism’ from Saint-Simon to Proudhon that has been historically disparaged by Marxists. Luckily Philip Mirowski has done more to aid this cause unofficially than he has in his official cause of burying neoliberalism, w...
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This article is the preface to the Russian translation of my Kuhn vs Popper. I use it as an opportunity to re-examine the difference between Kuhn and Popper on the nature of ‘revolutions’ in science. Kuhn is rightly seen as a ‘reluctant revolutionary’ and Popper a ‘permanent revolutionary’. In this respect, Kuhn sticks to the original medieval mean...
Book
P> Nietzschean Meditations takes its inspiration from the version of Nietzsche that was popular before the Second World War, which stressed the ‘Zarathustrian’ elements of his thought as the harbinger of a new sort of being – the Übermensch . The book updates the image of this creature to present a version of ‘transhumanism’ that breaks with the mo...
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This article performs a depth hermeneutic of the two senses of ‘vocation’ that were available to Max Weber when he delivered his complementary lectures to graduate students one hundred years ago: ‘Science as a Vocation’ and ‘Politics as a Vocation’. Both senses derive from the Protestant Reformation, but the relationship implied between the divine...
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I respond to the challenging comments of Nico Stehr, Stephen Turner and Raphael Sassower to my own article on the sense in which science can be regarded as a ‘public good’. I agree with Stehr that this conceptualization brings various hazards that are exacerbated with increasing democratization of the knowledge system. Here I elaborate on an astute...
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I argue that if science is to be a public good, it must be made one. Neither science nor any other form of knowledge is naturally a public good. And given the history of science policy in the twentieth century, it would be reasonable to conclude that science is in fact what economists call a ‘club good’. I discuss this matter in detail in two conte...
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Më datë 16 dhjetor 2019, Instituti për Studime Sociale dhe Humanistike, Fakulteti Filozofik, Universiteti i Prishtinës (UP), në bashkëpunim me Fondacionin “Henrietta Leavitt” dhe me Fondacionin Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES, zyra Kosovë) organizuan promovimin e librit “Komercializimi i shkollimit”, zgjedhur dhe përgatitur për botim nga Valbona Nath...
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This article explores the proposition that the brain, normally seen as an organ of the human body, should be understood as a biologically based form of artificial intelligence, in the course of which the case is made for a new kind of ‘brain exceptionalism’. After noting that such a view was generally assumed by the founders of AI in the 1950s, the...
Book
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The book considers from an historical, philosophical, sociological and political econoimic standpoint the future prospects for a 'Humboldtian' style university in the current neoliberal world, where our understanding of what it means to be 'human' is changing rapidly. The sort of leader capable of meeting this challenge is called the 'Academic Caes...
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‘Academic rentiership’ is an economistic way of thinking about the familiar tendency for academic knowledge to consolidate into forms of expertise that exercise authority over the entire society. The feature that ‘rentiership’ highlights is control over what can be accepted as a plausible knowledge claim, which I call ‘modal power’. This amounts to...
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This piece is the first of new annual feature of the journal, entitled ‘Debate’. Two scholars offer their contrasting reflections on a topic of interest – this year, it is ‘scientific progress, human progress and Christian theology’. The debate is opened by American sociologist Steve Fuller, who briefly presents his thesis on the subject, proposing...
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The classical political economists generally believed that free markets are the ideal setting to release previously untapped human creative potential, ultimately resulting in prosperity for all. However, David Ricardo added an ironic twist to this article of faith by observing that much—if not most—of our creative potential has been dedicated to th...
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Cal Winslow, ed., E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left: Essays and Polemics (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2014).Christos Efstathiou, E.P. Thompson: A Twentieth-Century Romantic (London: Merlin Press, 2015).
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I reconstruct my own journey into the history of the human sciences, which I show to have been a process of discovering the metaphysical standing of the human. I begin with Alexandre Koyré’s encounter with Edmund Husserl in the 1930s, which I use to throw light on the legacy of Kant’s ‘anthropological’ understanding of the human, which dominated an...
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Ian C. Jarvie’s original research was on cargo cults—more specifically regarding the anthropologists who study cargo cults as themselves constituting a cargo cult. I reflect on the broader epistemological significance of this work, extending it to what I call ‘academic expressivism’, whereby contemporary identity politics is analysed as a cargo cul...
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In this interview Steve Fuller outlines his own intellectual trajectory and changing interests. As one of the creators of social epistemology, he talks about the context of the birth and development of this interdisciplinary project, as well as how he came to the study and development of transhumanism, which is the topic of his recent trilogy Human...
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Fuller argues that relativism as a philosophical position has two potential opponents: universalism and absolutism. The former is much more widely discussed than the latter, but the latter is ultimately of greater normative interest. The relativist refutation of universalism is simply that locally produced norms do not scale up across all societies...
Book
This book approaches post-truth and relativism in a multidisciplinary fashion. Researchers from astrophysics, philosophy, psychology, media studies, religious studies, anthropology, social epistemology and sociology discuss and analyse the impact of relativism and post-truth both within the academy and in society at large. The motivation for this m...
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I respond to William Lynch’s critique of the sympathetic reading of my work provided by Remedios and Dusek in Knowing Humanity in the Social World: The Path of Steve Fuller’s Social Epistemology. Lynch harks back to my early works, which he sees as a promoting a ‘naturalism’ lacking in the later works. In response, I observe that my commitment to n...
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I discuss the revolutionary implications of Alexander Wendt's Quantum Mind and Social Science for social theory. These center on the significance given to society as a possibility space in which observable social reality amounts to quantum decoherent states in the system. I discuss how Wendt radicalises social constructivism and goes considerably b...
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Philosophers claim to be seekers of the truth but the matter is not quite so straightforward. Another way to see philosophers is as the ultimate experts in a post-truth world. They see ‘truth’ for what it is: the name of a brand ever in need of a product that everyone is compelled to buy. This helps to explain why philosophers are most confident ap...
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This paper takes a loosely “quantum” approach to political possibility. In other words, depending on how the present is characterized, both past and future possibilities are defined simultaneously. Political history is full of such quantum moments, which revolutionize our understanding of the historical subject. It is normally assumed that some ver...
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This chapter takes off from Max Weber's famous lectures on politics and science as 'vocations' to explore the concept of 'modal power', that is, the power to determine what is possible. Politics and science are complementarily concerned with modal power, in ways that go to the heart of Michael Dummett's influential metaphysical characterisation of...
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In her essay, “Global Knowledge Frameworks and the Tasks of Cross-Cultural Philosophy,” Leigh Jenco proposes that certain knowledge frameworks may, in virtue of their accessibility to erstwhile outsiders, be more congenial to the aims of cross-cultural philosophy. Her co-symposiasts use Jenco’s essay to further the discussion on different aspects o...
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This introduction to the Socrates Tenured symposium reflects on the history of philosophy’s institutionalization as a specialized academic discipline, noting its relative recency in the English-speaking world. Despite occasionally paying lip service to its German idealist origins, philosophy in the United States is best understood as an extension o...
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In the most general terms, “transhumanism” says that the indefinite projection of those qualities that most clearly distinguish humans from other natural beings is worth pursuing as a value in its own right—even if that means radically altering our material nature (More and Vita-More 2013). This rather open definition of transhumanism makes it clea...
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In this invited piece, I deal with Brexit as the leading edge of an ongoing anti-expert revolution. I begin by considering Brexit in relation to my own long-standing anti-expertist approach to social epistemology, which in many ways makes me a kindred spirit to the Brexiteers. Next, I turn to the struggle of parliamentary elites that eventuated in...
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This article aims to excavate several senses of "information overload" which affect all knowledge processes at different levels. The argument begins at the most systemic level, considering information overload as a by-product of the sheer reproduction of knowledge, what I call the "original position of knowledge." The invention of the printing pres...
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This paper distinguishes the human sciences from the natural sciences in terms of a difference between an ‘inside-out’ and an ‘outside-in’ approach to hermeneutics, the former rendering us empirical geniuses and transcendental dopes and the latter transcendental geniuses and empirical dopes. The social sciences have been the historic testing ground...
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This paper distinguishes the human sciences from the natural sciences in terms of a difference between an ‘inside-out’ and an ‘outside-in’ approach to hermeneutics, the former rendering us empirical geniuses and transcendental dopes and the latter transcendental geniuses and empirical dopes. The social sciences have been the historic testing ground...
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This paper is divided into two parts, one on the theological and the other on the philosophical roots of the transgressive mindset, which when seen against the backdrop of Western intellectual history is ultimately about establishing a continuity of being between the human and the divine. Along the way, various intermediate positions are discussed,...
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A historical and philosophical analysis of morphological freedom as a fundamental transhumanist right.
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This comment reflects on the recent row over Woodrow Wilson’s legacy, which has focussed on his undeniable racism. This was in pursuit of a ‘Progressive’ agenda which paved the way for the United States to become the geopolitical force that it continues to be today. Without necessarily approving of Wilson’s particular judgements, I argue that he op...
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Until the modern period, the idea that all humans are ‘natural equals’ was largely a legacy of Abrahamic theology. Many 18th century Enlightenment figures believed that the egalitarian spirit embodied in the Christian motto ‘the truth shall set you free’ could be continued with impunity once theology was replaced by science. However, as the 19th ce...
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I present a future-oriented look at sociology and anthropology's historical appropriation of the concept of organism. The ‘future’ of which I speak is one in which the biological and technological are blending together. In cultural and science studies, the figure of the ‘cyborg’ is often discussed in this context. But the cyborg tends to be treated...
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I present a future-oriented look at sociology and anthropology's historical appropriation of the concept of organism. The ‘future’ of which I speak is one in which the biological and technological are blending together. In cultural and science studies, the figure of the ‘cyborg’ is often discussed in this context. But the cyborg tends to be treated...
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This article is a response to William Lynch's, 'Social Epistemology Transformed: Steve Fuller's Account of Knowledge as a Divine Spark for Human Domination,' an extended and thoughtful reflection on my Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History. I grant that Lynch has captured well, albeit critically, the spirit and content of the book - and the...
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This article offers a genealogy of the concept of information, which today is very much embedded in 'platform capitalism', whereby keystrokes and clicks operationalize 'the difference that makes a difference', which by the mid-20 th century had become the default position of a radically relativized understanding of the 'value of information' (aka m...
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This is the text of the symposium on Steve Fuller's Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History (Routledge 2015), which appears in the March 2016 issue of Metascience. It includes a response by Fuller.
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The theory of knowledge, or epistemology, is often regarded as a dry topic that bears little relation to actual knowledge practices. Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History addresses this perception by showing the roots, developments and prospects of modern epistemology from its beginnings in the nineteenth century to the present day. Beginni...
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Positivism is the name of a social and intellectual movement that tried to learn from the mistakes of the Enlightenment project that eventuated, first, in the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution of 1789, and second, in the irrationalism of the Weimar Republic following Germany's defeat in World War I. While it has been customary to dist...
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This article is concerned with two concepts. The first is a coinage of the author, 'Protscience', a contracted form of 'Protestant science', made in reference to the 16th—17th century Protestant Reformation, when the members of Western Christendom took their religion into their hands, specifically by reading the Bible for themselves and interpretin...

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