Zygon 47 (2):438-466 (2012)

Abstract This essay explores what it means to be human in an age of infomedia. Appropriating Niklas Luhmann's systems theory/media theory in dialogue with other resources, I propose a post-Luhmannian paradigm of (1) extended media/meaning that conceives the world as world multimedia systems processing variegated meanings, and (2) an embodied, contextualized soft posthumanist anthropology that conceives the human as emergent collective phenomena of distinct meaning making by body-mind-society-technology media couplings. I argue: (1) Homo sapiens is Homo medialis distinct with mediatic communication that emerged to cope with contingencies. (2) Evolution is the mediatization/codification of the world that culminated with the outcome of Homo medialis uniquely equipped to process transcendent meanings and to mediatize the world via diverse media—Mediatized Co-Mediatizer or Codified Co-Codifier. (3) This anthropic universe is possibly the most “meaningful” (full of meaning possibilities) of all possible worlds. (4) Social fragmentation could be an optimization; science-and-religion is an infomedium optimizing religion's manifest and science’ latent observation of divine manifestations
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2012.01264.x
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