Knowing Humanity in the Social World: The Path of Steve Fuller’s Social Epistemology

London, UK: Palgrave (2018)
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This book examines Fuller’s pioneering vision of social epistemology. It focuses specifically on his work post-2000, which is founded in the changing conception of humanity and project into a ‘post-‘ or ‘trans-‘ human future. Chapters treat especially Fuller’s provocative response to the changing boundary conditions of the knower due to anticipated changes in humanity coming from the nanosciences, neuroscience, synthetic biology and computer technology and end on an interview with Fuller himself. While Fuller’s turn in this direction has invited at least as much criticism as his earlier work, to him the result is an extended sense of the knower, or ‘humanity 2.0’, which Fuller himself identifies with transhumanism. The authors assess Fuller’s work on the following issues: Science and Technology Studies (STS), the university and intellectual life, neo-liberal political economy, intelligent design, Cosmism, Gnosticism, agent-oriented epistemology, proactionary vs precautionary principles and Welfare State 2.0.



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This chapter is a Postscript, which includes an interview with Fuller that will involve his reflections on the path his social epistemology has taken to date.


This chapter is the Conclusion, which is an overall assessment and significance with how Fuller’s work hangs together from 2000.

Proactionary and Precautionary Principles and Welfare State 2.0

This chapter is on proactionary versus precautionary principles. The proactionary principle stresses risk-taking, while the precautionary principle stresses the need to conserve nature. Fuller explores the futures of the human condition, which includes “transhumanism” and “posthumanism.” Starting wi... see more

Fuller, Cosmism, and Gnosticism

This chapter is on an exploration of Fuller’s version of Cosmism. This movement, based in part on the Russian Orthodox concept of theosis as moving toward a union with God, advocates space travel and the scientific pursuit of immortality. This resembles Fuller’s humanity 2.0. There are charges of Gn... see more

Fuller’s Intelligent Design

This chapter is Fuller’s version of Intelligent Design in opposition to evolutionary theorists, and the controversy concerning it is discussed. This chapter discusses why ID is important to Fuller in terms of defending the spiritual distinctiveness of humanity. He claims doing science is to particip... see more

The University and Interdisciplinarity

This chapter is on Fuller’s view that the university is the premier site of knowledge production for the public good. Fuller defends the university against the impact of neoliberalism in which clients influence how academic knowledge is produced. In this context “interdisciplinarity” becomes a battl... see more

Fuller’s Social Epistemology and Epistemic Agency

This chapter is on agent-oriented social epistemology, which emphasizes epistemic agency or the knower as ontologically open. This is from Fuller’s move to transhumanist in which to knower is enhanced to become disembodied. Fuller views the epistemic agent to make knowledge to act in the world as co... see more

Fuller on Science and Technology Studies

This chapter starts with a contrast and comparison of Fuller and Latour and a survey of Fuller’s criticisms of Latour, on the human and non-human distinction in which Fuller defends that humans have agency against Latour’s view that agency is deflated to networks and actants. Next is Fuller’s treatm... see more


The introduction discusses the need for a book on Fuller’s later work since 2000. It characterizes Fuller’s work on social epistemology, science studies, evolution controversies, the university, the proactionary approach to technology, and nature. It summarizes the content of the book’s chapters.

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Author Profiles

Francis X. Remedios
KU Leuven (PhD)
Val Dusek
University of New Hampshire, Durham

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