Re-Enchantment Cosmologies: Mastery and Obsolescence in an Intelligent Universe


Following modernity’s founding dream of human mastery over the natural world, scientific discoveries produced a picture of an infinite, random, and indifferent universe, thus paradoxically revealing the utter insignificance of the “master/dreamer.” Recently, the convergence of a number of extreme technoscientific projects—AI, Nanotechnology, Life Extension—has activated science-based cosmological visions in which humans and their “intelligence” are given a central purpose in the unfolding of the universe. The movement formed around the event-horizon of the Singularity is the most well-known version of these re-enchantment cosmologies. Yet this re-enchantment only serves as a prelude to an obsolescence: humans are here to give rise to other, better minds, a prospect that makes Singularitarians restless with both fear and exhilaration.