In the ‘human’ world we believed that we could transform necessity into freedom through our own creativity and agency, understanding the laws of the external world and mastering them through the development of culture, science and technology. In the ‘post-human’ world, we are told by new materialists, actor-network theorists and post-humanists that creativity and agency still exist, but that they are not the property of humans alone; rather, they are a product of the assemblages, associations and relationships through which we are attached to the world. Rather than attempting to understand and act in the world on the basis of our separation from it – articulated in the constraining, alienating and resentment-filled modernist divides of human/nature, subject/object, culture/environment – we should develop our understandings of ‘attachment’ to the world. This article critically examines these claims and suggests that, on the contrary, we become less ‘attached’ and that the external word becomes increasingly alien and mysterious to us. In doing so, it mounts a defence of subject/object understandings and social constructions of freedom and necessity.