David Pearce (philosophize)

David Pearce is co-founder of Humanity + , formerly the World Transhumanist Association, and prominent figure within the transhumanism movement. [2] [3]

Based in Brighton , England, Pearce Maintains a series of websites Devoted to transhumanist topics and what he calls the “hedonistic imperative,” has moral obligation to Work Reviews towards the abolition of Suffering in all sentient life. [4] [5] [6] His book-length internet manifesto, The Hedonistic Imperative (1995), outlines how pharmacology , genetic engineering , nanotechnology and neurosurgery could converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience from human and non-human life, replacing suffering with “gradients of bliss”. [7] [8] [9]Pearce calls this the “abolitionist project”. [10] [11]

Hedonistic transhumanism

In 1995, Pearce set up BLTC Research, a network of websites on transhumanism and related topics in pharmacology and biopsychiatry . [12] [13] [14] (BLTC is standing for Better Living Through Chemistry .) [15] He published The Hedonistic Imperative that year, arguing that “[o] ur post-human successors will rewrite the vertebrate genome, redesign the global ecosystem, and abolish the entire living world. ” [8] [16] [17]

Pearce’s ideas inspired an abolitionist school of transhumanism, or “hedonistic transhumanism”, based on his idea of ​​”paradise engineering” and his argument that the abolition of suffering-which he calls the “abolitionist project” -is a moral imperative. [10] [18] [19] He defends a version of negative utilitarianism :

Ethical negative-utilitarianism … values ​​in a distinctively moral sense of the term only to actions that tend to minimize or eliminate suffering. … It’s from a deep sense of compassion at the sheer scale and intensity of suffering in the world. No amount of happiness or happiness can be found in the world of horrors of Auschwitz. Nor can it be outweigh the sporadic frightfulness of the bread and butter that covers every second of every day. [20]

Outlining how drugs and technologies, including intracranial self-stimulation (” wireheading “), designer drugs and genetic engineering , could be all of life, [10] Pearce believes that “over the next thousand years or so, the biological substrates of suffering will be eradicated completely. ” [21] Mental suffering will be a relic of the past, just as a result of anaesthesia . [4] [22]The function of the subject will be provided by some other signal, without the unpleasant experience. [10]Using paradise engineering, human beings will be “animated by gradients of genetically preprogrammed bliss orders of magnitude richer than anything physiologically accessible today.” [23]

A vegan , Pearce argues that humans have a responsibility to avoid cruelty to animals within the human society, but also to redesign the global ecosystem so that animals do not suffer in the wild . [24] [25] [26] [27] He has argued in favor of a “global cross-species analog of the welfare state”, [28] suggesting that it may eventually “reprogram predators” to limit predation , reducing the suffering of prey animals. [25] [29] Fertility regulation could maintain herbivore populations at sustainable levels, “a more civilized and compassionate policy option than famine, predation and disease.”[30] The growing number of vegans and vegetarians in the transhumanism movement has been attributed to Pearce’s influence. [31]

Humanity + and other roles

In 1998 Pearce co-founded the World Transhumanist Association, known from 2008 as Humanity + , with Nick Bostrom , now the director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford . [7] Humanity + is an international nonprofit membership organization that advocates the use of technology to expand human capabilities. [32] Pearce is a member of the board of advisors. [33]

Pearce is also a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies , [34] and sits on the futurist advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation . [35] Until 2013 he was on the editorial advisory board of Medical Hypotheses . [36] He has been interviewed by Vanity Fair (Germany) and on BBC Radio 4 ‘s The Moral Maze , among others. [37] [38]


  1. Jump up^ “David Pearce”, about.me.
  2. Jump up^ Bostrom, Nick (April 2005). “A history of transhumanism thought” (PDF) . Journal of Evolution and Technology . 14 (1). 15-16.
  3. Jump up^ Brey, Philip; Søraker, Johnny Hartz (2009). “Philosophy of Computing and Information Technology”, in Anthonie Meijers (ed.). Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences. Elsevier,1389.
  4. ^ Jump up to:b Power, Katherine (2006). “The End of Suffering” . Philosophy Now .
  5. Jump up^ “What currents are there within transhumanism?” , Transhumanist FAQ 3.0, Humanity +
  6. Jump up^ Hauskeller, Michael (January 2010). “Nietzsche, the Overhuman and the Posthuman: A Reply to Stefan Sorgner”. Journal of Evolution and Technology. 21 (1), 5-8.
  7. ^ Jump up to:b Bostrom (2005) , 15.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a Pearce B , David (1995). The Hedonistic Imperative . hedweb.com.
  9. Jump up^ Pearce, David (2012). “The Biointelligence Explosion”, in Amnon H. Eden, et al. (eds.). Singularity Hypotheses: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 199-236.
  10. ^ Jump up to:d Thweatt-Bates, Jeanine (2016). Cyborg Selves: A Theological Anthropology of the Posthuman . London: Routledge, 50-51 (first published 2012).
  11. Jump up^ https://www.abolitionist.com/
  12. Jump up^ “Mission Statement”andBLTC Research library, BLTC Research.
  13. Jump up^ DeMars, William Emile (2005). NGOs and Transnational Networks: Wild Cards in World Politics . Pluto Press. 171. ISBN  074531905X .
  14. Jump up^ Cass, Hyla (2002). Natural Highs: Supplements, Nutrition, and Mind-body Techniques to Help You Feel Good All the Time . Penguin. 323. ISBN  1583331336 .
  15. Jump up^ Pearce, David (2014). “Better Living Through Chemistry”, YouTube (directed by Adam Ford).
  16. Jump up^ Interview with David Pearce, Interviewed by Stephen Euin Cobb,The Future and You, thefutureandyou.libsyn.com, 27 August 2008, from 0:08:00.
  17. Jump up^ Adams, Nathan A. IV (2004). “An Unnatural Assault on Natural Law” in Colson, Charles W. and Nigel M. de S. Cameron (eds.). Human Dignity in the Century Biotech: A Christian Vision for Public Policy. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 167.ISBN 0830827838
  18. Jump up^ Hughes, James J.(2007). “The Compatibility of Religious and Transhumanist Views of Metaphysics, Suffering, Virtue and Transcendence in an Enhanced Future,”Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, 20.
  19. Jump up^ Bostrom (2005), 16.
  20. Jump up^ Pearce, David (1995). “Negative Utilitarianism: Why Be Negative?” The Hedonistic Imperative, hedweb.com, ch. 2.
  21. Jump up^ Pearce, David (1995). “Introduction”,The Hedonistic Imperative, hedweb.com.
  22. Jump up^ Pearce, David (2007). “Utopian Surgery: Early Arguments Against Anesthesia in Surgery, Dentistry, and Childbirth”. Lifeboat Foundation.
  23. Jump up^ Pearce, David (21 June 2012). “Is Humanity Accelerating Towards Apocalypse? Or Utopia?”Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
  24. Jump up^ Thweatt-Bates (2016), 100-101.
  25. ^ Jump up to:b Pearce, David (2009). “Reprogramming Predators” , hedweb.com.
  26. Jump up^ https://www.hedweb.com/transhumanism/antispeciesist.html
  27. Jump up^ https://www.gene-drives.com/
  28. Jump up^ Kent, James (16 September 2009). “The Genomic Bodhisattva” . H + Magazine .
  29. Jump up^ Verchot, Manon (30 September 2014). “Meet the people who want to turn predators into vegans” . TreeHugger.
  30. Jump up^ Dvorsky, George (30 July 2014). “The Radical Plan To Phase Out Earth’s Predatory Species” . io9.
  31. Jump up^ Fairlie, Simon (2010). Meat: A Benign Extravagance . Chelsea Green Publishing. 230-231. ISBN  1603583254 .
  32. Jump up^ “What we do”and “What is transhumanism?” . Transhumanist FAQ 3.0, Humanity +.
  33. Jump up^ “Advisors”, Humanity +.
  34. Jump up^ “David Pearce” . Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
  35. Jump up^ Advisory boards, Lifeboat Foundation.
  36. Jump up^ ” Medical Assumptions Editorial Advisory Board, 2013″ . Medical Hypotheses . Archived from the original on 26 June 2013.
  37. Jump up^ Niermann, Ingo (5 April 2007). “Mehr Rausch für alle” . Vanity Fair .
  38. Jump up^ “The pursuit of happiness” . The Moral Maze . BBC Radio 4. 7 August 2013. from 00:11:13.

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