Transhumanism (abbreviated as H + or h + ) is an international intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology. [1] [2]

Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and risks of emerging technologies That Could Overcome Fundamental human limitations as well as ethical [3] limitations of using Such technologies. [4] Reviews The most common transhumanist thesis Human Beings Is That May Eventually be ble to transform into different Themselves Beings with abilities so Greatly expanded from the natural condition as to merit the label of posthuman Beings . [2]

The contemporary meaning of the term “transhumanism” was foreshadowed by one of the first professors of futurology , FM-2030 , who taught “new concepts of the human” at The New School in the 1960s, when he began to identify people who adopt technologies , lifestyles and worldviews “transitional” to posthumanity as ” transhuman “. [5] The assertion would lay the intellectual groundwork for the British philosopher Max More to begin articulating the principles of transhumanism in a futurist philosophy in 1990 and organizing in California an intelligentsiathat has grown up in the world transhumanist movement. [5] [6] [7]

Influence by seminal works of science fiction , the transhumanist vision of a future of humanity [5] Transhumanism has been characterized by Francis Fukuyama as one of the ” world’s most dangerous ideas “, [8] to which Ronald Bailey has countered that it is rather the “movement that epitomizes the most daring, courageous, imaginative. idealistic aspirations of humanity “. [9]


Selon Nick Bostrom , transcendentalist impulses-have-been Expressed at least as far back as in the quest for immortality in the Epic of Gilgamesh , as well as in historical quests for the Fountain of Youth , the Elixir of Life , and other efforts to stave off aging and death. [2]

There is a debate about the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche that can be considered an influence on transhumanism despite its exaltation of the ” Übermensch ” (overman or superman), due to its emphasis on self-actualization . [2] [10] [11] [12] The transhumanist philosophies of Max More and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner have been strongly influenced by Nietzschean thinking. [10] By way of contrast, The Transhumanist Declaration [13] “… advocates the well-being of all sentience (whether in artificial intellects, humans, posthumans, or non-human animals)”.

Early transhumanist thinking

Fundamental ideas of transhumanism were first advanced in 1923 by the British geneticist JBS Haldane in his essay Daedalus: Science and the Future , which predicted that great benefits would come from applications of advanced sciences to human biology-and that every such advance would first appear to someone as blasphemy or perversion, “indecent and unnatural”. In Particular, He Was interested in the development of the science of eugenics , ectogenesis (Creating and sustaining life in an artificial environment), and the implementation of genetics to Improve human characteristics, Such As health and intelligence.

His article is an academic and popular interest. JD Bernal , a Crystallographer at Cambridge , wrote The World, The Flesh and the Devil in 1929, in which he speculates on the prospects of space-based colonization and radical changes to human bodies and intelligence through bionic implants and cognitive enhancement . [14] These ideas have been common transhumanist themes ever since. [2]

The biologist Julian Huxley is widely regarded as the founder of transhumanism, after using the term for the title of an influential 1957 article. The term itself, however, derives from an earlier 1940 paper by the Canadian philosopher WD Lighthall. [15] Huxley describes transhumanism in these terms:

Hobbes described it, ‘nasty, brutish and short’; The great majority of human beings (if they have not already died young) have been afflicted with misery … we can justifiably hold the belief that these lands of possibility exist, and that the present limitations and miserable frustrations of our existence could be in large measure surmounted … The human species can, if it wishes, transcend itself-not just sporadically, in an individual way, but in its entirety, as humanity. [16]

Huxley’s definition differs, albeit not substantially, from the one commonly used since the 1980s. The ideas developed by these thinkers were explored in the science fiction of the 1960s, notably in Arthur C. Clarke ‘s 2001: A Space Odyssey , in which an alien artifact grants transcend power to its wielder. [17]

Japanese Metabolist Architects produced a manifesto in 1960 which “promotes active metabolic development of our society” [18] through design and technology. In the Material and Man section of the manifesto, Noboru Kawazoe suggests that:

After several decades, each one will have a “brainwave receiver” in its ear, which conveys directly and exactly what other people think about him and vice versa. What I think will be known by all the people. There is no more individual consciousness, only the will of mankind as a whole. [19]

Artificial intelligence and the singularity

The concept of the singularity , or the ultra-rapid advent of superhuman intelligence, was first proposed by the British cryptologist I. J. Good in 1965:

Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can surpass all the intellectual activities of any man but clever. Since the design of machines is one of those intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; There would be an explosion of intelligence, and the intelligence of man would be far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make. [20]

Computer scientist Marvin Minsky wrote on the relationship between human and artificial intelligence beginning in the 1960s. [21] Over the succeeding decades, Hans Moravec and Raymond Kurzweil , who is the most influential thinkers in the world. [22] [23] The coalescence of an identifiable transhumanist movement began in the last decades of the 20th century. In 1966, FM-2030 (formerly FM Esfandiary), a futurist who taught “new concepts of the human” at The New School , inNew York City , Began to Identify Who people adopt technologies, lifestyles and world views transitional to posthumanity as ” transhuman “. [24] In 1972, Robert Ettinger contributed to the conceptualization of “transhumanity” in his book Man into Superman. [25] FM-2030 published the Upwingers Manifesto in 1973. [26]

Growth of transhumanism

The first self-described transhumanists put formally in the early 1980s at the University of California, Los Angeles , which became the main center of transhumanism thought. Here, FM-2030 reads on his ” Third Way ” futurist ideology. [27] At the coming EZTV Media, attended by transhumanists and other futurists, Natasha Vita-More presented Breaking Away , an experimental film with the theme of humans breaking away from their biological limitations and the Earth’s gravity as they head into space. [28] [29] FM-2030 and Vita-More began to gather in Los Angeles for transhumanists, which included students from FM-2030’s racing and audiences from Vita-More’s artistic productions. In 1982, Vita-More authored the Transhumanist Arts Statement [30] and, six years later, produced the cable TV show TransCentury Update on Transhumanity, a program which reaches over 100,000 viewers.

In 1986, Eric Drexler published Engines of Creation : The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, [31] which discussed the prospects for nanotechnology and molecular assemblers , and founded the Foresight Institute . As the first non-profit organization for research, advocate for and perform cryonics , the Southern California Offices of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation has become a center for futurists. In 1988, the first issue of Extropy Magazine was published by Max Moreand Tom Morrow. In 1990, More, a strategic philosopher, created his own particular transhumanist doctrine, which took the form of the Principles of Extropy, and laid the foundation of modern transhumanism by giving it a new definition: [32]

Transhumanism is a class of philosophies that seeks a guide to a posthuman condition. Transhumanism shares many elements of humanism, including a respect for reason and science, a commitment to progress, and a valuation of human (or transhuman) existence in this life. […] Transhumanism differs from humanism in recognizing and anticipating the radical alterations in the nature and possibilities of our lives resulting from various sciences and technologies […].

In 1992, More and Morrow Founded the Extropy Institute , a catalyst for networking futurists and brainstorming new memeplexes by organizing a series of conferences and more importantly, providing a mailing list cyberculture and the cyberdelic counterculture. In 1998, philosophers Nick Bostrom and David Pearce founded the World Transhumanist Association (WTA), International year non-governmental organization working Toward the recognition of transhumanism as a legitimate subject of scientific inquiry and public policy .[33] In 2002, the WTA modified and adopted The Transhumanist Declaration. [13] The Transhumanist FAQ , prepared by the WTA (later Humanity + ), provided two formal definitions for transhumanism: [34]

  1. The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making available technologies to eliminate aging and to enhance the enhancement of intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.
  2. The study of the ramifications, promises, and potential dangers of technologies that will enable us to overcome fundamental human limitations, and the related study of the ethical issues involved in developing and using such technologies.

In contrast with other transhumanist can organisms, WTA Officials regarded That social force Could Undermine Their futurist visions and needed to be Addressed. [5] A particular concern is the equal access to human enhancement technologies across classes and borders. [35] In 2006, a political struggle within the transhumanist movement between the libertarian right and the left liberalization in a more central-leftward positioning of the WTA under its executive director James Hughes . [35] [36]In 2006, the board of directors of the Extropy Institute ceased operations of the organization, stating that its mission was “essentially completed”. [37] This left the World Transhumanist Association as the leading international transhumanist organization. In 2008, as part of a rebranding effort, the WTA changed its name to ” Humanity + “. [38] In 2012, the transhumanist Longevity Party has been established as an international union of people who promote the development of scientific and technological means to significant life extension, which for 30 national organizations throughout the world. [39] [40]

The Mormon Transhumanist Association was founded in 2006. [41] By 2012, it consisted of hundreds of members. [42]

The first transhumanist elected member of Parliament is Giuseppe Vatinno , in Italy. [43] In 2015, Vatinno became a member of the Board of Directors of Humanity +. [44]


See also: Outline of transhumanism

It is a matter of debate whether transhumanism is a branch of posthumanism and how this philosophical movement should be conceptualized with regard to transhumanism. The latter is often referred to as a conservative or conservative form of posthumanism by its conservative , [8] Christian [45] and progressive [46] [47] critics.

A common feature of transhumanism and philosophical posthumanism is the future vision of a new intelligent species, in which humanity will evolve and eventually will supplement or supersede it. Transhumanism stresses the evolutionary perspective, including sometimes the creation of a highly intelligent species by way of cognitive enhancement (ie biological uplift ), [5] goal clings to a “posthuman future” as the final goal of participant evolution. [48]

Nevertheless, the idea of ​​creating intelligent artificial beings (proposed by Hans Moravec ) has influenced transhumanism. [22] Moravec’s ideas and transhumanism have also been characterized as “complacent” or ” apocalyptic ” varying from posthumanism and contrasted with ” cultural posthumanism ” in humanities and the arts . [49] While such a “cultural posthumanism” would be offered for the purpose of rethinking the relationships between humans and sophisticated machines, transhumanism and similar posthumanisms are, in this view, not abandoning obsolete concepts of the “”, but are expanding its” prerogatives “into the realm of the posthuman . [50] Transhumanist self-characterizations as a continuation of humanism and Enlightenment thinking correspond with this view.

Some secular humanists conceive transhumanism as an offspring of the humanist freethought movement and argue that transhumanists differ from the humanist by having a specific focus on technological approaches to resolving human concerns (ie technocentrism ) and on the issue of mortality . [51] HOWEVER, progressive other-have argued That Posthumanism, whether it be ict philosophical gold activist forms, water equivalent to a shift away from Concerns about social justice , from the reform of human institutions and from other Enlightenment concerns, Toward narcissistic longings for a transcendenceof the human body in quest of the exquisite ways of being. [52]

As an alternative, humanist philosopher Dwight Gilbert Jones has proposed a renewed humanism through DNA and genome repositories, with each individual genotype (DNA) being instantiated as successive phenotypes (bodies or lives via cloning, Church of Man , 1978). In his view, native molecular DNA “continuity” is required for retaining the “self” and no amount of computing power or memory aggregation can replace the essential “stink” of our true genetic identity, which he terms ” genity “. Instead, DNA / genome stewardship by an institution analogous to the Jesuit ‘400 year vigil is a suggested model for enabling humanism to become our species’ common creed, (2011), the world of the dedication of these nations to harmonizing our planet and peoples.

The philosophy of transhumanism is closely related to technoself studies , an interdisciplinary field of scholarly research dealing with all aspects of human identity in a society and focusing on the changing nature of relationships between humans and technology. [53]


While many transhumanist theorists and advocates seek to apply reason , science and technology for the purposes of reducing poverty, disease, disability and malnutrition around the globe, [34] transhumanism is distinctive in its particular focus on the applications of technologies to the improvement of human bodies at the individual level. Many transhumanists actively appreciate the potential for future technologies and innovative social systems to improve the quality of all life , while seeking to make the material reality of the human condition to fulfill the promise of legal and political equality by eliminating mental congenital and physical barriers .

Transhumanist philosophers argue That there not only exists a perfectionist ethical imperative for humans to strive for progress and improvement of the human condition purpose That It is feasible and desirable for humanity to enter a transhuman stage of existence in qui humans Enhance Themselves beyond what is naturally human. In such a phase, natural evolution would be replaced by deliberate participatory or directed evolution .

Some theorists such as Raymond Kurzweil think that the pace of innovation is accelerating and that the next 50 years may yield not only radical advances, but possibly a singularity , which may fundamentally change the nature of human beings. [54] Transhumanists who foresee this massive technological change that is desirable. However, some are also concerned with the possible dangers of extreme rapidity. For example, Bostrom has written extensively on existential risksto humanity’s future welfare, which could be created by emerging technologies. [55]

While many people believe that all transhumanists are striving for immortality, it is not necessarily true. Hank Pellissier, managing director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (2011-2012), surveyed transhumanists. He found that, of the 818 respondents, 23.8% did not want immortality. [56] Some of the reasons were boredom, Earth’s overpopulation and the desire “to go to an afterlife”. [56]

Empathic fallibility and conversational consent

Some transhumanist philosophers Hold That since all Assumptions about what others experience fallible are , and That therefore all Attempts to help or protect Beings That arent able of correcting what others assume about ’em no matter how well-intentioned are in jeopardy of Actually hurting em, all sentient Beings deserve to be sapient . These thinkers argue that the ability to discuss a falsification-based way is a threshold that is not arbitraryat which it becomes possible for an individual to speak for themself. They argued aussi That All Beings able of experiencing something deserve to be elevated to this threshold If They arent at it, Typically Stating que la Underlying currency That leads to the threshold is an Increase in the preciseness of the brain’s ability to discriminate. This includes increasing the neuron count and connectivity in animals as well as accelerating the development of connectivity in order to shorten the ideally skip non-sapient childhood incapable of independently deciding for oneself. Transhumanists of this description stress that the genetic engineering that they advocate is general insertion into the somatic cells of living beings and in germ cells, and not purging of patients without the modifications, deeming the latter not only of efficient genetic engineering. [57] [58] [59] [60]


Transhumanists engages in interdisciplinary approaches to understand and evaluate possibilities for overcoming biological limitations by drawing on futurology and various fields of ethics. Unlike many philosophers, social critics and activists who place a moral value on the preservation of natural systems, transhumanists see the very concept of the specifically natural problem as nebulous at best and an obstacle to progress at worst. [61] In keeping with this, many prominent transhumanist advocates, such as Dan Agin, refer to transhumanism’s critics, on the political right and left jointly, as ” bioconservatives ” or ” bioludits”, the latter term alluding to the 19th century anti-industrialization social movement that opposed the replacement of manual laborers. [62]

A belief of counter-transhumanism is that transhumanism can cause unfair human enhancement in many areas of life, but specifically on the social plane. This can be compared to steroid use, where athletes do not use steroids. The same scenario happens when people have certain neural implants that give them an advantage in the workplace and in educational aspects. [63]


There is a variety of opinions within transhumanist thought. Many of the leading transhumanists think that they are under constant revision and development. [64] Some distinctive currents of transhumanism are identified and listed here in alphabetical order:

  • Democratic transhumanism , a political ideology liberal liberalization , social democracy , radical democracy and transhumanism. [65]
  • Extropianism , an early school of transhumanism, characterized by a set of principles advocating a proactive approach to human evolution. [32]
  • Immortalism has moral ideology based upon the belief That radical life extension and technological immortality is possible, and desirable, and Advocating research and development to Ensure icts realization. [66]
  • Libertarian transhumanism , a political ideology synthesizing libertarianism and transhumanism. [62]
  • Postgenderism , a social philosophy which seeks the elimination of sexuality in the human species through the application of advanced biotechnology and assisted reproductive technologies . [67]
  • Singularitarianism has moral ideology based upon the belief That a technological singularity is possible, and Advocating deliberate actions to effect it and ict Ensure safety. [54]
  • Technogianism , an ecological ideology based on the belief that emerging technologies can help restore Earth’s environment and that developing safe, clean , alternative technology should be an important goal of environmentalists . [65]


Although many transhumanists are atheists , agnostics , and / or secular humanists , some have religious or spiritual views. [33] Despite the prevailing secular attitude, some transhumanists pursued hopes traditionally espoused by religions, such as immortality , [66] while several controversial new religious movements of the late twentieth century have explicitly embraced transhumanist goals of transforming the human condition by applying technology. the alteration of the mind and body, such as Raelism . [68]However, most thinkers associated with the transhumanist movement focus on the practical goals of using technology to help achieve better lives and healthier lives, while speculating that future understanding of neuroscience and the application of neurotechnology will enable humans to gain greater control of altered states of consciousness , which were commonplace as spiritual experiences , and thus achieve more profound self-knowledge . [69] Transhumanist Buddhists have sought to explore areas of agreement between various types of Buddhism and Buddhist-derived meditation and expanding mind “neurotechnologies”. [70]However, they have been criticized for appropriating mindfulness as a tool for transcending humanness. [71]

Many transhumanists believe in the compatibility between the human mind and computer hardware, with the theoretical implication that the human consciousness may someday be transferred to alternative media (a technical speculative commonly known as mind uploading ). [72] One extreme formulation of this idea, which some transhumanists are interested in, is the proposal of the Omega Point by Christian cosmologist Frank Tipler . Drawing upon ideas in digitalism , Tipler has advanced the notion that the collapse of the Universe trillions of years ago could create the conditions for the perpetuation of humanity in a simulated realitywithin a megacomputer and thus achieve a form of ” posthuman godhood “. Tipler’s thought was inspired by the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin , a paleontologist and Jesuit theologian who saw evolutionary telos in the development of an encompassing noosphere , a global consciousness. [73] [74] [75]

Viewed from the perspective of Some Christian thinkers, the idea of mind uploading is Asserted to Represent a denigration of the human body , characteristic of gnostic Manichaean belief. [76] Transhumanism and its presumed intellectual progenitors have also been described as neo-gnostic by non-Christian and secular commentators. [77] [78]

The first dialogue between transhumanism and faith was a one-day conference held at the University of Toronto in 2004. [79] Religious criticism alone is not a relationship with the divine . They commented that a philosophy of these beliefs leaves a postmodern cynicism and anomie . Transhumanists responded to these questions in the light of the transhumanist philosophy, which, far from being cynical, is rooted in optimistic , idealistic attitudes that trace back to the Enlightenment . [80]Following this dialogue, William Sims Bainbridge , a sociologist of religion , conducted a pilot study, published in the Journal of Evolution and Technology , suggesting that religious attitudes are negatively correlated with acceptance of transhumanism and that of individuals. Transhumanism is a direct, competitive (but ultimately futile) affront to their spiritual beliefs. [81]

Since 2006, the Mormon Transhumanist Association sponsors conferences and readings on the intersection of technology and religion. [82]

Since 2009, the American Academy of Religion holds a “Transhumanism and Religion” consultation during its annual meeting, where scholars in the field of religious studies seek to identify and critically evaluate any implicit religious beliefs that might underlie key transhumanist claims and assumptions; consider how transhumanism challenges religious traditions to develop their own ideas of the human future, in particular the prospect of human transformation, or by other means; and providing critical and constructive assessments of the future of nanoparticles in the field of nanotechnology. [83]

The physicist and transhumanist thinker Giulio Prisco states that “cosmist religions based on science, might be best protection from reckless pursuit of superintelligence and other risky technologies.” [84] Prisco also recognizes the importance of spiritual ideas, as Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov to the origins of the transhumanism movement.


While some transhumanists who? ] Take an abstract and theoretical approach to the Perceived benefits of emerging technologies, others-have offert specific Proposals for changes to the human body, Including heritable ones. Transhumanists are often concerned with methods of enhancing the nervous system . Some though, Such As Kevin Warwick , proposes modification of the peripheral nervous system , the brain is regarded the common denominator of personhood and is THUS has primary focus of transhumanist ambitions. [85]

In fact Warwick has gone further than merely making a proposal. In 2002 he had a 100 electrode array surgically implanted into the median nerves of his system connected with the internet. As a result, he carried out a series of experiments. He was able to control a robot using his neural signals and to feel the force applied by the hand through feedback from the fingertips. He also experienced a form of ultrasonic sensory input and conducted a purely electronic communication between his own nervous system and that of his wife who also had electrodes implanted. [86]

As proponents of self-improvement and modification , including gender transition , transhumanists, [87] Depending on your age, some who? ] Transhumanists express concern That They Will not live to reap the benefits of future technologies. HOWEVER, Many have a great interest in life extension strategies and in funding research in cryonics in order to make the lath a viable option of last resort, Rather than remaining an unproven method.[88] Regional and global transhumanist networks and communities with a range of objectives and support for collaborative projects. quote needed ]

Technologies of interest

Transhumanists supporting the emergence and convergence of technology Including nanotechnology , biotechnology , information technology and cognitive science (NBIC), as well as hypothetical future technologies like simulated reality , artificial intelligence , superintelligence , 3D bioprinting , mind uploading , chemical brain preservation and cryonics . They believe that humans can and should use these technologies to become more than human . [90]Therefore, they support the recognition and / or protection of cognitive liberty , morphological freedom,and procreative liberty as civil liberties , so to guarantee the choice of using human enhancement technologies on themselves and their children. [91] Some speculate that human enhancement techniques and other emerging technologies may facilitate more radical human enhancement at the midpoint of the 21st century. Kurzweil’s book The Singularity is Near and Michio Kaku’s book Physics of the Futureoutline various human enhancement technologies and give insight on how these technologies can impact the human race. [54] [92]

Some references to converging technologies and NBIC concepts have criticized their transhumanism orientation and alleged science fictional character. [93] At the time Sami, research is brain and body alteration technologies has-been accelerated under the sponsorship of the US Department of Defense , qui est interested in the battlefield advantages They Would Provide to the supersoldiers of the United States and Its Allies. [94] There is already a brainstorm in the past, but there is no need for more information. [95]

Neuroscientist Anders Sandberg has-been practicing on the method of scanning ultra-thin sections of the brain. This method is being used to help understand the architecture of the brain. As of now, this method is currently being used on mice. This is the first step towards uploading contents of the human brain, including memories and emotions, onto a computer. [96]

Arts and culture

Transhumanist themes have become prominent in various literary forms during the period in which the movement itself has emerged. Contemporary science fiction often contains positive renditions of technologically enhanced human life in utopian (especially techno-utopian ) societies. However, science fiction’s posthuman posthuman often comes with a cautionary twist. The more pessimistic scenarios include many horrific or dystopian tales of human bioengineeringgone wrong. In the decades time immediately before transhumanism Emerged as an explicit movement, Many transhumanist concepts and themes Began Appearing in the speculative fiction of authors of the Golden Age of Science Fiction Such As Robert A. Heinlein ( Lazarus Long series, 1941-87), van AE Vogt ( Slan , 1946), Isaac Asimov ( I, Robot , 1950), Arthur C. Clarke ( Childhood’s End , 1953), and Stanisław Lem ( Cyberiad , 1967). [5] CS Lewis ‘ That Hideous Strength (1945) contains an early criticism of transhumanism.

In a series of science fiction novels by Neal Asher , the protagonist is an augmented human who carries out missions for “Earth Central Security”, an artificial intelligence and superhuman coalition. The author portrays a variety of augmentations in addition to the copying of memory and human minds in crystals and the presence of both benevolent and malevolent artificial intelligences.

The cyberpunk genre, Exemplified by William Gibson ‘s Neuromancer (1984) and Bruce Sterling ‘s Schismatrix (1985), HAS PARTICULARLY beens Concerned with the modification of human bodies. Other novels dealing with transhumanist themes That broad-have stimulated discussions of These issues include Blood Music (1985) by Greg Bear ; The Xenogenesis Trilogy (1987-1989), by Octavia Butler ; The Beggar’s Trilogy (1990-94), by Nancy Kress ; Much of Greg Egan’s work since the early 1990s Permutation City(1994) and Diaspora (1997); The Culture series of Iain M. Banks; The Bohr Maker (1995), by Linda Nagata ; Altered Carbon (2002), by Richard K. Morgan; Oryx and Crake (2003), by Margaret Atwood ; The Elementary Particles (Eng, trans 2001) and The Possibility of an Island (Eng trans 2006), by Michel Houellebecq ; Mindscan (2005), by Robert J. Sawyer ; the Commonwealth Saga (2002-10), by Peter F. Hamilton ; and Glasshouse (2005), byCharles Stross . Some of these works are considered part of the cyberpunk genre or its postcyberpunk offshoot.

Dan Brown’s novel Inferno focuses on the theme of transhumanism. In an interview with Today , Dan Brown said “Transhumanism is the ethics and science of using biological and genetic engineering to transform our bodies and make more powerful species”. [97]

Fictional transhumanist scenarios also became popular in other media during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Such treatments are found in comic books ( Captain America , 1941, Iron Man 1963, Transmetropolitan , 1997, The Surrogates , 2006), films ( 2001: A Space Odyssey , 1968, Blade Runner , 1982, Gattaca , 1997, Ex Machina , 2015 ), television series (The Cybermen of Doctor Who , 1966, The Borg of Star Trek: The Next Generation , 1989,Battlestar Galactica , 2003, Black Mirror , 2011), manga and anime ( Galaxy Express 999 , 1978, Appleseed , 1985, Ghost in the Shell , 1989, Neon Genesis Evangelion , 1995, and the Gundam metaseries, 1979), video games ( Metal Gear Solid , 1998, Deus Ex , 2000, EVE Online , 2003, BioShock , 2007, Half-Life 2 , 2004, Crysis , 2007, Deus Ex: Human Revolution , 2011, [98] Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, 2016) and role-playing games .

Carnal Art, a form of sculpture originated by French artist Orlan , uses the body as its medium and plastic surgery as its method. [99] French biological anthropologist Dr. Judith Nicogossian also works on representations of the hybrid body.


The very notion and prospect of human enhancement and related issues arouse public controversy. [100] Criticisms of Transhumanism and its Propositions: These Objections to the Likelihood of Transhumanism and Their Objectives (continued) transhumanist proposals or underlying transhumanism itself (ethical criticisms). Critics and opponents often see transhumanists’ goals as posing threats to human values .

Some of the most well-known critics of the transhumanist program are novels and fictional films. These works of art, with presenting imagined worlds rather than philosophical analyzes, are used as touchstones for some of the more formal arguments. [5] Various arguments have been made to the effect that a society that adopts human enhancement technologies may come to resemble the dystopia depicted in the 1932 novel Brave New World , by Aldous Huxley . quote needed ]

On another front, some authors consider that humanity would be transhuman, because medical advances in recent centuries have significantly altered our species. However, it would not be a conscious and therefore transhumanistic way. [101]


In a 1992 book, the sociologist Max Dublin pointed to a number of recent predictions of technological progress and argued that modern futurist predictions would prove similarly inaccurate. He also objected to what he saw as scientism , fanaticism and nihilism by a few in advancing transhumanist causes. Dublin also said that historical parallels existed between Millenarian religions and Communist doctrines . [102]

ALTHOUGH Generally sympathetic to transhumanism, public health professor Gregory Stock is skeptical of the technical feasibility and mass appeal of the cyborgization of humanity Predicted by Raymond Kurzweil, Hans Moravecand Kevin Warwick . He said that, throughout the 21st century, many people would have become deeply integrated into systems of machines, but would remain biological. Primary exchange to Their Own form and character Would not Arise from cyberware , drank from the live manipulation of Their genetics , metabolism and biochemistry . [103]

In her book 1992 Science as Salvation , Philosophy Mary Midgley traces the notion of achieving immortality by the transcendence of the material human body (echoed in the transhumanist tenet of mind uploading ) to a group of male scientific thinkers of the early 20th century, including JBS Haldane and members of his circle. She characterizes these ideas as “quasi-scientific dreams and prophesies” involving visions of escape from the body coupled with “self-indulgent, uncontrolled power-fantasies”. Her argument focuses on what she perceives as the pseudoscientificand irrational speculations, fear-of-death-driven fantasies of these thinkers, their disregard for laymen and the remoteness of their eschatological visions. [104]

Another criticism is aimed at ” algeny ” (a portmanteau of alchemy and genetics ), which Jeremy Rifkin defined as “the upgrading of existing organisms and the design of wholly new ones with the intent of ‘perfecting’ their performance”. [105] It emphasizes the issue of biocomplexity and the unpredictability of attempts to guide the development of biological evolution . This argument, elaborated in particular by the biologist Stuart Newman , is based on the recognition that cloning and germline genetic engineeringof animals are error-prone and inherently disruptive of embryonic development . Accordingly, it would be argued that it would create unacceptable risks to use such methods on human embryos. Performing experiments, particularly ones with permanent biological consequences, on the subject of human development (see 1964 Declaration of Helsinki ). Moreover, it is not possible to transfer genetic information to humans without further experimentation. [106]

As a practical matter, however, international protocols on the subject of research and development, can not be avoided. According to legal scholar, Kirsten Rabe Smolensky, would be able to protect parents who would like to enhance their child’s future outcomes. [107]

Transhumanists and other supporters of human genetic engineering are not limited to the extent to which they are likely to be affected by the effects of genetic error. However, bioethicist James Hughes suggests that one possible ethical route to the genetic manipulation of humans at early developmental stages is the building of computer systems of the human genome , the proteins it specifies and the tissue engineering it argues that it also codes for. With the exponential progress in bioinformatics, Hughes believes that a virtual model of genetic expression in the human body will not be possible to accelerate approval of genetic modifications by simulating their effects on virtual humans. [5] Public health professor Gregory Stock points to artificial chromosomes as an alleged safer alternative to existing genetic engineering techniques. [103]

Thinkers who? ] who defends the likelihood of accelerating change in the world. Kurzweil developed this position in his 2005 book The Singularity Is Near .

Intrinsic immorality

It has been argued that, in transhumanist thought, humans attempt to substitute themselves for God . The 2002 Vatican statement Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God, [108] stated that “changing the genetic identity of humans by the production of an infrahuman being radically immoral”, implying, that “man has full right of disposal over its own biological nature “. The statement aussi Argues That establishment of a superhuman being white gold Spiritually superior is “unthinkable”, since true improvement can come only through religious experience and ” Realizing more fully the image of God”Christian theologians and lay activists of several churches and expressed similar objections to transhumanism and claimed that Christians reach in the afterlife what radical transhumanism promised, such as indefinite life extension or the abolition of suffering.In this view, transhumanism is just another representative of the long line of utopian movements qui seek to create “heaven on earth” . [109] [110] On the other hand, religious thinkers allied with transhumanist goals Such as the theologians Ronald Cole-Turner and Ted Peters hold que la doctrine of “co-creation” provides an obligation to use genetic engineering to improve human biology. [111][112]

Marvin Minsky, Hans Moravec and some other transhumanists. [50] Reflecting a strain of feminist criticism of the transhumanist program, philosopher Susan Bordo point to “contemporary obsessions with slenderness, youth and physical perfection “, qui she Sees have Affecting Both men and women, purpose in distinct ways, as “the logical (if extreme) manifestations of anxieties and fantasies fostered by our culture. ” [113] Some critics question other social implications of the movement’s focus on body modification. Political Scientist Klaus-Gerd Giesen, in particular, has asserted that transhumanism’s concentration on the human body represents the tragic consequence of atomized individualism and body commodification within a consumer culture . [77]

Nick Bostrom responds that the desire to regain youth , specifically, and transcends the natural limitations of the human body, in general, is pan-cultural and pan-historical, and is therefore uniquely tied to the culture of the 20th century. He argues that the transhumanist program is an attempt to channel a scientific project by the Human Genome Project and to achieve humanity’s oldest hope, rather than a puerile fantasy or social trend. [2]

Loss of human identity

In the United States, the Amish are most likely known for their avoidance of certain modern technologies. Transhumanists draw a parallel by arguing that in the near-future there will probably be “humanish”, people who choose to “stay human” by not adopting human enhancement technologies. They believe their choice must be respected and protected. [114]

In his 2003 book Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age , environmental ethicist Bill McKibben is one of a number of technologies that have been postulated or supported by transhumanists, including germinal choice technology , nanomedicine and life extension strategies. He claims That It Would Be Morally wrong for humans to tamper with Fundamental aspects of Themselves (gold Their children) in an attempt to Overcome universal human limitations, Such As vulnerability to aging , maximum life spanand biological constraints on physical and cognitive ability. Attempts to “improve” themselves through such manipulation would be necessary. He claims human lives That Would No sccm along Meaningful in a World Where Such limitations Could Be Overcome Technologically. Even the goal of using germinal choice technology should be relinquished, since it would inevitably produce cognitive capacities. He argues that it is possible for societies to benefit from renouncing particular technologies, using as examples Ming China , Tokugawa Japan and the contemporary Amish .[115]

Biopolitical activist Jeremy Rifkin and biologist Stuart Newman accept that biotechnology has the power to make profound changes in organismal identity. They argue against the genetic engineering of human beings because they fear the blurring of the boundary between human and artificial . [106] [116] Philosopher Keekok Lee Sees Developments Such as share of an accelerating trend in modernization in qui technology has-been used to transform the “natural” into the “Artefactual”. [117] In the extreme, this could lead to the manufacturing and enslavement of ” monsters ” such as human clones, human-animal chimeras , or bioroids , but even less dislocations of humans and non-humans from social and ecological systems are seen as problematic. The film Blade Runner (1982) and the novels The Boys From Brazil (1976) and The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) depict elements of such scenarios, but Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein is most often alluded to by critics who suggest that biotechnologies could create objective and socially unmoored people as well as subhumans. Such criticism proposes that strict measures be implemented to prevent dehumanizing possibilities from ever happening, usually in the form of an international ban on human genetic engineering. [118]

Science journalist Ronald Bailey claims that McKibben ‘s historical examples are flawed and support different conclusions when studied more closely. [119] For example, FEW groups are more cautious than the Amish about embracing new technologies, aim, though They shun television and use horses and buggies, some are welcoming the possibilities of gene therapy since inbreeding HAS afflicted em with a number of uncommon genetic diseases. [103] Bailey and other supporters of technological alteration of human biology aussi reject the claim That Life Would Be Experienced as meaningless if Some limitations are human Overcome with enhancement technologies have extremely subjective.

Writing in Reason magazine, Bailey HAS accusé Opponents of research Involving the modification of animals as indulging in alarmism When They speculate about the establishment of subhuman creatures with human-like intelligence and brains Resembling Those of Homo sapiens . Bailey insists that the aim of conducting research is simply to produce human health care benefits. [120]

A different response comes from transhumanist personhood theorists Who object to Characterize What They’re fueling the anthropomorphobia Some Criticisms of this research, qui science fiction writer Isaac Asimov termed the ” Frankenstein complex “. For example, Woody Evans argues that, they are self-aware , human clones, human-animal chimeras and uplifted animals would all be unique deserving of respect, dignity, rights, responsibilities, and citizenship . [121] They are supposed to be ethical, but they are characterizing the issue of ” yuck factor””and” human-racism “, that would judge and treat these creations as monstrous. [33] [122]

At least one public interest organization, the US-based Center for Genetics and Society , was formed in 2001, with the specific goal of opposing transhumanist agendas that involve transgenerational modification of human biology, such as full-term human cloning and germinal choice technology. . The Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, published in the United States.

Socioeconomic effects

Some critics of libertarian transhumanism -have Focused on the Likely socioeconomic consequences in societies in qui divisions entre rich and poor are on the rise. Bill McKibben , for example, suggests that emerging human enhancement technologies would be disproportionately available to those with greater financial resources, thereby exacerbating the gap between rich and poor and creating a genetic divide. [115] Even Lee M. Silver , the biologist and scientist who coined the term ” reprogenetics” and supports its applications, has expressed concern that these methods could create a two-tiered society of genetically engineered “haves” and “have nots” if social democratic reforms lag behind implementation of enhancement technologies.[123] The 1997 film Gattaca depicts a dystopian society in which one’s social class depends entirely on genetic modifications and is often cited by critics in support of these views.[5]

These criticisms are also voiced by non-libertarian transhumanist advocates, especially self-described democratic transhumanists, who believe that the majority of current or future social and environmental issues (such as unemployment and resource depletion) need to be addressed by a combination of political and technological solutions (like a guaranteed minimum income and alternative technology). Therefore, on the specific issue of an emerging genetic divide due to unequal access to human enhancement technologies, bioethicist James Hughes, in his 2004 book Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future, argues that progressives or, more precisely, techno-progressives must articulate and implement public policies (i.e., a universal health care voucher system that covers human enhancement technologies) in order to attenuate this problem as much as possible, rather than trying to ban human enhancement technologies. The latter, he argues, might actually worsen the problem by making these technologies unsafe or available only to the wealthy on the local black market or in countries where such a ban is not enforced.[5]

Sometimes, as in the writings of Leon Kass, the fear is that various institutions and practices judged as fundamental to civilized society would be damaged or destroyed.[124] In his 2002 book Our Posthuman Future and in a 2004 Foreign Policy magazine article, political economist and philosopher Francis Fukuyama designates transhumanism as the world’s most dangerous idea because he believes that it may undermine the egalitarian ideals of democracy (in general) and liberal democracy (in particular) through a fundamental alteration of “human nature”.[8] Social philosopher Jürgen Habermas makes a similar argument in his 2003 book The Future of Human Nature , in which he asserts that moral autonomy depends on one another’s unilaterally imposed specifications. Habermas thus suggests that the human “species ethic” would be undermined by embryo-stage genetic alteration. [125] Critics such as Kass, Fukuyama, and a variety of authors are not only inherently immoral, but also threaten the social order . Alternatively, they argue that implementation of such technologies would likely lead to the “naturalizing” of social hierarchies or place of control in the hands of totalitarian regimes. AI pioneer Joseph Weizenbaum criticizes what he sees as misanthropic tendencies in the language and ideas of some of his colleagues, in particular Marvin Minsky and Hans Moravec, which, by devaluing the human organism per se, promotes a discourse that enables divisive and undemocratic social policies.[126]

In a 2004 article in the libertarian monthly Reason , journalist science Ronald Bailey contested the assertions of Fukuyama by arguing that political equality has never rested on the facts of human biology. He asserts that liberalism was founded on the proposition of effective equality of human beings, or de facto equality, but on the assertion of an equality in political rights and before the law, or of jure equality. Bailey asserts that the products of genetic engineering may be rather than exacerbate human inequality, giving rise to many of the privileges of the few. Moreover, he argues, “the crowning achievement of the Enlightenment is the principle of tolerance”. In fact, he says, political liberalism is already the solution to the issue of human and posthuman rights since in liberal societies the law is meant to apply equally to all, no matter how rich or poor, powerful or powerless, educated or ignorant, enhanced or unenhanced.[9] Other thinkers who are sympathetic to transhumanist ideas, such as philosopher Russell Blackford, have also objected to the appeal to tradition and what they see as alarmism involved in Brave New World-type arguments.[127]

Specter of coercive eugenicism

Some critics of transhumanism see the old eugenics, social Darwinist, and master race ideologies and programs of the past as warnings of what the promotion of eugenic enhancement technologies might unintentionally encourage. Some fear future “eugenics wars” as the worst-case scenario: the return of coercive state-sponsored genetic discrimination and human rights violations such as compulsory sterilization of persons with genetic defects, the killing of the institutionalized and, specifically, segregation and genocide of races perceived as inferior.[128] Health law professor George Annas and technology law professor Lori Andrews are prominent advocates of the position that the use of these technologies could lead to such human-posthuman caste warfare.[118][129]

The major transhumanist organizations strongly condemn the coercion involved in such policies and reject the racist and classist assumptions on which they were based, along with the pseudoscientific notions that eugenic improvements could be accomplished in a practically meaningful time frame through selective human breeding.[130] Instead, most transhumanist thinkers advocate a “new eugenics”, a form of egalitarian liberal eugenics.[131] In their 2000 book From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice, non-transhumanist bioethicists Allen Buchanan, Dan Brock, Norman Daniels and Daniel Wikler have argued that liberal societies have an obligation to encourage as wide an adoption of eugenic enhancement technologies as possible (so long as such policies do not infringe on individuals’ reproductive rights or exert undue pressures on prospective parents to use these technologies) in order to maximize public health and minimize the inequalities that may result from both natural genetic endowments and unequal access to genetic enhancements.[132] Most transhumanists holding similar views nonetheless distance themselves from the term “eugenics” (preferring “germinal choice” or “reprogenetics”)[123] to avoid having their position with the discredited theories and practices of early-20th-century eugenic movements.

Existential risks

See also: Existential risk from advanced artificial intelligence

In his 2003 book Our Final Hour , British Royal Astronomer Royal Martin Rees argues that advanced science and technology bring disaster risk. However, Rees does not advocate a halt to scientific activity. Instead, he calls for tighter security and perhaps an end to traditional scientific openness. [133] Advocates of the precautionary principle , such as many in the environmental movement , also favor slow, careful progress or a halt in dangerous dangerous areas. Some precautionists believe that artificial intelligence and robotics present possibilities of alternative forms of cognition that may threaten human life.[134]

Transhumanists do not necessarily rule out specific restrictions on emerging technologies so as to lessen the prospect of existential risk. Generally, however, they counter that proposals based on the precautionary principle are often unrealistic and sometimes even counter-productive as opposed to the technogaian current of transhumanism, which they claim is both realistic and productive. In his television series Connections, science historian James Burke dissects several views on technological change, including precautionism and the restriction of open inquiry. Burke questions the practicality of some of these views, but concludes that maintaining the status quo of inquiry and development poses hazards of its own, such as a disorienting rate of change and the depletion of our planet’s resources. The common transhumanist position is a pragmatic one where society takes deliberate action to ensure the early arrival of the benefits of safe, clean, alternative technology, rather than fostering what it considers to be anti-scientific views and technophobia.

Nick Bostrom argues that even barring the occurrence of a singular global catastrophic event, basic Malthusian and evolutionary forces facilitated by technological progress threaten to eliminate the positive aspects of human society.[135]

One transhumanist solution proposed by Bostrom to counter existential risks is control of differential technological development, a series of attempts to influence the sequence in which technologies are developed. In this approach, planners would strive to retard the development of possibly harmful technologies and their applications, while accelerating the development of likely beneficial technologies, especially those that offer protection against the harmful effects of others.[55]


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