Transhumanism

The concept of transhumanism

What is transhumanism?

Transhumanism is a philosophical school that concerns the true nature of human beings and technological developments. Essentially, it is concerned with the transformation of humans into new or enhanced beings due to the deployment of current and futuristic technologies. In some cases, this sort of technology will enhance the physiology of people, rather like how bionic implants are already able to deal with certain disabilities, for example. However, transhumanism goes beyond the merely physical and postulates a future in which humans will use similar technologies to improve their intellectual capacities, such as the ability to learn and retain knowledge faster. Some people imagine a world in which transhumanism has taken place and the human race has been surpassed by a new range of superior beings. This is known as the post-human world.

 Where did transhumanism originate?

As you might expect, transhumanism originally came about through science fiction writing, much of which has been devoted to the idea of cyborg technologies. J D Bernal, a pioneer of x-ray technology, was one of the first academics to take the concept seriously back in the late 1920s. In the 1960s, the New School in New York City began to be a focal point of transhumanism from a philosophical point of view. The first symposium of transhumanism took place at the University of California in 1980.

When will transhumanism occur?

Some transhumanists argue that it is already occurring because of how human thought is now so widely shared in an almost organic sense thanks to a global technology like the internet. Indeed, there are plenty of examples of technology being deployed into people's bodies that suggest self-improvement by body modification is something that is already a reality. Technologies like three-dimensional bio-printing and mind uploading are already in development for future deployment in the sphere of transhumanism. When they become widespread, however, is anybody's guess.

What are the ethical aspects of transhumanism?

One of the ethical issues that come up in transhumanism is where human rights begin and end. Do technologies used in people count as part of them, or are they separate? If so, how do laws cover a bio-printed body part compared to a 'natural' one? Transhumanists take different ethical stances but, broadly speaking, they advocate for a wider definition of what it is to be a person that includes technology alongside, and a part of, biology.

Will human identity be lost if transhumanism takes off?

Some people worry about what will make humans different from any other technological system if they become transhuman at some point. Clear ideas surrounding individuality and the idea of a unique soul certainly become murkier when you consider how mass-produced technologies may impact people. Some point out that transhumanism may end up with unintended results for the concept of human identity, citing works like Frankenstein by Mary Shelley as an example of potential pitfalls.

Members who are looking for Transhumanism

Similar interests to Transhumanism

One of the so-called natural sciences, biology concerns the study of two main topics. The first is life itself. This is the processes – chemical and otherwise – that all living things go through that distinguish them from non-living materials. The second is the wider study of living organisms, including animals, plants, fungi and bacteria. Biologists tend to focus on the physiologies of such organisms as well as their chemical processes, molecular interactions, their development and their evolutionary processes. The word biology is Greek in origin. Bio essentially means life, while ology refers to a field of knowledge.
More often than not, neuroscience is used as an umbrella term that covers various branches of biology, including physiology, anatomy and cytology. Other aspects of it include molecular and developmental biology. These days, complex computer modelling and aspects of psychology are just as likely to be included in neuroscience as are studies of the physical and chemical aspects of the nervous system. The earliest investigations into the brain date back to ancient Egypt and many physicians consider it to be one of the last remaining big challenges for medical science.
When computer programs and algorithms mimic the human ability to think, they are said to be using artificial intelligence. The 'intelligence' part of the phrase refers to the ability to build knowledge derived from acquired data. The 'artificial' part refers to the machine that is using that intelligence, usually a computer or, increasingly, a series of computers that can communicate with one another over the internet. The idea is that artificial intelligence will be able to replicate or at least offer something similar to human thought processes in the near future.
By continuing to browse, you accept the use of Cookies to enhance and personalise your experience.