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Summary Transhumanism refers to the doctrine that a technological transition to posthuman modes of being is both feasible and desirable. Transhumanists are those who hold such a position. Transhumans are beings that exist in a transitional state between human and posthuman.
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  1. Nicholas Agar (2007). Whereto Transhumanism? The Literature Reaches a Critical Mass. Hastings Center Report 37 (3):12-17.
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  2. Igor Aleksander (2012). Design and the Singularity: The Philosophers Stone of AI? Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (7-8):7-8.
    Much discussion on the singularity is based on the assumption that the design ability of a human can be transferred into an AI system, then rendered autonomous and self-improving. I argue here that this cannot be foreseen from the current state of the art of automatic or evolutionary design. Assuming that this will happen 'some day' is a doubtful step andmay be in the class of 'searching for the Philosopher's Stone'.
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  3. Henry C. Alphin Jr, Singular Immortality: Desirableness Through Technology and Liberty.
    In this essay, I argue that an immortal existence could be desirable. Taking the accounts of Williams and Smuts under careful consideration, I agree with Fischer that an immortal existence could be gratifying. When Fischer argues that it is unfair for Williams to posit that an immortal life must have self-exhausting pleasures and, overall, a better experience than mortal life, he gets to the crux of the argument for immortality: as long as there are positive categorical desires for the individual, (...)
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  4. Keith Ansell-Pearson (1997). The Transhuman Condition: A Report on Machines, Technics, and Evolution. Routledge.
    Evolution is seen to be entering a bio-technological phase. Nietzsche's affirmation that "man is something that must be overcome" no longer has a rhetorical ring given the means at our disposal at the end of the twentieth century. Viroid Life boldly challenges existing explanations of these changes inherited from modernity, arguing that they have exhausted their usefulness and new models are needed to guide us in mapping through the future. Exploring and critically examining the new realities of artificial life that (...)
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  5. José Antúnez-Cid (2014). Nuevas Antropologías: por una antropología de la carne de hondura metafísica. Teología y Catequesis 129:43-80.
    This study divides some of the philosophical anthropologies developed after the Holocaust into three frameworks. To do this the author shows how the present modern crisis is an anthropological one and unites the sum of the different crisis dimensions mankind is currently facing. The article approaches the postmodern journey from its two routes—the relativistic and the metaphysical. The second is presented as “status quo-oriented” or as a form of modernized democracy. Because of its popularity, the neologism “transhumanism” is here examined (...)
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  6. Victor Argonov (2014). The Pleasure Principle as a Tool for Scientific Forecasting of Human Self-Evolution. Journal of Evolution and Technology 24 (2):63-78.
    The pleasure principle (PP) may be a verifiable fundamental law of the living matter in the universe, and this law might then be used for forecasting human self-evolution. I do not pretend to “prove” PP, but argue that it must be regarded as a scientific hypothesis. Accordingly, I formulate verifiable and falsifiable postulates of PP. Their confirmation would allow the construction of a new scientific discipline, hedodynamics, that would be able to forecast the future development of human civilization and even (...)
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  7. J. Armitage (forthcoming). Judith Halberstam and Ira Livingston, Eds, Posthuman Bodies. Radical Philosophy.
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  8. John Armitage (1997). The Cyborg Handbook; Posthuman Bodies. [REVIEW] Radical Philosophy 81.
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  9. William Bainbridge (2010). Burglarizing Nietzsche’s Tomb. Journal of Evolution and Technology 21 (1):37-54.
    This essay analyzes the connection between Nietzsche’s philosophy and contemporary transhumanism, on the basis of his Apollonian-Dionysian dichotomy and how it articulated in late-Romantic European culture. Nietzsche’s personal insanity, and the morbidity of the Romantic Movement in general, can serve as a warning of what transhumanism might become if it overemphasizes individualism. Nietzsche’s first great book, The Birth of Tragedy, stresses the importance of the classical-romantic debate in serious European music, links directly to Jewish intellectual traditions in sociology and psychoanalysis, (...)
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  10. William Sims Bainbridge (2012). Whole-Personality Emulation. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 4 (01):159-175.
  11. Lynne Rudder Baker (2013). Technology and the Future of Persons. The Monist 96 (1):37-53.
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  12. Sim Bamford (2012). A Framework for Approaches to Transfer of a Mind's Substrate. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 4 (01):23-34.
  13. John Basl & Ronald Sandler (2010). Transhumanism, Human Dignity, and Moral Status. American Journal of Bioethics 10 (7):63-66.
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  14. Seth Baum (2009). Film Review: District 9. Journal of Evolution and Technology 20 (2):86-89.
    The recent film District 9 raises several issues of significance to transhumanism. These issues include whether it is permissible to give a human being superhuman powers against his will, under what circumstances humans will be accepting of transhumans or posthumans, and what roles space colonization and extraterrestrial encounter may play in the future of humanity. Consideration of these issues deepens the viewing experience, and it can inform current decisions about transhumanism’s future as a cultural movement.
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  15. J. Beard (2000). How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Knowledge Technology and Policy 13 (1):114-115.
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  16. Birgit Beck (2015). Conceptual and Practical Problems of Moral Enhancement. Bioethics 29 (4):233-240.
    Recently, the debate on human enhancement has shifted from familiar topics like cognitive enhancement and mood enhancement to a new and – to no one's surprise – controversial subject, namely moral enhancement. Some proponents from the transhumanist camp allude to the ‘urgent need’ of improving the moral conduct of humankind in the face of ever growing technological progress and the substantial dangers entailed in this enterprise. Other thinkers express more sceptical views about this proposal. As the debate has revealed so (...)
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  17. P. Beilharz (2001). RL Rutsky, High Techne: Art and Technology From the Machine Aesthetic to the Posthuman. Thesis Eleven 64:97-98.
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  18. Jean-Pierre Béland & Johane Patenaude (2013). Risk and the Question of the Acceptability of Human Enhancement: The Humanist and Transhumanist Perspectives. Dialogue 52 (2):377-394.
    The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the difficulties involved in interdisciplinary work on the question of the risks associated with the ethical and social acceptability of human enhancement through the development of nanotechnologies. These difficulties emerge in the context of the debate between transhumanism, whose principal defenders have backgrounds in the natural sciences, and humanism, whose principal defenders have backgrounds in the social sciences and the humanities. The aim of the paper is to demonstrate that essentially transhumanists and (...)
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  19. Jean-Pierre Béland, Johane Patenaude, Georges Legault, Patrick Boissy & Monelle Parent (2011). The Social and Ethical Acceptability of NBICs for Purposes of Human Enhancement: Why Does the Debate Remain Mired in Impasse? [REVIEW] NanoEthics 5 (3):295-307.
    The emergence and development of convergent technologies for the purpose of improving human performance, including nanotechnology, biotechnology, information sciences, and cognitive science (NBICs), open up new horizons in the debates and moral arguments that must be engaged by philosophers who hope to take seriously the question of the ethical and social acceptability of these technologies. This article advances an analysis of the factors that contribute to confusion and discord on the topic, in order to help in understanding why arguments that (...)
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  20. Bruce Benderson & Christian Godin (2013). Ce que pense un transhumaniste. Cités 55 (3):73.
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  21. Steven Benko (2005). Exposure to the Posthuman Other. [REVIEW] Janus Head 8 (1).
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  22. M. Bess (2010). Enhanced Humans Versus "Normal People": Elusive Definitions. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (6):641-655.
    A key aspect of transhumanist thought involves the modification or augmentation of human physical and mental capabilities—a form of intervention often encapsulated under the term "enhancement." This article provides an overview of the concept of enhancement, focusing on six major areas in which usages of the term become slippery and controversial: normal or species-typical functioning, therapeutics or healing, natural functioning, human nature, authenticity, and the ambiguity between "more" and "better." I argue that we need to be aware of the tendency (...)
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  23. J. P. Bishop (2010). Transhumanism, Metaphysics, and the Posthuman God. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (6):700-720.
    After describing Heidegger's critique of metaphysics as ontotheology, I unpack the metaphysical assumptions of several transhumanist philosophers. I claim that they deploy an ontology of power and that they also deploy a kind of theology, as Heidegger meant it. I also describe the way in which this metaphysics begets its own politics and ethics. In order to transcend the human condition, they must transgress the human.
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  24. Russell Blackford (2010). Editorial. Journal of Evolution and Technology 21 (2).
    n issue 20 of The Journal of Evolution and Technology, we published “Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism” by Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, a leading Nietzsche scholar and the author of Metaphysics Without Truth: On the Importance of Consistency within Nietzsche’s Philosophy. Issue 21, our “Nietzsche and European Posthumanisms” issue, was prepared following a call for papers in response. We published a mix of short responses and full-length peer-reviewed articles. Meanwhile, we also invited Stefan Sorgner to reply to the papers in the (...)
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  25. Russell Blackford (2010). Editorial–Nietzsche and European Posthumanisms. Journal of Evolution and Technology 21 (1):i-iii.
    In issue 20 of The Journal of Evolution and Technology, we published “Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism” by Stefan Lorenz Sorgner . In this intriguing article, Sorgner argues that there are significant similarities between the concept of the posthuman and Nietzsche’s celebrated notion of the overhuman . Sorgner does not claim that late twentieth-century and contemporary transhumanist thinkers were knowingly influenced by Nietzsche: this is a question that he explicitly leaves open. Nor does he depict transhumanism as monolithic, or the (...)
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  26. Russell Blackford (2008). Editorial: Celebrating Our Past, Imagining Our Future. Journal of Evolution and Technology 20 (1).
    As described elsewhere on this journal’s website, The Journal of Evolution and Technology was founded in 1998 as The Journal of Transhumanism, and was originally published by the World Transhumanist Association. In November 2004, JET moved under the umbrella of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies , an organization that seeks to contribute to our understanding of the impact of emerging technologies on individuals and societies. Prior to my appointment, in January 2008, as JET’s editor-in-chief, I’d had four distinguished (...)
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  27. W. A. Borody (2013). The Japanese Roboticist Masahiro Mori’s Buddhist Inspired Concept of “The Uncanny Valley". Journal of Evolution and Technology 23 (1):31-44.
    In 1970, the Japanese roboticist and practicing Buddhist Masahiro Mori wrote a short essay entitled “On the Uncanny Valley” for the journal Energy . Since the publication of this two-page essay, Mori’s concept of the Uncanny Valley has become part and parcel of the discourse within the fields of humanoid robotics engineering, the film industry, culture studies, and philosophy, most notably the philosophy of transhumanism. In this paper, the concept of the Uncanny Valley is discussed in terms of the contemporary (...)
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  28. W. A. Borody (2008). Vinyl Nothingness and The Philosophy of Transhumanism. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 24:3-10.
    In this paper, I discuss the pros and cons of the movement and philosophy of Transhumanism, with a focus on the concept of nothingness. I argue that all hitherto concepts of nothingness, both Western and Eastern, are inadequate for an understanding of the present technological position humans now find themselves in.
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  29. Nick Bostrom, The Future of Human Evolution.
    Evolutionary development is sometimes thought of as exhibiting an inexorable trend towards higher, more complex, and normatively worthwhile forms of life. This paper explores some dystopian scenarios where freewheeling evolutionary developments, while continuing to produce complex and intelligent forms of organization, lead to the gradual elimination of all forms of being that we care about. We then consider how such catastrophic outcomes could be avoided and argue that under certain conditions the only possible remedy would be a globally coordinated policy (...)
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  30. Nick Bostrom, Why I Want to Be a Posthuman When I Grow Up.
    Extreme human enhancement could result in “posthuman” modes of being. After offering some definitions and conceptual clarification, I argue for two theses. First, some posthuman modes of being would be very worthwhile. Second, it could be very good for human beings to become posthuman.
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  31. Nick Bostrom, When Machines Outsmart Humans.
    Artificial intelligence is a possibility that should not be ignored in any serious thinking about the future, and it raises many profound issues for ethics and public policy that philosophers ought to start thinking about. This article outlines the case for thinking that human-level machine intelligence might well appear within the next half century. It then explains four immediate consequences of such a development, and argues that machine intelligence would have a revolutionary impact on a wide range of the social, (...)
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  32. Nick Bostrom, Transhumanism: The World's Most Dangerous Idea?
    More precisely, transhumanists advocate increased funding for research to radically extend healthy lifespan and favor the development of medical and technological means to improve memory, concentration, and other human capacities. Transhumanists propose that everybody should have the option to use such means to enhance various dimensions of their cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being. Not only is this a natural extension of the traditional aims of medicine and technology, but it is also a great humanitarian opportunity to genuinely improve the human (...)
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  33. Nick Bostrom, The World in 2050.
    This essay explores some of the social, political, economic and technological issues that the world may have to face in the mid-21 st century. A central theme is the need to regulate molecular nanotechnology because of its immense abuse potential. Advanced nanotechnology can be used to build small self-replicating machines that can feed on organic matter - a bit like bacteria but much more versatile, and potentially more destructive than the H-bomb. The necessity to prevent irresponsible groups and individuals from (...)
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  34. Nick Bostrom, What is Transhumanism?
    Over the past few years, a new paradigm for thinking about humankind's future has begun to take shape among some leading computer scientists, neuroscientists, nanotechnologists and researchers at the forefront of technological development. The new paradigm rejects a crucial assumption that is implicit in both traditional futurology and practically all of today's political thinking. This is the assumption that the "human condition" is at root a constant. Present-day processes can be fine-tuned; wealth can be increased and redistributed; tools can be (...)
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  35. Nick Bostrom (2009). The Future of Humanity. In Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, Evan Selinger & Søren Riis (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Technology. Palgrave Macmillan.
    The future of humanity is often viewed as a topic for idle speculation. Yet our beliefs and assumptions on this subject matter shape decisions in both our personal lives and public policy – decisions that have very real and sometimes unfortunate consequences. It is therefore practically important to try to develop a realistic mode of futuristic thought about big picture questions for humanity. This paper sketches an overview of some recent attempts in this direction, and it offers a brief discussion (...)
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  36. Nick Bostrom (2006). A Short History of Transhumanist Thought. Analysis and Metaphysics 5:63 - 95.
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  37. Nick Bostrom (2005). A History of Transhumanist Thought. Journal of Evolution and Technology 14 (1):1-25.
    The human desire to acquire new capacities is as ancient as our species itself. We have always sought to expand the boundaries of our existence, be it socially, geographically, or mentally. There is a tendency in at least some individuals always to search for a way around every obstacle and limitation to human life and happiness.
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  38. Nick Bostrom (2005). Transhumanist Values. Journal of Philosophical Research 30 (Supplement):3-14.
    Transhumanism is a loosely defined movement that has developed gradually over the past two decades. [1] It promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and evaluating the opportunities for enhancing the human condition and the human organism opened up by the advancement of technology. Attention is given to both present technologies, like genetic engineering and information technology, and anticipated future ones, such as molecular nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.
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  39. Nick Bostrom (2005). In Defense of Posthuman Dignity. Bioethics 19 (3):202–214.
    Positions on the ethics of human enhancement technologies can be (crudely) characterized as ranging from transhumanism to bioconservatism. Transhumanists believe that human enhancement technologies should be made widely available, that individuals should have broad discretion over which of these technologies to apply to themselves, and that parents should normally have the right to choose enhancements for their children-to-be. Bioconservatives (whose ranks include such diverse writers as Leon Kass, Francis Fukuyama, George Annas, Wesley Smith, Jeremy Rifkin, and Bill McKibben) are generally (...)
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  40. Nick Bostrom (2003). Taking Intelligent Machines Seriously: Reply to Critics. Futures 35 (8):901-906.
    In an earlier paper in this journal[1], I sought to defend the claims that (1) substantial probability should be assigned to the hypothesis that machines will outsmart humans within 50 years, (2) such an event would have immense ramifications for many important areas of human concern, and that consequently (3) serious attention should be given to this scenario. Here, I will address a number of points made by several commentators.
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  41. Nick Bostrom, The Transhumanist FAQ.
  42. Nick Bostrom (2003). Human Genetic Enhancements: A Transhumanist Perspective. [REVIEW] Journal of Value Inquiry 37 (4):493-506.
    Transhumanism is a loosely defined movement that has developed gradually over the past two decades. It promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and evaluating the opportunities for enhancing the human condition and the human organism opened up by the advancement of technology. Attention is given to both present technologies, like genetic engineering and information technology, and anticipated future ones, such as molecular nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.
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  43. Nick Bostrom (2002). Existential Risks. Journal of Evolution and Technology 9.
    Because of accelerating technological progress, humankind may be rapidly approaching a critical phase in its career. In addition to well-known threats such as nuclear holocaust, the propects of radically transforming technologies like nanotech systems and machine intelligence present us with unprecedented opportunities and risks. Our future, and whether we will have a future at all, may well be determined by how we deal with these challenges. In the case of radically transforming technologies, a better understanding of the transition dynamics from (...)
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  44. Nick Bostrom & Anders Sandberg (2009). The Wisdom of Nature: An Evolutionary Heuristic for Human Enhancement. In Julian Savulescu & Nick Bostrom (eds.), Human Enhancement. Oup Oxford. 375--416.
  45. H. G. Bradshaw & R. ter Meulen (2010). A Transhumanist Fault Line Around Disability: Morphological Freedom and the Obligation to Enhance. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (6):670-684.
    The transhumanist literature encompasses diverse nonnovel positions on questions of disability and obligation reflecting long-running political philosophical debates on freedom and value choice, complicated by the difficulty of projecting values to enhanced beings. These older questions take on a more concrete form given transhumanist uses of biotechnologies. This paper will contrast the views of Hughes and Sandberg on the obligations persons with "disabilities" have to enhance and suggest a new model. The paper will finish by introducing a distinction between the (...)
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  46. Patricia Castello Branco (forthcoming). Post- and Transhumanism. An Introduction. NanoEthics:1-3.
    Robert Ranisch’s and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner’s Post- and Transhumanism. An Introduction provides a broad background for anyone interested in the societal and philosophical repercussions of new technologies. As the title suggests, the volume specifically centers on the trans- and posthumanism debate, which, over the past two decades, has been focusing on the way our highly technological societies raise an entirely new set of questions that urge to be answered and discussed. Of particular importance to this debate is the necessity for (...)
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  47. Jeff Buechner (2011). Fictional Entities and Augmented Reality: A Metaphysical Impossibility Result. Journal of Evolution and Technology 22 (1):53-72.
    The transhumanism project will gain momentum with advances in technology, in basic science and in philosophy, as well as in bioethics. However, there are minefields that jeopardize this progress – one such minefield is a fundamental problem in pure philosophy: fictional entities and how we refer to the nonexistent. In the absence of solutions to the problems that arise in this area of philosophy, progress in the technology necessary for augmented reality will be considerably impeded. I will argue there are (...)
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  48. Laura Cabrera (2011). Memory Enhancement: The Issues We Should Not Forget About. Journal of Evolution and Technology 22 (1):97-109.
    The human brain is in great part what it is because of the functional and structural properties of the 100 billion interconnected neurons that form it. These make it the body’s most complex organ, and the one we most associate with concepts of selfhood and identity. The assumption held by many supporters of human enhancement, transhumanism, and technological posthumanity seems to be that the human brain can be continuously improved, as if it were another one of our machines. In this (...)
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  49. Gordon Calleja & Christian Schwager (2004). Rhizomatic Cyborgs: Hypertextual Considerations in a Posthuman Age. Technoetic Arts: A Journal of Speculative Research 2 (1):3-15.
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  50. Riccardo Campa (2008). Pure Science and the Posthuman Future. Journal of Evolution and Technology 19 (1):28-34.
    Since the industrial revolution, humans have tended to reduce science to the ancillary role of engine of technology. But the quest for knowledge started two and a half millennia ago with the aim of setting humans free from ignorance. The first scientists and philosophers saw knowledge as the goal, not as the means. The main goal was to understand matter, life, conscience, intelligence, our origin, and our destiny, not only to solve practical problems. Being sceptical to myths and religions, they (...)
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