Contradictions from the Enlightenment Roots of Transhumanism

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (6):622-640 (2010)
Transhumanism, the belief that technology can transcend the limitations of the human body and brain, is part of the family of Enlightenment philosophies. As such, transhumanism has also inherited the internal tensions and contradictions of the broad Enlightenment tradition. First, the project of Reason is self-erosive and requires irrational validation. Second, although most transhumanists are atheist, their belief in the transcendent power of intelligence generates new theologies. Third, although most transhumanists are liberal democrats, their belief in human perfectibility and governance by reason can validate technocratic authoritarianism. Fourth, transhumanists are divided on the balance between democracy and the market. Fifth, teleological expectations of unstoppable progress are in tension with awareness of the indeterminacy of the future. Sixth, transhumanists are divided between advocates of ethical universalism and ethical relativism. Seventh, the rational materialist denial of discrete persistent selves calls into question the transhumanist project of individual longevity and enhancement
Keywords transhumanism  ethics  politics  philosophy  rationality  socialism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhq049
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,280
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Eric Steinhart (2008). Teilhard de Chardin and Transhumanism. Journal of Evolution and Technology 20 (1):1-22.
M. N. Tennison (2012). Moral Transhumanism: The Next Step. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (4):405-416.
David Roden (2010). Deconstruction and Excision in Philosophical Posthumanism. Journal of Evolution and Technology 21 (1):27 - 36.
R. P. Doede (2008). Polanyi in the Face of Transhumanism. Tradition and Discovery 35 (1):33-45.
W. A. Borody (2008). Vinyl Nothingness and The Philosophy of Transhumanism. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 24:3-10.
J. P. Bishop (2010). Transhumanism, Metaphysics, and the Posthuman God. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (6):700-720.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

65 ( #73,638 of 1,932,541 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #132,735 of 1,932,541 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.