Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (3):304-327 (2017)

Ciano Aydin
University of Twente
In this paper, the author aims to show that transhumanists are confused about their own conception of the posthuman: transhumanists anticipate radical transformation of the human through technology and at the same time assume that the criteria to determine what is “normal” and what is “enhanced” are univocal, both in our present time and in the future. Inspired by Nietzsche’s notion of the Overhuman, the author argues that the slightest “historical and phenomenological sense” discloses copious variations of criteria, both diachronic and synchronic, for what can be considered “normal” and “enhanced.” Radical transformation through technology does not simply enable us to become “stronger,” “smarter,” or “healthier,” but it can and often will also change the very standard or yardstick with which we measure what counts as “stronger,” “smarter,” or “healthier.” Put yet differently: new and emerging technologies are not neutral means but often bring about different and, from our current perspective, foreign standards for determining what are “normal” and “enhanced” capacities. Since the qualitative meanings of these terms are themselves not fixed, it is unintelligible and too reassuring to simply predict that new technologies will enhance human beings.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhx002
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 61,089
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Future of Human Nature.Jurgen Habermas - 2004 - Philosophy 79 (309):483-486.
A History of Transhumanist Thought.Nick Bostrom - 2005 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 14 (1):1-25.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Bioethics and Transhumanism.Porter Allen - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (3):237-260.
The Ends of Medicine and the Experience of Patients.D. Robert MacDougall - 2020 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 45 (2):129-144.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

In Defense of Posthuman Dignity.Nick Bostrom - 2005 - Bioethics 19 (3):202–214.
Nietzsche's Overhuman is an Ideal. Whereas Posthumans Will Be Real.Bill Hibbard - 2010 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 21 (1):9-12.
A Tory And Liberal Spar On The Ethics Of A Posthuman Future.Rita Risser - 2011 - Public Affairs Quarterly 25 (1):53-62.
Enhancement and Obsolescence: Avoiding an "Enhanced Rat Race".Robert Sparrow - 2015 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 25 (3):231-260.
Deconstruction and Excision in Philosophical Posthumanism.David Roden - 2010 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 21 (1):27 - 36.
Transhumanism Between Human Enhancement and Technological Innovation.Ion Iuga - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (1):79-88.


Added to PP index

Total views
44 ( #237,750 of 2,439,697 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #136,690 of 2,439,697 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes