Long-Term Trajectories of Human Civilization

Foresight 21 (1):53-83 (2019)

Authors
Robin Hanson
George Mason University
Kaj Sotala
Foundational Research Institute
Roman Yampolskiy
University of Louisville
3 more
Abstract
Purpose This paper aims to formalize long-term trajectories of human civilization as a scientific and ethical field of study. The long-term trajectory of human civilization can be defined as the path that human civilization takes during the entire future time period in which human civilization could continue to exist. Design/methodology/approach This paper focuses on four types of trajectories: status quo trajectories, in which human civilization persists in a state broadly similar to its current state into the distant future; catastrophe trajectories, in which one or more events cause significant harm to human civilization; technological transformation trajectories, in which radical technological breakthroughs put human civilization on a fundamentally different course; and astronomical trajectories, in which human civilization expands beyond its home planet and into the accessible portions of the cosmos. Findings Status quo trajectories appear unlikely to persist into the distant future, especially in light of long-term astronomical processes. Several catastrophe, technological transformation and astronomical trajectories appear possible. Originality/value Some current actions may be able to affect the long-term trajectory. Whether these actions should be pursued depends on a mix of empirical and ethical factors. For some ethical frameworks, these actions may be especially important to pursue.
Keywords long-term trajectories  catastrophe  existential risk  technological transformation
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
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

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?Nick Bostrom - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):243-255.
On the Survival of Humanity.Johann Frick - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2-3):344-367.
Existential Risks: Exploring a Robust Risk Reduction Strategy.Karim Jebari - 2015 - Science and Engineering Ethics 21 (3):541-554.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Growing Out of the Past as a Seed for the Future.Simon Olling Rebsdorf - 2018 - Telicom: The Journal of the International Society for Philosophical Inquiry 30:10.
Surrealistic Bohmian Trajectories Appraised.Albert Solé - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):467-492.
Towards Cosmopolitanism in East and West.Tomonobu Imamichi - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Research 37 (Supplement):191-196.
Autonomy and Long-Term Care.George J. Agich - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
Generic Bohmian Trajectories of an Isolated Particle.D. M. Appleby - 1999 - Foundations of Physics 29 (12):1863-1883.
Coevolutionary Semantics of Technological Civilization Genesis and Evolutionary Risk.V. T. Cheshko & O. M. Kuz - 2016 - Antropologìčnì Vimìri Fìlosofsʹkih Doslìdžen' 10:43-55.
Dignity in Long-Term Care for Older Persons: A Confucian Perspective.J. T. L. Po Wah - 2007 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 32 (5):465-481.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-11-10

Total views
34 ( #253,423 of 2,269,762 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
34 ( #24,900 of 2,269,762 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature