The future of humanity

In Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, Evan Selinger & Søren Riis (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Technology. Palgrave-Macmillan (2009)
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Abstract

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 of four families of scenarios for humanity’s future: extinction, recurrent collapse, plateau, and posthumanity.

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Nick Bostrom
Oxford University