Transhumanism and Extropianism are two recent ‘movements’ which aspire to transcend the perceived limitations of human biological evolution. This paper takes a critical look at two of the most controversial aspects of Extropianism—Uploading and Immortality. Uploading is the process by which a human will be able to transfer the entire contents of their brain to a more suitable supercomputational medium. When the newentity exist as software, immortality is virtually assured. This should be possible, it is claimed, within the next fifty (...) years! From both a pragmatic and philosophical perspective, I argue that these claims are at best misguided and at worst absurd. (shrink)
(1997). Considering moral sensitivity in media ethics courses and research: An essay review by Robert F. Potter. Journal of Mass Media Ethics: Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 51-57. doi: 10.1207/s15327728jmme1201_4.
Robert F. Williams, despite being a central historical figure and noted theorist of the Black radical tradition, is ignored as a subject of philosophical relevance and political theory. His challenges to the racist segregationist regime of the South influenced generations of thinkers and revolutionaries. However he is erased from the annals of thought for his use of armed resistance. This paper aims to introduce his life and work to philosophy as material for study and situate his program of pre-emptive (...) self-defense within the Black radical tradition. (shrink)
If classical Western theism is correct that God's timeless omniscience is compatible with human free will, then it is incoherent to hold that this God can in any strict sense be immutable and a se as well as omniscient. That is my thesis. ‘Classical theism’ shall refer here to the tradition of philosophical theology centring on such mainstream authors as Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. ‘Divine omniscience’ shall mean that the eternal God knows all events as a timeless observer of them. (...) ‘Human free will’ shall mean that human beings are, at least sometimes, self-determining agents who make choices not decisively caused to be what they are by external or internal factors other than the free willing itself – choices that these agents have the capacity and the freedom to make differently than they do. Except where stipulated otherwise, ‘divine immutability’ shall ‘mean that God is neither subject to, nor capable of, change in being, knowing, or willing, since God is immune to external influences, and without internal needs, of the sorts that might give rise to such change. Finally, ‘aseity’ shall be used to underline the divine immunity to external influences, since a being that is wholly a se or self-caused , cannot be open to such influences, cannot be made to be what or how it is by anything other than itself. (shrink)
The situationist challenge to global character traits claims that on the basis of findings in social psychology, we should only accept at most the existence of local or context-sensitive traits. In this article I explore a neglected area of J. S. Mill's work to outline an account of context-sensitive traits. This account of traits, coupled with a sophisticated consequentialist ethical framework, suggests an interesting view on which persons govern the circumstances of their actions in order to best promote overall well-being.