Re: Definitions for Transhumanism

Max More (
Sat, 11 Apr 1998 11:46:53 -0700

At 11:25 AM 4/11/98 +0200, Anders wrote:
>"Natasha Vita More" <> writes:
>> transhumanism: The system of thought that centers on transhuman values and
>> goals.
>> There is no need to define "transhuman" in a definition of
>This makes a lot of sense if one knows the definition of transhuman (I
>assume you refer to FM-2020's definition), but it is likely unclear to
>anybody who doesn't know what a transhuman is. So this definition
>might be useful to us, but when presenting our views to others we will
>need the other proposed definitions and to explain transhumanity to them.

If the definition of "transhuman" is given along with a definition of
"transhumanism" and of "posthuman" then there shouldn't be a problem.

The usual procedure, at least among academics, when considering a revised
definition of an accepted term, is to refer to the existing definition.
There's no point in creating a new definition unless some shortcoming is
found with the original. In that spirit, here, again, is my definition:

TRANSHUMANISM: Any philosophy of life (such as extropian philosophy) that
seeks the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent
life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of
science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values.
[Max More, 1990]

You might replace "evolution" by "development" if you want to only use
"evolution" in its strict technical contemporary sense of a change in
frequency of alleles. (I say "contemporary" because, of course, "evolution"
had a meaning long before we knew about alleles.)



Max More, Ph.D.
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