Re: Heresy

From: Felix Ungman (
Date: Mon Aug 13 2001 - 06:43:31 MDT

On fredag 10 augusti 2001 22.16, Loree Thomas <> wrote:
>As humans change, the definition of what is human
>changes... so that whatever we are today is "human".
>Thus you are correct, there are no transhumans around
>today (for any value of "today").

Strictly speaking, good definitions don't change that easy. For example:
Human = Homo sapiens + Technology + Society
The definition stays the same even though the parts evolve.

Moving on, the most general definition of "posthuman" is a human so radically
changed that it is no longer a human. (Note: the direction of change is not
important, even a dead person is posthuman, hence the word "posthumous").
According the definition of human, change can either be biological, technological,
or social. Reversing aging or uploading counts as posthuman, as would any near
omnipotence/omnipresence/omniscience technology. But also an all-out libertarian
society (or borg collective for that matter).

So far anyone seems to agree (i hope). Transhumanism is the awareness or affirmation
of the transition to posthumanity (and as Natasha points out, the transition is from
being human to being posthuman). And a transhumanist is simply a person with such an

The question now is where to put the word "transhuman". Some seem to equate
"transhuman" with "posthuman", or at least "partal posthuman". Others with
"transhumanist". I dont think these put the term to optimal use. (funny note:
although "transhumanist" works perfect as a Swedish word, it is impossible find
a good translation for "transhuman", very annoying).

I like the definition from the transhuman art site, that states that transhuman
is the *process* of becoming posthuman. It consists of one or more sub-processes
of biological/technological/social nature. The definition combines well with the
that of "process" used in software by e.g. Rational(tm): A process is a template for
transforming requirements into a working system, within the context of a project.

Another distinction between transhumanist and transhuman is that of leadership vs
management, or thinker vs doer. You can be a transhumanist without being a transhuman,
and vice versa. Also, I'd rather say that there have been transhumans around since
the beginning of man.


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