Re: Defining Transhumanism

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 18:07:17 -0400

Robin Hanson wrote:

> Mike Lorrey responds to Eliezer S. Yudkowsky:
> >I still have a problem with an absolutist statement. I prefer to look at
> >'transhumanity' as a state an individual is in relative to the current or past
> >population. Since even when suprehuman uploaded or AI intelligences are common,
> >there will still be a large number of not only unaugmented, but still relatively
> >savage lifestyle living individuals, using the term to apply to the entire race is
> >a bit disingenuous.
> That's a reasonable point. So I revise my thinking-out-loud definition to:
> Transhumanism is the idea that new technologies are likely
> to change the world so much in the few centuries that we or
> many of our descendants will in many ways no longer be
> "human," and that that's probably a not a bad thing.

How about this:

Transhumanism is the idea that technology acts as a positive force for the further evolution of individual humans such that a transhuman is a human who exists in a state of development at or beyond the techno-evolutionary event horizon of that individual's average contemporaries.

This version would, for example, make Leonardo Da Vinci a transhuman in the eyes of his Renaissance Age contemporaries, but not to us....I realize I've actually got two definitions here, one for transhumanism and one for transhuman.

Mike Lorrey