Re: Defining "transhumanism", a new suggestion

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 15:23:19 -0700

Max More write:
>If a non-normative definition is needed, as distinct from one referring to
>transhumanism as a system of values or a cultural movement:
>TRANSHUMANISM: The view that it is possible for us in the next couple
>of centuries to use science, technology, and any rational means to overcome
>human limitations by extending our maximum lifespan, augmenting our
>intelligence, and redesigning ourselves physically and psychologically.

"rational" has lots of connotations, and prefixing it here with "science, technology" suggests that this excludes using literature and other arts, or improved social organizations, to overcome human limits.

"by" seems to imply that only these improvements (lifespan, etc.) count. It excludes, for example, improving our social organizations.

What would go wrong if you said this:?

TRANSHUMANISM: The view that in the next couple of centuries it will be possible to overcome human limitations, e.g., to intelligence or lifespans.

Robin Hanson RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614