Re: The FAQ is completed!

Natasha Vita-More (
Sat, 20 Feb 1999 16:05:32 -0600

At 10:04 PM 2/20/99 +0000, Nick wrote:

> I could replace that
>sentence with a direct quote from The Extropian FAQ: "Politically,
>extropians are close kin to the libertarians"
>(, if that is more accurate.
>What do you think?

I think that sentence might better be taken out in both places.

>>Where you say, "The definition of transhumanism is based on
>> contributions by many people,
>> especially Kathryn Aegis and Max More" I find this inaccurate.

>What I meant was that the definition used in the FAQ is especially
>due to these two people (and that is entirely accurate). So I could
>change it to "The definition used in this FAQ is based...". Would
>that satisfy you?


>> Secondly, Max More originally defined Transhumanism.
>With all due respect to Max, I don't think that is quite accurate.
>The term was coined by Julian Huxley in 1957. The concept has
>formed gradually under the influence of many people, including
>important contributions from Max. But no one person defined or
>originated transhumanism.

I agree with you on most of your statement. However, Max's writing on transhumanism is indeed separate from what Julian Huxley intention with transhuman meaning "man remaining man."

Let me quote from my book _Create/Recreate_:

Ideas about humanity and evolution were explored by Julian Huxley in his writings on evolutionary humanism in the book Evolution: The Modern Synthesis (1942) and Teilhard de Chardin in The Future of Man (1959). In 1966, FM-2030 (formerly, F.M. Esfandiary) outlined an evolutionary transhuman future while teaching “New Concepts of the Human” at the New School for Social Research, New York City. Abraham Maslow referred to transhumans in Toward a Psychology of Being,(1968), and Robert Ettinger authored Man into Superman (1972).

In the dictionary, “transhuman” is defined as meaning “superhuman,” and “transhumanize,” meaning “to elevate or transform to something beyond what is human” (Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 1983). Yet, this is not a complete and contemporary meaning. Today, we refer to transhuman as meaning an evolutionary transition from being human to becoming posthuman.

The actual concept of transhuman as an evolutionary transition was first expressed by FM-2030. His trilogy, Up-Wingers, Telespheres and Optimism One (1973) constitutes the beginnings of the transhumanist philosophy, as well as his contributing final chapter in Woman, Year 2000, (1972).

FM later defined transhuman as “a new kind of being crystallizing from the monumental breakthroughs of the late twentieth century. ... the earliest manifestations of a new evolutionary being.” Later, he authored the book Are You A Transhuman? (1989)

Transhumanism has a slightly different beginning. Julian Huxley’s book written in 1956, New Bottles For New Wine, contains the essay “TRANSHUMANISM” which sets out to explain how humans must establish a better environment for themselves. He also alludes to a new species that the human might eventually become. The difference in Huxley’s transhumanism and Max More’s transhumanism is that Huxley states “man remaining man but transcending himself.” Transhumanism as defined by Max More explains the overcoming of human limits and the transformation from being human to becoming posthuman. Although Huxley had a vision of a possible future for humanity, he single-tracked the future when he saw man remaining man.


Natasha Vita-More: Transhumanist Art Centre - Home of Extropic Art: **NEW** Transhuman Culture InfoMark: PRESS RELEASE: "We are transhumans ..." Meme Orbits Saturn in 2004!

"The best defense is an aesthetic offense."