RE: Heresy

Date: Thu Aug 09 2001 - 16:11:42 MDT

Original Message:
From: Reason

>>And you should be very careful in trying to reinvent terms to
>>suit your particular needs and espousing them as a given.

>But isn't that exactly what you have done in coining your meaning for
transhuman? After all, the word is a legitimate English construct with
several possible general meanings including "beyond human" or "across all

I wish I had been the person to coin the meaning of "transhuman." But, I'm not. I only started using the word in the mid-1980s. In my book, I clearly explain the history of the word, where it stems from and how it differs from the word "transhumanity". Herein, I can only be credited for being the first person to do this, and being called the "first transhumanist female." I'm not the first transhuman, I think that credit goes to some lucky person who overcame the tyrany of death by having some sort of technological augment that defied death. -:)

I think it all boils down to what we mean by human and what we mean by transhuman. "Trans" means transition (in transition). It does not mean "not human", actually. Posthuman means after human, but some will argue here, and quite rightfully so, that a posthuman may or may not have a different genetic makeup than a human. Certainly a transhuman has the same DNA coding as a human, but, again, in transition.

So, "beyond human" is not correct. It is "moving beyond human" or "in transition to becoming beyond human." -- trans. "Across all humans" could be in the process of moving across human attributes.

>Language changes constantly. A solid defense of your definition of
transhuman is probably a good meme for the movement in general insofar as
establishing a given cultural meaning (and thereby a basis for expansion and
propagation) goes, but it doesn't have any validity beyond that.<

Yes, I agree with your first sentence. I'm not sure about the validity aspect of your second sentence. The meaning of words are valid to the point they are being used and for what reasons. I think when we get further ahead in time we will probably develop spins on the word transhuman, and its initial meaning will be very valid in this regard because, if nothing else, it will be a starting point and of historical significance in our culture.

Thanks for your comments,


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