Re: "Post-humanism": The right term?

Max More (
Fri, 13 Aug 1999 22:34:14 -0700

At 06:46 PM 8/13/99 -0700, Brian Delaney wrote:
>>> So, again, I wonder: why not "human," and
>>> "humanism," or some ratcheting up of the
>>> same: like "neo-humanism," or "ultra-humanism"?
>> Indeed!
>> Note that according to the Web page for a
>> conference (follow links from
>> Max More seems to have heeded your counsel.
>Hi Stan,
>Yes -- more like "the" conference for this list, by the way. (For the
record, he
>may, of course, have come up with the idea years before my email.
> Extropians are capable of independent thought, you'll discover!)

For the record, I came us with "ultrahuman" several months ago, while thinking about my book and my talk for the conference. I was surprised and amused to see your use of the term immediately before I first used the term publically at the conference (though it had been on the conference program for a while before that). This isn't really surprising though. Several people have independently come up with "extropy" and "transhuman" (or "trans-human").

>Those who would suggest that (1) is the right characterization would need to
>argue that humanism actually does include technophobia.

In general, humanists are quite technophilic. It's hard not to be when your worldview revolves around valuing reason and science. Yet, many humanists are far less technophilic than us, particularly when it comes to altering ourselves in significant ways.

>Looking over various posts to this list, I think there are many people here
>would accurately be described as "post-humanists." I don't share their

I would pick out Hans Moravec as the clearest example of what might be called a "posthumanist" in that he really does not seem to care whether he personally, or today's humans, survive. He seems only (or predominantly) interested in SIs appearing. Perhaps it would make sense to reserve the term "posthumanist" for those who have little or no concern for their own survival and progress or that of other current humans, instead valuing the creation of more capable beings (rather than a co-existence or integration).


Max More, Ph.D.
<> or <>

Implications of Advanced Technologies
President, Extropy Institute: EXTRO 4 Conference: Biotech Futures. See