Transhumanism & Posthumanism

From: Matthew Purdon (
Date: Sat Nov 25 2000 - 13:28:02 MST

I've been thinking about what each of these words connate and wanted to
share some thoughts and see what people think in response.

Regardless of the term being used to designate our interests, what needs to
be communicated is the desire to transcend human limitation. I do not think
that this means to become unhuman or inhuman, but rather more than human or
human plus or superhuman. And I believe this will have to be the case, as
every stage of evolution incorporates the benefits of preceding forms while
transcending their limitations. Thus, I don't think there will be a break
from humanity. AI will not become some new form that transcends us.
Rather, we develop AI and incorporate it into us.

There is, however, a lot of fear in most humans regarding integration of
technology into the human species. And it seems to me that Posthuman can be
easily misinterpreted by the fearful to be the end of humanity, a sort of
death to the species as the great computer emerges. That is why I tend to
prefer Transhuman. I have often heard transhuman being referred to as the
interim stage or those of us or are working at becoming posthuman. But I
use it much like many use posthuman. Transhumanism better represents our
desire to incorporate the best of being human while transcending our limits.
It is more digestible to fearful people with whom I try to share my positive
outlook on these topics.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?


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