Re: Defining Transhumanism

Kathryn Aegis (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 05:17:42 -0700 (PDT)

Nick tried to include this in this thread earlier, and I stopped him because I typed it off-the cuff. But it is actually a good explanation of my thinking of how I decided to restructure the approach to defining transhumanism. I no longer think that transhumanism can be defined in one part.

.....But, to define 'transhumanism', one should describe it as an area of human thought and endeavor focusing on certain ideas and certain avenues of research, which can include technology, sociology, psychology, art, etc. Of which the object is the 'transhuman', or trying to become one. In other words, the 'transhuman' or 'posthuman' represents a concrete manifestation of 'tranhumanism'.

Transhumanism, in its barest form, could be defined in dictionary format in two parts as (i) 'the field of study focusing on the transhuman' and (ii)
'the set of human endeavors to become a transhuman.' If we set up a
two-part expanded definition paralleling this in the FAQ, it would go a long way towards resolving the stupid endless argument between the technologists and philosophers that has plagued us since the beginning. I've been thinking in dictionary terms lately, because the editors of the OED are in fact considering adding these two terms to the OED, and they are tending towards this sort of structure in a definition as well.

Kathryn Aegis