Re: Defining Transhumanism

Robin Hanson (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 10:38:50 -0700

Kathryn Aegis writes:
>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.

This OED proposal looks fine by me, as I do see two distinct uses of the term, one positive and one normative. Now what are they thinking of using to define "transhuman"?

Robin Hanson RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614