Re: Defining Transhumanism

Max More (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 13:16:17 -0700

At 10:38 AM 10/20/98 -0700, Robin wrote:
>Kathryn Aegis writes:
>>[...]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"?

I agree that a dictionary definition of "transhumanism" can include more than one sense of the term. That's perfectly normal. I'm not sure right now exactly what definition I gave the OED editor when I spoke to her, but it's probably the original one that I came up with. I think I've also slightly improved the definition of "extropy" since then, so that should also go to the editor.

I wouldn't characterize the discussions we've had about definition as "stupid endless arguments". I would rather characterize them as "focused, productive discussions aimed at clarifying vital terms".


Max More, Ph.D. (soon also: <>)
Consulting services on the impact of advanced technologies President, Extropy Institute:,