Defining "transhumanism", a new suggestion

Max More (
Tue, 20 Oct 1998 13:50:27 -0700

Taking into account everyone's thoughts, and keeping in mind the idea of having more than one sense of the term "transhumanism", I've come up with two definitions that I prefer to the one I was using. In doing so, I've attempted to stick close to how the dictionary defines a term like "humanism".

1. Any system or way of thought or action concerned with the rational use of science, technology, creativity, and other means to overcome human limitations by extending maximum lifespan, augmenting intelligence, and enhancing humans physically and psychologically.

2. The intellectual and cultural movement that shares with humanism a commitment to human progress especially through applied reason rather than faith; it differs from humanism in affirming the possibility and desirability of fundamentally altering the human condition for the better, such as by using technology to eliminate aging and greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.

If a non-normative definition is needed, as distinct from one referring to transhumanism as a system of values or a cultural movement:

TRANSHUMANISM: The view that it is both possible for us in the next couple of centuries to use science, technology, and any rational means to overcome human limitations by extending our maximum lifespan, augmenting our intelligence, and redesigning ourselves physically and psychologically.



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