Human Nature and Aspiring the Divine: On Antiquity and Transhumanism

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 47 (5):653-666 (2022)
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Abstract

Many transhumanists see their respective movement as being rooted in ancient ethical thought. However, this alleged connection between the contemporary transhumanist doctrine and the ethical theory of antiquity has come under attack. In this paper, we defend this connection by pointing out a key similarity between the two intellectual traditions. Both traditions are committed to the “radical transformation thesis”: ancient ethical theory holds that we should assimilate ourselves to the gods as far as possible, and transhumanists hold that we should enhance ourselves beyond the physical and intellectual parameters of being human so as to become posthuman. By considering the two views in tandem, we develop an account of the assimilation directive that is palatable to contemporary readers and provide a view of posthumanism worth wanting.

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Author Profiles

Sarah Malanowski
Florida Atlantic University
Nicholas Baima
Florida Atlantic University

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References found in this work

Thinking, Fast and Slow.Daniel Kahneman - 2011 - New York: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Nicomachean ethics. Aristotle - 1999 - New York: Clarendon Press. Edited by Michael Pakaluk. Translated by Michael Pakaluk.
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Superintelligence: paths, dangers, strategies.Nick Bostrom (ed.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
Unfit for the Future: The Need for Moral Enhancement.Ingmar Persson & Julian Savulescu - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by Julian Savulescu.

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