[extropy-chat] The meme of transhumanism

Anders Sandberg asa at nada.kth.se
Tue Mar 6 14:14:12 UTC 2007

citta437 at aol.com wrote:
> Transhumanism is a meme yet to be tested in the world of ideas to see
> if it works to liberate the mind from psychological stress. If this
> meme's objective is extropy, why does it proclaims itself as absolutely
> infallible in connection with science when the latter does not claim
> absolute infallibility?

Actually it isn't. When this list was founded in the early 90's there was
a long-running debate on the proper epistemology for transhumanism, with
pancritical rationalism one of the heavy contenders. See
Since then we may have been less philosophically heavyweight but the
consensus seems to be pretty firm that science pragmatically works, and
since we want transhumanism to work, then we better align ourselves with
science. A lot of interest has also gone into understanding the limits of
human (and transhuman) reasoning, see for example

Maybe transhumanism sometimes does sound like it assumes its own or
science's infallibility. In that case it is badly argued. If magical
rituals could reliably produce desired effects or if the laws of physics
changed every tuesday transhumanism would still be a worthwhile endeavour.

[ Maybe it is time to go back to the philosophical heavyweight issues?
Anybody up for a discussion of deontological vs. consequentialist
transhumanism? With reasoning under uncertainty? ]

Anders Sandberg,
Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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