[ExI] Posthumanism vs. Transhumanism

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 18 17:10:33 UTC 2009

--- On Thu, 6/18/09, Natasha Vita-More <natasha at natasha.cc> wrote:
> Someone (Damien?) recently wrote
> about the need for clarity in use of terms
> and historical accounts.  Taking that as a lead in, I
> get confused when we
> try to separate out Extropy and Transhumanism. 
> Transhumanism is Extropy.
> How can it be otherwise?  There are indeed different
> so called "flavors" of
> "Transhumanism", and one is "extropian", and others are
> "religious",
> "democratic", "libertarian", "socialist", "environmental",
> "feminist",
> "technoprogressive", "spiritual", "atheist", "objectivist",
> etc.  Some have
> come and gone over the years.  But Transhumanism is
> transhumanism and has
> diversified into different views on how much, how far, with
> what, and when, for example. 

Okay.  I must have missed that post.  I recall a discussion of "posthumanism," and pointed out what a friend wrote about how it's received back in the 1990s.  Mainstreaming academics were focusing on "humanism" and just adding good ol' "post" to it -- just like they bolt on "meta" to terms.  My friend thought they should've been stressing the "posthuman" in "posthumanism" -- not the "humanism."  But whatever; it's hard to avoid terminological confusion, especially when one is using terms that others might try to define merely by looking at them.

> I agree with you that both strategies are pursued. 
> Not good enough though.
> Hughes has done a fabulous job, even though I may disagree
> with his
> historical accounts and projections.  It would be
> beneficial for us to get
> our stories straight and unite, in all our diversities, but
> for a shared
> goal - human enhancement and paving the way for our
> posthuman futures.

I agree, though there will always be, as I hope you'll agree, misinterpretation.  As an idea becomes more well known, expect it to be distorted.  I've experienced this in my lifetime with "libertarian."  Back in the early 1990s, people around me thought it meant "liberal" -- as in "modern welfare state liberal" not "classical liberal."  (It doesn't mean "classical liberal" either, but that's perhaps the tradition it springs from.)  Now, more people use the term -- some, sadly, to describe their basically extremely unlibertarian views.




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