[ExI] transhumanist as a philosophy

Natasha Vita-More natasha at natasha.cc
Tue Jun 22 13:11:30 UTC 2010

Damien wrote on behalf of Russell:

"What core texts? Tranhumanism is a cultural and intellectual movement, but
not a philosophical system as far as I can see. There may well be
philosophical systems associated with it (Max's, perhaps), but if so they're
not generally accepted within the movement." 

This is truly inaccurate and influenced by WTA's ardent thrust for pushing
Extropy out and Bostrom/Hughes in. It was indeed obvious and even successful
on many fronts because people are easily influenced, especially when a
campaign is established and as with WTA's front and their control of
Wikipedia.  Anyway, Bostrom and Hughes are friends of mine and as someone
somewhere said - all's fair in war and peace.

"I don't see any body of core texts that everyone quotes, let alone a body
of what could be called core *philosophical* texts. Some people quote
James's book, of course, and people will often position themselves by
referring to Nick Bostrom's history of transhumanism. Simon Young's book
gets quoted a lot, but not by transhumanists. Actual transhumanists all seem
to hate it.... All I really see is ferment and debate around some key ideas,
e.g. of the posthuman. But we don't agree about stuff like the Singularity,
and a key idea or two doesn't add up to a system or a philosophy."

I agree that there is no specific book that calls itself the "Philosophy of

"The big special issues of JET that we published a year or two back are
arguably the best intellectual resource that exists, and they should be
referred to, but I don't see any common philosophical system there."

There is some truth to this, but it does not out-think "Extropy: A Journal
of Transhumanist Thought". It is simply more academic in scope.

"Likewise for the special issue of The Global Spiral that Natasha edited two
years ago - probably a fair bit of commonality on that occasion, since
Natasha chose and invited fairly like-minded contributors, but not a system.

I'm not sure what Russell means here.  As Guest Editor, I suspect that what
I produced is highly valuable and is the first project that actually takes
on and directly and addresses and responds to academic opponents of

"It's worth looking at to see people who are pretty informed, including Max
and Natasha, trying to correct a batch of fairly ill-informed critiques. I
expect the transhumanist reader that Max and Natasha are putting together
will be the same - lots of ideas, lots of ferment."

No, this book is not aim to cause ferment, but to educate.  It is a
collection which forms the foundations of transhumanism.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Damien Broderick" <thespike at satx.rr.com>
To: "ExI chat list" <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 8:01 AM
Subject: Re: [ExI] transhumanist as a philosophy

> On 6/21/2010 4:15 PM, Tom Nowell wrote:
>> Transhumanism*the philosophy*  is still developing - Bostrom, 
>> Sandberg, More, have all published papers outlining ideas, and as 
>> Natasha said Extropy had a good variety of papers. Is there a core 
>> summation of these currently in print or readily accessible? I don't 
>> think so
> Right, that's my point.
>> which is why "The Transhumanist Reader" has a handy gap in the market 
>> it can fill.
> Indeed. It should be a good start.
>> I suppose the best way to check what the core texts are from a 
>> philosophical point of view would be to ask those nice people at the 
>> Journal of Evolution and Technology to check the references quoted in 
>> their journal
> My good mate Dr. Dr. Russell Blackford is the current JET editor, and 
> I've copied some of this discussion to him but haven't heard back yet.
> Damien Broderick

extropy-chat mailing list
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list