The Case for Transhumanism
About the Course
Humanity is at a turning point, and the question of how we should continue requires us to ask how humans should understand themselves. There’s the posthumanist school of thought, which argues that humans are nothing but upright apes, slowly destroying their own environment through inevitable overpopulation. Then there is the transhumanist school of thought: that humans are exceptional, valuable, and should be privileged.
When did we start thinking of humans as ‘homo sapiens’, and how was this shift a precursor to posthumanism? How was the ancient Greek view of humanity affected by the fact they did not know about man's relation to apes? Where is the majority of transhumanist research happening, and why is it so important that we’re in the know about what’s going on?
In this IAI Academy course, Auguste Comte Chair in Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick and author of Humanity 2.0 Steve Fuller lays out his vision for the future.
By the end of the course, you will have learned:
- How our advanced powers of rationality pose a problem for evolutionary psychology.
- Why transhumanism is an Abrahamic view of humanity.
- Why Darwin would be in support of prenatal screening.
- Why we have a second-order understanding of evolution, and why this gives us a moral burden.
- Why Julian Huxley is considered the first transhumanist.
- What the transhumanist agenda is.
As part of the course, there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, suggested further readings to stimulate a deeper exploration of the topic, discussion boards to have your say and an end-of-course assessment set by Steve Fuller.
IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.
About the Instructor
Steve Fuller is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick. In the Autumn, he is publishing a follow-up to his Post-Truth: Knowledge as a Power Game, entitled A Player's Guide to the Post-Truth Condition: The Name of the Game
Part One: Being HumanHow did we become human in the first place? Fuller shows that the answer is more complex than it may seem, encompassing not just biology, but also the evolution of culture, theology, philosophy, politics and more.
Part Two: Beyond Being HumanHow will society need to be transformed if we are on the verge of a world where we might live forever, upload our minds, or become cyborgs? What should we be doing now to prepare?
Suggested Further Readings
Fuller, S., (2013). The Fork On The Road For Homo Futura. Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (https://ieet.org/index.php/IEET2/more/fuller20131218)
Fuller, S., (2014). Ninety-degree revolution. Aeon.co. (https://aeon.co/essays/left-and-right-are-over-the-future-is-up-and-down)
Fuller, S., Lipinska, V., (2014). ‘Transhumanism’. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective Vol. 3, No. 11, (pg. 25-29) (https://social-epistemology.com/2014/10/08/transhumanism-steve-fuller-and-veronika-lipinska/)