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Definitions[edit | edit source]
The etymology of the term "transhuman" goes back to futurist philosopher FM-2030, formerly known as F. M. Esfandiary, who, while teaching new concepts of the human at New School University in 1966, introduced it as shorthand for "transitory human." Calling transhumans the "earliest manifestation of new evolutionary beings," FM argued that signs of transhumanity included prostheses, plastic surgery, intensive use of telecommunications, a cosmopolitan outlook and a globetrotting lifestyle, androgyny, mediated reproduction (such as in vitro fertilisation), absence of religious beliefs, and a rejection of traditional family values.
In 1972, Robert Ettinger contributed to the popularization of the concept of "transhumanity" in his book Man into Superman.
Criticisms[edit | edit source]
Many thinkers today do not consider Esfandiary's characteristics to be essential attributes of a transhuman. They see a transhuman as an intermediary form between the human and the posthuman but with characteristics that remain open to speculation and debate.
They also point out that a transhumanist is simply someone who advocates transhumanism, an intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of new sciences and technologies to enhance human capacities and improve the human condition.
It is a common error for social commentators to say that transhumanists claim to be transhuman. Adopting a philosophy which says that someday everyone ought to have the opportunity to become transhuman is not to claim that one is currently better or "more evolved" than one’s fellow humans.
References[edit | edit source]
- FM-2030. (1989) Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World ISBN 0446388068
- Vita-More, Natasha, (2000) Interview with FM-2030. transhuman.org
- Vita-More, Natasha, CREATE/RECREATE: The 3rd Millennial Culture
- Hughes, James (2004). Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. Westview Press. ISBN 0813341981
- Ettinger, Robert. Man into Superman. 1974 http://www.cryonics.org/book2.html Avon ISBN 0380000474
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