- Paperback: 278 pages
- Publisher: Metanexus Institute (January 25, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1456815652
- ISBN-13: 978-1456815653
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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H+/-: Transhumanism and Its Critics Paperback – January 25, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
One ("against") essayist suggests that "I for one believe that we should not put our efforts into reengineering cell biology so as to postpone aging indefinitely; rather, we should recognize the beauty of the life processes and the cycle of birth, maturation, aging, and death." (Pg. 47)
Another ("for") essayist says that "there are even greater dangers associated with not creating posthumans... I would venture to suggest there is a 90 percent chance of civilization surviving the next two centuries if we follow the transhumanist path, while I would put the chances of civilization surviving a steady-as-she-goes policy at less than 20 percent. But then, I am an optimist." (Pg. 108)
An "against" essayist argues that transhumanist assumptions regarding progress "are naive because they fail to operate with an anthropology that is realistic regarding the human proclivity to turn good into evil... (because) these technologies can become perverted and bent toward destructive purposes." (Pg. 148) A different but sympathetic essayist suggests that the transhumanist movement "is a kind of secular religion promoting its own apocalyptic and messianic vision of the end times... (it) is continuous with other messianic movements throughout human history." (Pg. 264)
This book is a well-balanced, excellent introduction to the debates about posthumanism/transhumanism.
A quick word, though, before too much of my views. This book is well organized representing both pro & anti transhumanism sides of the story & also has a neat arrangement of essays & counter essays. Then it has some interesting little essays on transhumanism as represented in science fiction etc. Quite a neat, little collection.
Like I said, the nature of the polemic is such that I was unable to be very objective. Regardless, a pattern emerges very soon. Those for transhumanism come across as die hard individualists & those that oppose it seem to worry about larger social implications of an idea like this.
Some pro transhumanism tricks are obvious. No one in their right minds would want congenital diseases in their children, for example. Genetically engineered babies would guarantee this. So transhumanism. Some others are more sophisticated. For example, the assertion that continuing to be way we are would most certainly wipe us off, so transhumanism is our only chance regardless of the risks it poses, & so transhumanism etc.
Some anti transhumanism rhetoric is just as banal. Like religion is not, & more importantly never has been, opposed to technological progress or that capitalism will simply ensure that this kind of technology only widens the inequalities in society.
Outside of some of this playing the gallery kind of stuff, the rest of the content is quite good & interesting.Read more ›
The good ones were engrossing and I believe lay out the framework of this debate very nicely and in compelling terms. Those persuaded by either side of the argument will find information that will console and confront.
Intense interest in this issue will continue to increase - our developing world must find better methods and modes of thinking about our new technological capabilities than relying upon rehashes of the past two hundred years of social and political discourse. Reading this collection of essays will stimulate you to consider new ways of considering how to deal with technology's advance.
Neither the rapture nor the singularity provide sufficient ways of considering our way forward.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a textbook I had to pick up for one of my classes. I really enjoyed reading it because it did a good job of staying non-bias. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Jacob Hudinsky
If you're just delving into the promises and problems of transhumanism, this book is a well balanced starting point to get oriented in the great debate.Published 8 months ago by Kal Gal
It is good to read from critics. If you don't, how can you be sure of the validity of your own viewpoints. Read morePublished on June 18, 2013 by Serge Ledan