The Transhumanist Reader Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-05-06
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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The Transhumanist Reader presents an authoritative and comprehensive survey of the origins and current state of transhumanist thinking about the future of humanity. It is unique in the breadth and scope of material and in its multidisciplinary approach. The Transhumanist Reader, reflecting the burgeoning of studies concerning human enhancement, human futures, and technological change, forms the central reference for transhumanism. This single volume also stands out in its novelty by consisting primarily of core writings by seminal thinkers.

Author Biography

Max More, PhD is President and CEO of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the world’s leading cryonics organization. An internationally acclaimed strategic philosopher, Dr. More is recognized for his thinking on the philosophical and cultural implications of emerging technologies.

Natasha Vita-More, PhD is a leading expert on human enhancement and emerging and speculative technologies. Dr. Vita-More’s writings have appeared in Technoetic Arts: Journal of Speculative Research, Metaverse Creativity and The Global Spiral. She has appeared in numerous televised documentaries on media design, culture, and the future.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Roots and Core Themes

02. The Philosophy of Transhumanism (Max More, PhD, President, Alcor Life Extension Foundation, Founder, Extropy Institute)
03. Aesthetics: Bringing Arts and Design Into the Discussion of Transhumanism (Natasha Vita-More, PhD, Lecturer, University of Advancing technology, Chair, Humanity+)
04. Why I Want to be a Posthuman When I Grow Up (Nick Bostrom, PhD, Director, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University)
05. Transhumanist Declaration (various)
06. Morphological Freedom—Why We Not Just Want it, But Need it (Anders Sandberg, PhD, James Martin Research Fellow, Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University)
Part 2. Human Enhancement: The Somatic Sphere

08. Welcome to the Future of Medicine (Robert Freitas, JD, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Molecular Manufacturing)
09. Life Expansion Media (Vita-More)
10. The Hybronaut Affair (Laura Beloff, PhD, Visiting lecturer, Aalto University, Helsinki)
11. Transavatars (William Bainbridge, PhD, Co-Director, Human-Centered Computing at the National Science Foundation)
12. Alternative Biologies (Rachel Armstrong, MD, Teaching Fellow, The Bartlett School of Architecture, and TED Global Fellow)

Part 3. Human Enhancement: The Cognitive Sphere

14. Re-Inventing Ourselves: The Plasticity of Embodiment, Sensing, and Mind (Andy Clark, PhD, Professor and Chair in Logic and Metaphysics, University of Edinburgh)
15. Artificial General Intelligence and the Future of Humanity (Ben Goertzel, PhD, AGI Researcher, Novamente LLC, Chief Scientist, Aidyia Holdings, Vice Chair, Humanity+)
16. Intelligent Information Filters and Enhanced Reality (Alexander Sasha Chislenko, MS, AI theorist, former Researcher Society of Mind Group, MIT)
17. Uploading to Substrate-Independent Minds (Randal Koene, PhD, Founder and CEO, Carboncopies.org)
18. Uploading (Ralph Merkle, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, Faculty, Singularity University)

Part 4. Core Technologies

20. Why Freud Was the First Good AI Theorist (Marvin Minsky, PhD, Co-founder MIT AI Laboratory)
21. Pigs in Cyberspace (Hans Moravec, PhD, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University)
22. Nanocomputers (J. Storrs Hall, PhD, Founding Chief Scientist, Nanorex, Inc.)
23. Immortality in Fiction, Science, and Technology (Michael R. Rose, PhD, Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of California Irvine)
24. Dialogue Between Kurzweil and Drexler (Ray Kurzweil, PhD, Founder, Kurzweil Technologies, Inc., Co-Founder and Chancellor, Singularity University; Eric Drexler, PhD, Academic Visitor, Program on Impacts of Future Technology, Oxford University)

Part 5. Engines of Life: Identity and Beyond Death

26. Leon Kass Substantially Right, William Hulburt Substantially Wrong (Aubrey de Grey, PhD, Chief Science Officer, Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence Foundation)
27. Medical Time Travel (Brian Wowk, PhD, Senior Scientist, 21st Century Medicine, Inc.)
28. Transhumanism and Personal Identity (James Hughes, PhD, Director, Institutional Research and Planning, Trinity College)
29. Transcendent Engineering (Giulio Prisco, Physicist, former Senior Manager, European Space Agency)

Part 6. Enhanced Decision-Making

31. Idea Futures: Encouraging an Honest Consensus (Robin Hanson, PhD, Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University)
32. The Proactionary Principle: Optimizing Technological Outcomes (Max More)
33. The Open Society and Its Media (Mark Miller, Chief Architect Hewlett-Packard Labs, E.; Dean Tribble, Principle Architect, Microsoft; Ravi Pandya, Systems Software Architect, Microsoft;  Marc Stiegler, Researcher, Hewlett-Packard Labs)

Part 7. Biopolitics and Policy

35. Performance Enhancement and Legal Theory (Michael Shapiro, PhD, Professor of Law, University of Southern California)
36. Justifying Human Enhancement: The Accumulation of Biocultural Capital (Andy Miah, PhD, Chair of Ethics and Emerging Technologies, University of the West of Scotland)
37. The Battle for the Future (Gregory Stock, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Signum Biosciences, former Director of Medicine, Technology and Society, University of California Los Angeles)
38. Mind is Deeper Than Matter: Transgenderism, Transhumanism, and the Freedom of Form (Martine Rothblatt, PhD, JD, Chief Executive Officer, United Therapeutics, Inventor, Sirius Satellite Radio)
39. For Enhancing People (Ronald Bailey, Senior Science Editor, Reason Magazine, University Lecturer, Harvard University)
40. Is Enhancement Worthy of Being a Right? (Patrick D. Hopkins, PhD, Associate Professor, Philosophy and Gender Studies, Millsaps College)
41. Freedom by Design: Transhuman Rights and Cognitive Liberty (Wrye Sententia, PhD, Postdoctoral Lecturer, University of California Davis)

Part 8. Future Trajectories: Singularity
43. Technological Singularity (Vernor Vinge, PhD, former Professor of Mathematics, University of California San Diego)
44. An Overview of Models of Technological Singularity (Anders Sandberg)
45. A Critical Discussion of Vinge’s Singularity Concept (David Brin, Damien Broderick, Nick Bostrom, Alexander Chislenko, Robin Hanson, Max More)

Part 9. The World’s Most Dangerous Idea

47. The Great Transition: Ideas and Anxieties (Russell Blackford, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Evolution & Technology)
48. Trans and Post (Damien Broderick, PhD, Senior Fellow, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne)
49. Back to Nature II: Art and Technology in the 21st Century (Roy Ascott, President, Planetary Collegium, Visiting Professor, School of the Arts, University of California Los Angeles)
50. Letter to Mother Nature (Max More)
51. Progress and Relinquishment (Ray Kurzweil)

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