- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Transhumanism1' during my Thesis research, as from 2011.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 27/06/2018 18:37:26): Transhumanism
- Transhumanism is the thesis that we human beings can – in principle at least – transcend our animal nature and escape or at least augment – in whole or part – our animal bodies.
- The movement hopes to extend our lifespans – either considerably or indefinitely.
- One particular strand of this hope is to escape our mortal bodies altogether by “uploading4 ourselves” to a digital computer.
- I’m very doubtful about the possibility – practical or theoretical – of most of these aims, as well as their desirability. However, while this topic is on the borders of sci-fi, it is a challenge to animalism5 in that it presupposes that “we6” can transcend our biological origins in some way or other.
- The premier transhumanist of my acquaintance is Nick Bostrom. He has also argued that we might be (and indeed probably are) living in a computer simulation. See:-
→ "Bostrom (Nick) - Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?",
→ "Weatherson (Brian) - Are You a Sim?", and
→ "Bostrom (Nick) - The Simulation Argument: Reply to Weatherson".
- A light-hearted introduction to the ideas and personalities is
→ "O'Connell (Mark) - To be a Machine",
- And the main text for this topic is
→ "More (Max) & Vita-More (Natasha) - The Transhumanist Reader".
- It’s probably best to start with the Introductions to the book’s nine Parts:-
- While the whole book is interesting, the other papers – from a quick look – that are most germane to my Thesis are:-
- "Bostrom (Nick) - Why I Want to be a Posthuman When I Grow Up",
- "Brin (David), Broderick (Damien), Bostrom (Nick), Chislenko (Alexander), Hanson (Robin), More (Max), Nielsen (Michael) & Sandberg (Anders) - A Critical Discussion of Vinge's Singularity Concept",
- "Broderick (Damien) - Trans and Post",
- "Clark (Andy) - Re-Inventing Ourselves: The Plasticity of Embodiment, Sensing, and Mind",
- "Goertzel (Ben) - Artificial General Intelligence and the Future of Humanity",
- "Hall (J. Storrs) - Nanocomputers",
- "Hughes (James) - Transhumanism and Personal Identity",
- "Koene (Randal A.) - Uploading to Substrate-Independent Minds",
- "Kurzweil (Ray) & Drexler (K. Eric) - Dialogue between Ray Kurzweil and Eric Drexler",
- "Merkle (Ralph C.) - Uploading",
- "Moravec (Hans) - Pigs in Cyberspace",
- "More (Max) - A Letter to Mother Nature",
- "More (Max) - The Philosophy of Transhumanism",
- "Prisco (Giulio) - Transcendent Engineering",
- "Rose (Michael R.) - Immortalist Fictions and Strategies",
- "Sandberg (Anders) - An Overview of Models of Technological Singularity", and
- "Vinge (Vernor) - Technological Singularity".
- This topic connects to a number of related items:-
→ and maybe others …
- Non-Human Persons10
→ see "Bostrom (Nick) - Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies"
- The Singularity
→ "Chalmers (David) - The singularity: A philosophical analysis"
- For a page of Links12 to this Note, Click here.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read13, include14 the following:-
- "Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit: Prologue", Dainton
- "Hawthorne (John X.) - Are You Ready For The Cyborg Technology Coming In 2018?", Hawthorne
- "Jones (D. Gareth) - A Christian Perspective on Human Enhancement", Jones
- "Marshall (Richard) & Olson (Eric) - Eric T. Olson: The Philosopher with No Hands", Marshall & Olson
- "Price (Huw), Cave (Stephen), Iida (Fumiya), Etc. - Preparing for the future: artificial intelligence and us: Part 1", Price Etc
- "Price (Huw), Cave (Stephen), Iida (Fumiya), Etc. - Preparing for the future: artificial intelligence and us: Part 2", Price Etc
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Agar (Nicholas) - Enhancing Humananity", Agar
- "Agar (Nicholas) - Whereto Transhumanism?: The Literature Reaches a Critical Mass", Agar
- "Alexander (Denis) - Enhancing humans or a new creation?", Alexander
- "Andersen (Ross) - Omens", Anderson
- "Cerullo (Michael A.) - Uploading and Branching Identity", Cerullo
- "Chatfield (Tom) - Automated ethics", Chatfield
- "Christian (Brian) - The Most Human Human: A Defence of Humanity in the Age of the Computer", Christian
- "Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit", Dainton
- "Deutsch (David) - Creative blocks", Deutsch
- "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun", Graziano
- "Grossman (Lev) - 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal", Grossman
- "Hayworth (Kenneth) - Killed by bad philosophy: Why brain preservation followed by mind uploading is a cure for death", Hayworth
- "Kurzweil (Ray) - The Age of Spiritual Machines", Kurzweil
→ "Searle (John) - ‘I Married a Computer’: An Exchange (between Ray Kurzweil and John Searle)", Searle
→ "Kurzweil (Ray) - ‘I Married a Computer’: An Exchange (between Ray Kurzweil and John Searle)", Kurzweil
- "Medlock (Ben) - The body is the missing link for truly intelligent machines", Medlock
- "More (Max) & Vita-More (Natasha) - The Transhumanist Reader", More
- "Oderberg (David) - Could There Be a Superhuman Species?", Oderberg
- "Price (Huw) - Now it’s time to prepare for the Machinocene", Price
- "Sandberg (Anders) & Bostrom (Nick) - Whole Brain Emulation: A Roadmap", Sandberg & Bostrom
- This is mostly a place-holder15.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (27/06/2018 18:37:26).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- If only a “non-updating” run has been made, the links are only one-way – ie. from the page of links to the objects that reference this Note by mentioning the appropriate key-word(s). The links are also only indicative, as they haven’t yet been confirmed as relevant.
- Once an updating run has been made, links are both ways, and links from this Notes page (from the “Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note” and “Summary of Note Links to this Page” sections) are to the “point of link” within the page rather than to the page generically. Links from the “links page” remain generic.
- There are two sorts of updating runs – for Notes and other Objects. The reason for this is that Notes are archived, and too many archived versions would be created if this process were repeatedly run.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018