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Autor/in: Susan B. Levin
Autor/in: Susan B. Levin

Posthuman Bliss?

The Failed Promise of Transhumanism


A tightly argued and expansive examination of the pitfalls of transhumanism that reacquaints us with what it means to live well.

Advocates of transhumanism, or "radical" enhancement, urge us to pursue the biotechnological heightening of select capacities -- above all, cognitive ability -- so far beyond any human limit that the beings with those capacities would exist on a higher ontological plane. For proponents of such views, humanity's self-transcendence through advancements in science and technology may even be morally required. Consequently, the human stakes of how we respond to transhumanism are immeasurably high.

In Posthuman Bliss? The Failed Promise of Transhumanism, Susan B. Levin challenges transhumanists' overarching commitments regarding the mind and brain, ethics, liberal democracy, knowledge, and reality, showing their notion of humanity's self-transcendence into "posthumanity" to be little more than fantasy. Uniting philosophical with scientific arguments, Levin mounts a significant challenge to transhumanists' claim that science and technology support their vision of posthumanity. In a clear and engaging style, she dismantles transhumanists' breezy assurances that posthumans will emerge if we but allocate sufficient resources to that end. Far from offering theoretical and practical "proof of concept" for the vision that they urge upon us, Levin argues, transhumanists engage inadequately with cognitive psychology, biology, and neuroscience, often relying on questionable or outdated views within those fields. Having shown in depth why transhumanism should be rejected, Levin argues forcefully for a holistic perspective on living well that is rooted in Aristotle's virtue ethics but that is adapted to liberal democracy. This holism is thoroughly human, in the best of senses: It directs us to consider worthy ends for us as human beings and to do the irreplaceable work of understanding ourselves rather than relying on technology and science to be our salvation.

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Susan B. Levin is Roe/Straut Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Smith College. In addition to her numerous publications in bioethics, she has authored two books and many articles in Greek philosophy.



1. Assessing Transhumanist Advocacy of Cognitive Bioenhancement
1. Introduction
2. The (Unsuccessful) Essentialism of Enhancement Critics
3. Transhumanists' Rational Essentialism: An Avowed Enlightenment Legacy
4. The "Cognitive" in "Cognitive Enhancement": Its Meaning and Backdrop
5. Why Are Transhumanists So Confident that Cognitive Enhancement Is Upon Us?
6. Hoisting Transhumanists by Their Own (Mental) Petard
7. Conclusion

2. Why We Should Reject Transhumanists' Entire Lens on the Mind and Brain
1. Introduction
2. Basic-Emotion and Dual-Process Approaches to Emotions and the Brain
3. The Superior Lens of Appraisal Theory
4. The Wider Resonance of Scherer's Theory
5. Aristotle's Lens on the Mind
6. The Alignment of Aristotle's Theory with Contemporary Science
7. Casebeer's "Neo-Aristotelian" Position
8. Conclusion

3. Evaluating the Debate Thus Far over Moral Bioenhancement
1. Setting the Stage
2. What, Specifically, Should Moral Bioenhancement Be Directed To?
3. Practical Proof of Concept for Moral Bioenhancement?
4. Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Psychology, and Morality
5. An Alternate Focus on Erasing Antisociality
6. Trading Psychological Richness and Freedom for Survival
7. Conclusion

4. Utilitarian Commitments of Transhumanists and Their Sociopolitical Implications
1. Introduction
2. General Features of Utilitarianism
3. "Health" and "Public Health": Relating Transhumanism to Wider Trends
4. Transhumanists' Display of Utilitarian Commitments and Their Sociopolitical Implications
5. Resource Allocation
6. The Moral Permissibility of Using Reproductive Technologies to Avoid Disease and Disability
7. Conclusion

5. Creating a Higher Breed: Transhumanism and the Prophecy of Anglo-American Eugenics
1. Introduction
2. The Need for a Fuller Assessment of Transhumanists' Claims about Earlier Eugenics
3. Human Agency Creates, Then Becomes, the Divine
4. Our Elevation with Respect to "Non-Disease" Conditions
5. In Tandem, Eliminate the Allegedly Deleterious
6. The Great Wingspan of Public Health
7. Shared Utilitarian Commitments
8. Sociopolitical Commitments and Implications
9. Conclusion

6. Transhumanists' Informational View of Being and Knowledge
1. Introduction
2. A Historical Foray
3. Persistence, Problems, Pitfalls
4. Kant versus Transhumanism
5. Conclusion

7. Living Virtuously as a Regulative Ideal
1. Introduction
2. Ancient Greek Ethics
3. We Need Not Be Made to Care about Virtue
4. What Now?
5. What Now? Part Two: Our Civic Scene
6. Perfectionism Suitable for Human Beings: Living Virtuously as a Regulative Ideal
7. Conclusion



EAN / 13-stellige ISBN 978-0190051501
10-stellige ISBN 0190051507
Verlag Oxford University Press
Sprache Englisch
Auflage 1. Auflage im Jahr 2020
Anmerkungen zur Auflage 1. Auflage
Editionsform Non Books / PBS
Einbandart E-Book
Typ des digitalen Artikels PDF mit Adobe DRM
Copyright Digital Rights Management Adobe
Erscheinungsdatum 03. Dezember 2020
Seitenzahl 272
Warengruppe des Lieferanten Naturwissenschaften - Biologie
Mehrwertsteuer 7% (im angegebenen Preis enthalten)
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