Episode #17 Steve Fuller on Transhumanism and the Proactionary Imperative

fuller2In this episode I talk to Professor Steve Fuller about his sometimes controversial views on transhumanism, religion, science and technology, enhancement and evolution. Steve is Auguste Comte Professor of Social Epistemology at the University of Warwick. He is the author of a trilogy relating to the idea of a ‘post-’ or ‘trans-‘ human future, all published with Palgrave Macmillan: Humanity 2.0: What It Means to Be Human Past, Present and Future (2011), Preparing for Life in Humanity 2.0 (2012) and (with Veronika Lipinska) The Proactionary Imperative: A Foundation for Transhumanism (2014). Our conversation focuses primarily on the arguments and ideas found in the last book of the trilogy.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe via Stitcher or iTunes (via RSS).

Show Notes

0:00 – introduction

04:00 – untangling posthumanism and transhumanism via Bostrum, Hayles, Haraway

21:45 – the relationship between theology, science and technology

39:50 – theological and libertarian rationales of transhumanism

52:00 – freedom from suffering or a freedom to suffer? – questions of risk, consent and compensation

1:03:40 – the rehabilitation of Eugenics – could it / should it be done?

1:13:50 – Darwinism and the intelligent design debate

1:22:00 – are there limits to transhumanism and enhancement? Homo Sapiens, humanity and morphological freedom

1:28:00 – conclusion

Relevant Links

Rick Searle – podcast on the Dark Side of Transhumanism (2016)

Nick Bostrom – Why I Want To Be a Posthuman When I Grow Up (2008)

Donna Haraway – The Cyborg Manifesto (1991)

N. Katherine Hayles – How we became Posthuman (1999)

Ray Kurzweil – The Singularity is Near (2005)

James Hughes – podcast on the Transhumanist Political Project (2016)

Zoltan Istvan’s Transhumanist Party

The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics

Bostrom & Sandberg – The wisdom of nature: an evolutionary heuristic for human enhancement (2009)

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