Transhumanism, Nature, and the Ends of Science
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This book offers a social, political, and aesthetic critique of transhumanism and of the accelerating growth of scientific knowledge generally. Rather than improving our lives, science and technology today increasingly leave us debilitated and infantilized. It is time to restrain the runaway ambitions of technoscientific knowledge.
The transhumanist goal of human enhancement encapsulates a range of dangerous social pathologies. Like transhumanism itself, these pathologies are rooted in, or in reaction to, the ethos of ‘more’. It’s a cultural love affair with excess, which is prompted by the libertarian standards of our cultural productions. But the attempt to live at the speed of an electron is destined for failure.
In response, the author offers a naturalistic account of human flourishing where we attend to the natural rhythms of life. The interdisciplinary orientation of Transhumanism, Nature, and the Ends of Science makes it relevant to scholars and students across a wide range of disciplines, including social and political philosophy, philosophy of technology, science and technology studies, environmental studies, and public policy.
Table of Contents
The Bones of the Argument
Chapter 1: The Tools of Our Tools
Chapter 2: Beyond the Human Condition
Chapter 3: Life in the Transition
Excursus I: The Practice of Philosophy in the 21st Century
Chapter 4: Aging Boys Will be the Death of Us
Chapter 5: Science as Pharmakon
Excursus II: Philosophy, Rhetoric, Policy
Chapter 6: The Metaphysics of Transhumanism
Chapter 7: Contemplating a Medium Sized Catastrophe
Chapter 8: The Consolation of Geology
Robert Frodeman is Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Texas. He is the author and/or editor of 16 books, including the Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity, Sustainable Knowledge: A Theory of Interdisciplinarity, and Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st Century Philosophy (with Adam Briggle).
"Humanity and nature have been defended on many sides from the onslaught of science and technology, but in this book Frodeman expertly confronts what is arguably the greatest challenge of them all, transhumanism." – Steve Fuller, Author of Humanity 2.0, University of Warwick, UK.
"For a long time, I’ve had misgivings about the transhumanist project. This book has helped me understand why. This is a deep and important book. We owe it to ourselves to take seriously as we rush headlong into a hyper-technological future." – David Livingstone Smith, University of New England, USA