March 10, 2013

The Transhumanist Reader

The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future, edited by Max More and Natasha Vita-More, will be published April 29, 2013.

It is the “first authoritative and comprehensive survey of the origins and current state of transhumanist thinking, according to the editors, and the anthology includes a roster of leaders in transhumanist thought.

“The rapid pace of emerging technologies is playing an increasingly important role in overcoming fundamental human limitations,” say the editors.

Featuring core writings by seminal thinkers in the speculative possibilities of the posthuman condition, essays address key philosophical arguments for and against human enhancement, explore the inevitability of life extension, and consider possible solutions to the growing issues of social and ethical implications and concerns.

The book is edited by the internationally acclaimed founders of the philosophy and social movement of transhumanism,  The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future
 is “an indispensable guide to our current state of knowledge of the quest to expand the frontiers of human nature,” the editors say.

“We are in the process of upgrading the human species, so we might as well do it with deliberation and foresight. A good first step is this book, which collects the smartest thinking available concerning the inevitable conflicts, challenges and opportunities arising as we re-invent ourselves. It’s a core text for anyone making the future,” according to Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick for Wired.

Table of Contents

Part I Roots and Core Themes
1 The Philosophy of Transhumanism, Max More
2 Aesthetics: Bringing the Arts & Design into the Discussion of Transhumanism, Natasha Vita-More
3 Why I Want to be a Posthuman When I Grow Up, Nick Bostrom
4 Transhumanist Declaration (2012), Various
5 Morphological Freedom – Why We Not Just Want It, but Need It, Anders Sandberg

Part II Human Enhancement: The Somatic Sphere
6 Welcome to the Future of Medicine, Robert A. Freitas Jr.
7 Life Expansion Media, Natasha Vita-More
8 The Hybronaut Affair: A Ménage of Art, Technology, and Science, Laura Beloff
9 Transavatars, William Sims Bainbridge
10 Alternative Biologies, Rachel Armstrong

Part III Human Enhancement: The Cognitive Sphere
11 Re-Inventing Ourselves: The Plasticity of Embodiment, Sensing, and Mind, Andy Clark
12 Artificial General Intelligence and the Future of Humanity, Ben Goertzel
13 Intelligent Information Filters and Enhanced Reality, Alexander “Sasha” Chislenko
14 Uploading to Substrate-Independent Minds, Randal A. Koene
15 Uploading, Ralph C. Merkle

Part IV Core Technologies
16 Why Freud Was the First Good AI Theorist, Marvin Minsky
17 Pigs in Cyberspace, Hans Moravec
18 Nanocomputers, J. Storrs Hall
19 Immortalist Fictions and Strategies, Michael R. Rose
20 Dialogue between Ray Kurzweil and Eric Drexler

Part V Engines of Life: Identity and Beyond Death
21 The Curate’s Egg of Anti-Anti-Aging Bioethics, Aubrey de Grey
22 Medical Time Travel, Brian Wowk
23 Transhumanism and Personal Identity, James Hughes
24 Transcendent Engineering, Giulio Prisco

Part VI Enhanced Decision-Making
25 Idea Futures: Encouraging an Honest Consensus, Robin Hanson
26 The Proactionary Principle: Optimizing Technological Outcomes, Max More
27 The Open Society and Its Media, Mark S. Miller, with E. Dean Tribble, Ravi Pandya, and Marc Stiegler

Part VII Biopolitics and Policy
28 Performance Enhancement and Legal Theory: An Interview with Professor Michael H. Shapiro
29 Justifying Human Enhancement: The Accumulation of Biocultural Capital, Andy Miah
30 The Battle for the Future, Gregory Stock
31 Mind is Deeper Than Matter: Transgenderism, Transhumanism, and the Freedom of Form, Martine Rothblatt
32 For Enhancing People, Ronald Bailey
33 Is Enhancement Worthy of Being a Right?, Patrick D. Hopkins
34 Freedom by Design: Transhumanist Values and Cognitive Liberty, Wrye Sententia

Part VIII Future Trajectories: Singularity
35 Technological Singularity, Vernor Vinge
36 An Overview of Models of Technological Singularity, Anders Sandberg
37 A Critical Discussion of Vinge’s Singularity Concept, David Brin, Damien Broderick, Nick Bostrom, Alexander “Sasha” Chislenko, Robin Hanson, Max More, Michael Nielsen, and Anders Sandberg

Part IX The World’s Most Dangerous Idea
38 The Great Transition: Ideas and Anxieties, Russell Blackford
39 Trans and Post, Damien Broderick
40 Back to Nature II: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century, Roy Ascott
41 A Letter to Mother Nature, Max More
42 Progress and Relinquishment, Ray Kurzweil

You can get a copy of  The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future at Amazon here

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