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Post- and Transhumanism

An Introduction


Robert Ranisch and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner

Scientific advances in genetics, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence signal the end of our traditional concept of the human being. The most vigorous movements dealing with this ongoing crisis of humanism are posthumanism and transhumanism. While posthumanism reconsiders what it means to be human, transhumanism actively promotes human enhancement. Both approaches address the posthuman condition in the technological age. In 20 articles, written by leading scholars of the field, this volume provides the first comprehensive introduction to debates beyond humanism.
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Lands of Cockaygne


Michael Hauskeller

Progress has often been driven by utopian dreams of a better world. This better world is always one that allows people’s lives to be, in some important (albeit varying) respect, better than they normally are at the time when, and the place where, the dream is dreamt. That imagined world, which compares favorably with the here and now, can be in the past (the Golden Age, Paradise Lost), in the future (Heaven and a New Earth, Paradise Regained, and secularized versions thereof), and even in the present (mythical places like the Isles of the Blessed or Avalon, but also real places such as America – the “land of the blessed” – for European emigrants in the early 1900s or Communist Russia in the 1930s). Utopian dreams fulfill an important function. They serve as a reminder that the world doesn’t have to be as it is: that there are other possible worlds that we could live in – worlds in which nobody is poor and where everyone has enough to eat, worlds in which people are not being oppressed and each can say what they please, where everyone counts for one and no one for more than one; worlds perhaps where we don’t have to work so hard and where there is more enjoyment, where being alive is an unimpaired pleasure, where there is no suffering, disease, or death, where we are powerful and no longer have to fear anything or anyone. Utopian dreams like these have no doubt stimulated...

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