In this chapter, Nick Bostrom discusses the possibility that extreme human enhancement could result in “posthuman” modes of being. After offering some definitions and conceptual clarifications, he argues for two theses. First, there are posthuman modes of being — including some related to healthspan, cognition, and emotion — that would be very worthwhile. Second, it could be very good for human beings to become posthuman in those ways. He then considers and responds to objections to his theses, including several raised by the President’s Council on Bioethics in Beyond Therapy — for example, that personal identity could not be maintained through posthuman enhancement and that it constitutes a failure to be open to the gifted nature of life.
- Personal Identity
- Cognitive Capacity
- Healthy Life
- Diffi Cult
- Human Enhancement
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This chapter is excerpted from Nick Bostrom (2008) ‘Why I want to be a Posthuman When I Grow Up,’ in Medical Enhancement and Posthumanity, eds. B. Gordijn and R. Chadwick (Springer). It appears here by permission of Springer and the author.
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© 2014 Nick Bostrom
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Bostrom, N. (2014). Why I Want to Be a Posthuman When I Grow Up. In: Sandler, R.L. (eds) Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137349088_15
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