Tuesday, November 9, 2004

“democratic transhumanism”

James Hughes, who teaches health policy at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, has just published a fascinating, realistic, and progressive book on a politics for burgeoning enhancement culture: Citizen Cyborg (Westview Press, 2004), which seems to be the proper answer to Habermas' concerns in The Future of Human Nature (ch. 2 on liberal eugenics).

“This book,” Hughes begins, “argues that transhuman technologies, technologies that push the boundaries of humanness, can radically improve our quality of life, and that we have a fundamental right to use them to control our bodies and minds. But to ensure these benefits we need to democratically regulate these technologies and make them equally available in free societies. Becoming more than human can improve all our lives, but only new forms of transhuman citizenship and democracy will make us freer, more equal and more united” [xii].

I’ve provided extended excerpts from the “Introduction” of his book.