Home » Digital culture » EDCmooc – Bostrom (2005) ‘Transhumanist values’

EDCmooc – Bostrom (2005) ‘Transhumanist values’


Review of Contemporary Philosophy

This article by Nick Bostrom (Oxford University) – whose work is at the more academically respectable end of what can be a fairly uneven field – does a good job of summarising the transhumanist position, though it’s important when reading this to understand that he does not use the term ‘posthuman’ in the sense that, for example, Badmington does.


What is your own response to the ‘values’ he proposes? Do you find them attractive or repellent? On what basis?

The table below summarizes the transhumanist values that he proposes. 


Core Value
  •         Having the opportunity to explore the transhuman and posthuman realms

Basic Conditions

  •        Global security
  •        Technological progress
  •        Wide access
Derivative Values
  •         Nothing wrong about “tampering with nature”; the idea of hubris rejected
  •         Individual choice in use of enhancement technologies; morphological freedom
  •         Peace, international cooperation, anti-proliferation of WMDs
  •         Improving understanding (encouraging research and public debate; critical thinking; open-mindedness, scientific inquiry; open discussion of the future)
  •         Getting smarter (individually; collectively; and develop machine intelligence)
  •         Philosophical fallibilism; willingness to reexamine assumptions as we go along
  •         Pragmatism; engineering- and entrepreneur-spirit; science
  •         Diversity (species, races, religious creeds, sexual orientations, life styles, etc.)
  •         Caring about the well-being of all sentience
  •         Saving lives (life-extension, anti-aging research, and cryonic

Figure 2.Table of transhumanist values

I don’t find them attractive or repellent I find them frightening.

Bostrom mentions education a few times here: what might his vision of transhumanism mean for the future of education? What would a transhumanist theory of education look like?


  1. Mimi says:

    The Bostrum video is compelling. The potential that makes it exciting and wonder-full is the very same that makes it frightening and worrisome. There is no evidence to demonstrate our ability or our willingness to make such technology work for the common good. I do believe we are are at an evolutionary crossroads. Before this class, I thought of the crossroads with respect to the ability to think beyond national and personal interests – this class has opened up so many more roads at the intersection. The implications for society in the future are mind boggling. Thanks for your feedback on my edmooc efforts.

  2. […] EDCmooc – Bostrom (2005) ‘Transhumanist values’ […]

  3. […] Racheal to be than any other human. I wonder if  Nick Bostrom would consider the replicants transhuman or a diversification of the species. They were construed genetically and felt themselves to be […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: