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Humanity's EndWhy We Should Reject Radical Enhancement$
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Nicholas Agar

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014625

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014625.001.0001

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A Species-Relativist Conclusion about Radical Enhancement

A Species-Relativist Conclusion about Radical Enhancement

(p.179) 9 A Species-Relativist Conclusion about Radical Enhancement
Humanity's End

Nicholas Agar

The MIT Press

This chapter is an optimistic discussion presenting some good news about remaining “merely” human. Humanity is not just what we get left with once we have refused the theories of Kurzweil, de Grey, Bostrom, and Hughes; it is something worth celebrating. The chapter explores the implications of the species-relativist view about value as described in the first chapter, and examines three kinds of valuable experience that are both typical of Homo sapiens and under threat from radical enhancement. The common theme is one of alienation. Radical enhancement alienates us from experiences that give meaning to our lives. The species-relativist presentation of these experiences grants that they are unlikely to appeal to posthumans or rational aliens. Our humanity should leave us equally unmoved by their posthuman experiences.

Keywords:   humanity, Kurzweil, de Grey, Bostrom, Hughes, species-relativist view, value, valuable experience, radical enhancement, alienation

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