Dale Carrico responds to James Hughes interpretation of transhumanism

In case you missed Dale Carrico’s response to our article by James Hughes offering a progressive interpretation of transhumanism, see here for a full-length treatment.

Here’s a representative quote that will give you a taste of Carrico’s counter-interpretation:

“Despite all this I cannot sympathize at all with Hughes’ insinuation that he is defending “transhumanism” when he attributes to it a content (advocacy of basic income guarantees) that is in fact advocated by a vanishingly small minority of actually-existing transhumanist-identified people, and little likely represents even a mild topical preoccupation with more than a handful of these, and indeed is quite likely to be ferociously attacked by a larger number of transhumanist-identified people as “evil socialism” given the prevalence of market libertarian dead-enders and neoliberals among movement-transhumanists. That he makes this move at one and the same time as he disavows the apocalyptic “subculture” of the singularitarians among movement-transhumanism is especially problematic. “Singularity” means different things to different people, for some naming a rather muzzy notion that technoscientific development is accelerating irresistibly into some unknowable imminent transformation of everything into which they can stuff all their present existential anxieties or wish-fulfillment fantasies, while for others naming variously more specific and “technical” (but usually still quite controversial and to my mind usually still hyperbolic) claims about networked and artificial intelligence “surpassing” conventional personal and social formations of problem-solving and organizational-intelligence with various projected impacts on questions of public security, deliberation, privacy issues, and so on. But whatever else one can say about these notions, it looks to me like an overwhelming majority of transhumanist-identified people affirm some version of them as true, as urgently important, and as abiding preoccupations.

That is to say, Hughes defense of “transhumanism” seems to me to be one that affirms as part of it something that is in fact incidental to it, while disavowing as marginal something that is in fact nearly ubiquitous and hence likely essential to it.”

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.