An Aristotelian Resistance Against Transhumanism
Keywords:transhumanism, aristotelianism, essentialism, bioenhancement
Posthuman Bliss? The Failed Promise of Transhumanism by Susan B. Levin presents a well-informed and structured critique to transhumanism. Not only transhumanist ethical and sociopo-litical applications are challenged: the theoretical assumptions and implications of transhumanism are made explicit and put into discussion, thereby confronting transhumanism as a worldview of its own, from metaphysics, to epistemology, to philosophy of mind, down to ethics and politics. This worldview is then constantly put to the test of Levin’s own Aristotelian essentialist framework, which sees the human being as a holistic whole and our role in the world as the complex process of attaining human flourishing. First, I will spend a few words to frame the general aim of the book and to delineate the main contents of the seven chapters. After that, I will deal critically with four interesting focal points, where further research may be prompted or the standpoint of the author may be challenged: the attribution of (rational) essentialism to transhumanism, the definition of well-being underlying transhumanist positions, the apparent tension between the sociopolitical im-plications of transhumanism and its cultivation of radical personal autonomy, the critical evaluation of Levin’s American-centered adaptation of her Aristotelian virtue-ethics approach.
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