Artefactos (2018-10-01)

Philosophical Foundations for an Assessment of the Transhumanism

  • Alfredo MARCOS

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 2
pp. 107 – 125


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The present article aims at establishing a discussion with Antonio Diéguez’s recent book intituled Transhumanism. Transhumanism is an intellectual current trend that proposes the transformation of human beings by means of diverse technological interventions. Diéguez makes a very enlightening, informed and fair exposition of what the Transhumanism is, both in its bio and info proposals. In front of the transhumanist proposals, Diéguez adopts a very sensible position. He argues that we should avoid both technophobia and uncritical techophilia. We should neither accept nor reject the anthropotechnical projects en bloc, but we should judge them one by one (section 1). Obviously, a criterion is required to carry out this screening. Diéguez dismisses that the source of this criterion could be the notion of human nature. Instead, he proposes some ideas by the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. Let’s remember that according to Ortega “man has no nature, he has... history” (2004-2010, VI, 72; my trasnlation). I fully agree with Diéguez on the need of judging anthropotechnics one by one, but I disagree with his appreciation of both, the concept of human nature and the ideas of Ortega. Ortega’s philosophy of technique -original and suggestive as it is- becomes ultimately inoperative due to his anti-naturalist anthropology (section 2). On the other hand, Diéguez’s interpretation of the notion of human nature is - to put it shortly - platonic (section 3). Nevertheless, this concept also admits an Aristotelian interpretation, under which it becomes the best source of criteria for screening anthropotechnics (section 4). Finally, the conclusions of the article will be summarized in section 5.