Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.

Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:

Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view

whats new at ieet

Digital Immortality Map: Reconstruction of the Personality Based on its Information Traces

Reverse Missionaries: Are African Churches Exporting Homophobia to the West?

Could new gene therapies help us live for much longer?

Europeans Are Desperate for Babies

Scenario 2099: Rewilding, Population Implosion, Artificial Photosynthesis, and - Global Cooling?

Predictive Commercial Technologies Will Alter the Way We Live

ieet books

Surviving AI: The promise and peril of artificial intelligence
Calum Chace

The End of the Beginning: Life, Society and Economy on the Brink of the Singularity
Ben Goertzel

Humans and Automata A Social Study of Robotics
Riccardo Campa

The End: What Science and Religion Tell Us about the Apocalypse
Phil Torres


rms on 'A Techno-Optimist Movement: For an Evenly Distributed Future
' (Oct 5, 2015)

CygnusX1 on 'The Simulated Future' (Oct 4, 2015)

Roy Alexander on 'Could Artificial Morals and Emotions Make Robots Safer?' (Oct 4, 2015)

etienne thillaye on 'Egalitarianism is not Radical' (Oct 3, 2015)

Rick Searle on 'How Nature Plays the Lottery' (Oct 3, 2015)

instamatic on 'Envy of the Future' (Oct 2, 2015)

AlonzoTG on 'Technology and Human Dignity' (Oct 2, 2015)

Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List


Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month

Seven Emerging Technologies That Will Change the World Forever
Sep 29, 2015
(114524) Hits
(4) Comments

The price of the Internet of Things will be a vague dread of a malicious world
Sep 25, 2015
(26999) Hits
(3) Comments

This Artificially Intelligent Boss Means the Workplace Will Never Be the Same
Sep 18, 2015
(16521) Hits
(1) Comments

Religion and Superintelligence
Sep 12, 2015
(8418) Hits
(0) Comments

Citizen Cyborg References and Resources by Chapter

1:Tools for a Brave New You

2:Controlling the Body

3:Living Longer

4:Getting Smarter

5:Being Happier


7:Cyborg Citizenship

8:Defenders of Natural Law

9:Left-Wing BioLuddites

10:Upwingers, Extropians and Transhumanists

11:Democratic Transhumanism

12:Transhuman Democracy

13:Defending the Future

14:A Sexy, High-Tech Vision of a Radically Democratic Future


Chapter 1: Tools for a Brave New You

Acceleration and Convergence

The most important recent statement on the accelerating and converging technological trends and their impacts on radical human enhancement is the National Science Foundation's NBIC collection:

Roco, Mihail C. and William Sims Bainbridge eds. 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, National Science Foundation.

See my review of the politics of the NBIC initiative in

Hughes, James J. 2004. "George W. Bush is Getting Brain-Jacked" Betterhumans, March 9.

Ray Kurzweil is the leading proponent of the idea that accelerating technologies will lead to discontinuous social change and intimate nano-neural communication with computers within decades.

Kurzweil, Ray. 2000. "The Law of Accelerating Returns."

_____. 2003. "Exponential Growth an Illusion?: Response to Ilkka Tuomi"



Drexler, Eric. 1986. The Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology. New York: Anchor Books.  The ur-text of nanotech.

The two leading think tanks addressing the transhuman implications of nanotechnology and nanomedicine are:

Foresight Institute (Palo Alto, California, USA) The base for Eric Drexler and a network of people working to bring about Drexler's vision of molecular manufacturing and nanobots. 

Center for Responsible Nanotechnology  (New York City, USA) A group working to promote anticipatory public policies to ensure that molecular manufacturing is safe and widely available.


AI Convergence with Human Intelligence

Hans Moravec and Nick Bostrom concisely make the argument for imminent human-level AI in these essays:

Moravec, Hans. 1998. "When will computer hardware match the human brain?" Journal of Evolution and Technology, 1,

Bostrom, Nick. 1998. "How Long Before Superintelligence?" International Journal of Futures Studies, 2.


Andrew Macmillan, Chad D. Paavola, Jeanie Howard, Suzanne L. Chan, Nestor J. Zaluzec, and Jonathan Trent. 2002.  "Ordered nanoparticle arrays formed on engineered chaperonin protein templates" Nature Materials 1, 247?252.

William Nordhaus. 2002. The Power of Computing. Yale University and the NBER. March 4, 2002.

Hans Moravec.  1998. "When will computer hardware match the human brain?" Journal of Evolution and Technology, 1(1).

Ray Kurzweil. 2000. "The Law of Accelerating Returns."

Richard Dawkins. 2002. "The next fifty years: science in the first half of the 21st century" in The Next Fifty Years: Science in the First Half of the 21st Century. Ed. John Brockman. Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

Hunkapiller T, Kaiser RJ, Koop BF, Hood L. 1991. "Large-scale and Automated DNA Sequence Determination." Science 254: 59-67.

Leslie Pray. 2002. "A cheap personal genome? Optimism and doubts expressed at discussion of $1,000 genome" The Scientist, Octber 4, 2002.

Zyvex. 2002. "How long will it take to develop nanotechnology?"

Mihail C. Roco and William Sims Bainbridge, editors. 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance. National Science Foundation.

M.C. Roco and W.S. Bainbridge. 2002. "Executive Summary" Mihail C. Roco and William Sims Bainbridge, editors. 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance. National Science Foundation.

Arnoldo Ventura.  2001. "Science & Technology: Vital Correlates of Democracy" Office of the Prime Minister, Jamaica.


Chapter 2: Controlling the Body

Robert Freitas' series of Nanomedicine tomes are the place to start for would-be nanoengineers, but he has a full bibliography with links to shorter pieces that are more accessible introductions to some of the possible applications like robotic white and red blood cells:

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation  A powerful lobby for research into stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine.

Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR)  A lobby organized to defend stem cell research and regenerative medicine, composed of patient organizations, universities, scientific societies, foundations, and individuals with life-threatening illnesses and disorders.

Futurist and artist Natasha Vita-More has also pulled together a number of ideas about the posthuman body into an engaging web presentation at:

An important place to start for criticisms of germinal choice would be:

President's Council on Bioethics. 2003. "Chapter Two: Better Children"  Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Perfection. President's Council on Bioethics.


Holen A. (1995): "The history of accident rates in the United States", in: Simon J. L. (ed.) (1995) The State of Humanity (Blackwell, Oxford).p. 98-105.

Manton KG, Gu X. 2001. "Changes in the prevalence of chronic disability in the United States black and nonblack population above age 65 from 1982 to 1999" Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 May 22;98(11):6354-9.

Ann Elwan. 1999. Poverty and Disability: A Survey of the Literature. December, 1999 by The World Bank Social Protection Team.

Anne Paxton. 2001. "Sooner or Later: Down Screening Debate" CAP Today.

Institute of Medicine. 1994. Assessing Genetic Risks: Implications for Health and Social Policy. National Academy of Sciences Press.

Better Hearing Institute. (1999). Facts about hearing disorders. (Retrieved 6-8-00 from

Steven Kotler. 2002. "Vision Quest" Wired. September 2002.

McGee, Ellen and Maquire, G.Q. Jr., Implantable Brain Chips? Time for Debate, The Hastings Center Report, Jan-Feb. 1999, Vol.7.

Y. Ogawa, K. Sawamoto, T. Miyata, S. Miyao, M. Watanabe, M. Nakamura, B.S. Bregman, M. Koike, Y. Uchiyama, Y. Toyama, H. Okano. 2002. "Transplantation of in vitro-expanded fetal neural progenitor cells results in neurogenesis and functional recovery after spinal cord contusion injury in adult rats"  Journal of Neuroscience Research 2002, 69(6),

Greg Critser. 2003. Fat Land : How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World. Houghton Mifflin.

Michael Lemonick. 2000. "Will We Keep Getting Fatter? That's what we're programmed to do - unless we find some genes that will switch off fat metabolism",

Nicholas Wade. 2003. "From Worm Genes, Human Obesity Clues" New York Times, January 16, 2003.

Kwon TG, Yoo JJ, Atala A. 2002. "Autologous penile corpora cavernosa replacement using tissue engineering techniques" J Urol. 2002 Oct;168(4 Pt 2):1754-8.

James Lardner. 1998. "Deadly Disparities: Americans' Widening Gap in Incomes May be Narrowing" Washington Post, Sunday, August 16, 1998; Page C01.

Norman Daniels, Bruce Kennedy, and Ichiro Kawachi. 2000.  "Justice is Good for Our Health" Boston Review, February/March 2000, 

Michael Marmot. 2002. "The Influence Of Income On Health: Views Of An Epidemiologist" Health Affairs.  March/April 2002.

"Collective action is good for you"

Shannon Brown Lee. 2000. "When Will We Cure Cancer?",


Chapter 3: Living Longer

The best ways to stay in touch with radical life extension news is to subscribe to the daily or weekly email bulletins from and perusing the work collected at these longevity-oriented sites.  A webzine devoted to human enhancement and longevity technology.

Longevity Meme  An activist organization working to promote radical life extension.

Immortality Institute  An international network of people working on radical life extension.

Methusaleh Mouse Project  An annual prize for the team that has made a mouse live the longest.  A site sponsored by the American Federation for Aging Research, providing comprehensive information about aging from a mainstream scientific point of view.

Some summaries of the lines of research that will lead to radical life extension, and a proposal for how to bring them all together, can be found in Aubrey de Grey's website for "SENS (Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence)" at:

There has also been a backlash from aging researchers against life extension hype. They don't buy the idea that accelerating, or even linear, progress will make life expectancies of more than 100 possible. Dozens of researchers signed on to a pessimistic statement "The Truth of Human Aging" published in Scientific American in 2002, and then Stephen Hall took a whack at the field in Merchants of Immortality.

Olshansky, S. Jay, Leonard Hayflick and Bruce A. Carnes. 2002. "The Truth About Human Aging" Scientific American. May 13.

Hall, Stephen S. 2003. Merchants of Immortality: Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension. Houghton-Mifflin.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine has a website devoted to rebutting these critics of anti-aging medicine at


Ettinger, Robert. 1964. The Prospect of Immortality. Doubleday.  The book that launched the cryonics movement.

Merkle, Ralph. 1994. "The Molecular Repair of the Brain" Cryonics magazine,15(1-2). Probably the most important article in boosting the field of cryonics.

James Halperin, 2000. The First Immortal. A novel that explores cryonic preservation and some of the challenges a cryonaut would face on resuscitation.

Hughes, J. 2000. "The Future of Death: Cryonics and the Telos of Liberal Individualism" Journal of Evolution and Technology. How will cryonics be effected by the ongoing redefinition of death?


S. Jay Olshansky, Leonard Hayflick and Bruce A. Carnes. 2002. "The Truth About Human Aging" Scientific American. May 13, 2002.

Masoro EJ. "Possible mechanisms underlying the antiaging actions of caloric restriction" Toxicol Pathol 1996; 24: 738-41.

Ronald Bailey. 2002. "Forever Young: The new scientific search for immortality" Reason online,

Masoro EJ. ibid

Lass A, Sohal BH, Weindruch R, Forster MJ, Sohal RS. Caloric restriction prevents age-associated accrual of oxidative damage to mouse skeletal muscle mitochondria. Free Radic Biol Med 1998; 25: 1089-97.

Tissenbaum HA, Guarente L. 2001. "Increased dosage of a sir-2 gene extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans" Nature 2001 Mar 8;410(6825):227-30.

Rogina B, Helfand SL, Frankel S. 2002. "Longevity regulation by Drosophila Rpd3 deacetylase and caloric restriction"  Science 2002 Nov 29;298(5599):1745.

Perls T, Kunkel LM, Puca AA. 2002. "The genetics of exceptional human longevity" J Mol Neurosci 2002 Aug-Oct;19(1-2):233-8.

Perls T, Puca AA. 2002 "The genetics of aging-- implications for pharmacogenomics" 2002..Pharmacogenomics 2002 Jul;3(4):469-84 .

Patricia Connolly. 2002. "Nanobiotechnology and Life Extension" Mihail C. Roco and William Sims Bainbridge, editors. 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance. National Science Foundation. Pgs 162-169.

Patricia Connolly. 2002. "Nanobiotechnology and Life Extension" Mihail C. Roco and William Sims Bainbridge, editors. 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance. National Science Foundation. Pgs 162-169.

Robert Freitas. 2000. "Respirocytes in Nanomedicine," Graft: Organ and Cell Transplantation 52(May 2050):148-154.

Robert Freitas. 2001.  "Microbivores: Artificial Mechanical Phagocytes using Digest and Discharge Protocol," Zyvex preprint, March 2001.

Ronald Bailey. 2002. "Forever Young: The new scientific search for immortality" Reason online,


Chapter 4: Getting Smarter

The best recent review of the Flynn effect, the evidence for rising intelligence in the industrialized world, is:

Neisser, Ulric  ed. 1998. The Rising Curve: Long-Term Gains in IQ and Related Measures. American Psychological Association.

British behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin is one of the leading researchers whose work is suggesting a limited set of genes which influence intelligence. A place to start would be his recent article:

Plomin, Robert and Frank M. Spinath. 2004. "Intelligence: Genetics, Genes, and Genomics," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, January, 86(1).


Ulric Neisser, ed. 1998. The Rising Curve: Long-Term Gains in IQ and Related Measures. American Psychological Association.

Hui-Xin Wang, Anita Karp, Bengt Winblad and Laura Fratiglioni. 2002.  "Late-Life Engagement in Social and Leisure Activities Is Associated with a Decreased Risk of Dementia: A Longitudinal Study from the Kungsholmen Project"  American Journal of Epidemiology Vol. 155, No. 12 : 1081-1087.

Scarmeas N, Levy G, Tang MX, Manly J, Stern Y. 2001.  "Influence of leisure activity on the incidence of Alzheimer's disease." Neurology. Dec 26;57(12):2236-42.

Stern, Y. 2002. What is cognitive reserve? Theory and research application of the reserve concept" J Int Neuropsychol Soc Mar;8(3):448-60.

Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, UNICEF, address to Organizations for African Unity, Cairo, May 2001.

Robert van Reekum, MD, FRCPC1, Sandra E Black, MD, FRCPC2, David Conn, MB, FRCPC3, Diana Clarke, BSc4. 1997. "Cognition-Enhancing Drugs in Dementia: A Guide to the Near Future" Can J Psychiatry 1997;42 Suppl 1:35S-50S.

Parent JM, Vexler ZS, Gong C, Derugin N, Ferriero DM.2002. "Rat forebrain neurogenesis and striatal neuron replacement after focal stroke" Ann Neurol 2002 Dec;52(6):802-13.

"Genetically Modified Tissue Implanted in Brain for Alzheimer's disease", December 10, 2002.'s/04-11-01Gene2Brain.htm

Plomin R, Craig I. 2001. "Genetics, environment and cognitive abilities: review and work in progress towards a genome scan for quantitative trait locus associations using DNA pooling" Br J Psychiatry Suppl. 2001 Apr;40:s41-8.

Plomin R, Craig I. 2001. "Genetics, environment and cognitive abilities: review and work in progress towards a genome scan for quantitative trait locus associations using DNA pooling" Br J Psychiatry Suppl 2001 Apr;40:s41-8.

Ya-Ping Tang, Eiji Shimizu, Gilles R. Dube, Claire Rampon, Geoffrey A. Kerchner, Min Zhuo, Guosang Liu and Joe Z. Tsien. 1999. "Genetic Enhancement of Learning and Memory in Mice" Nature, vol 401: 63-69.

John K. Chapin (Editor), Karen A. Moxon (Editor). 2000. Neural Prostheses for Restoration of Sensory and Motor Function. CRC Press.

John P. Donoghue. 2002. "Connecting cortex to machines: recent advances in brain interfaces" Nature Neuroscience,  November 2002 Volume 5 Supplement pp 1085 - 1088.

Miguel A. L. Nicolelis, Duke University Medical Center and Mandayam A. Srinivasan. 2002. "Human-Machine Interaction: Potential Impact of Nanotechnology in the Design of Neuroprosthetic Devices Aimed at Restoring or Augmenting Human Performance" Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance p. 223-226.

Ray Kurzweil. 2001. "Accelerated Living" PC Magazine. September 4, 2001.

Ray Kurzweil. 2001. "Will my PC be smarter than me?"

John Stuart Mill. 1848. "On the Probable Futurity of the Labouring Classes"  Book 4, Ch. 7.


Chapter 5: Being Happier

Dutch sociologist Ruut Veenhoven's World Database on Happiness website is at, and it includes an extensive bibliography on the social correlates of subjective well-being.

For the inheritability of a happiness set-point a place to start is David Lykken's 1999 Happiness: What Studies on Twins Show Us about Nature, Nurture, and the Happiness Set Point (Golden Books Adult Publishing).

The principle transhumanist thinkpiece on happiness is David Pearce's "The Hedonistic Imperative" available at


Deb, S., Thomas, M. & Bright, C. (2001) Mental disorder in adults with intellectual disability. 1: Prevalence of functional psychiatric illness among a community-based population aged between 16 and 64 years. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities Research, 45(6) 495-505.

Winer, Joel W.  A Pacemaker for the Brain:  Stimulating Hope for People with Epilepsy.  York Neurosurgical Associates, 1999.

Rush, A. John, George, Mark S., Sackeim, Harold A.,  Marangell, Lauren B., Husain, Mustafa, Giller, Cole, Nahas, Ziad, Haines, Stephen, Simpson, Jr., Richard K. and Goodman, Robert.  Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) for Treatment-Resistant Depressions: A Multicenter Study. Biol Psychiatry Vol. 47, No. 4, February 15, 2000:276-286.

Magnetic Stimulation Studied as Alternative to ECT for Depression.  The National Institute of Mental Health, November 9, 1995.; Internet; cited July 10, 2000.

Delahanty J, Ram R, Postrado L, Balis T, Green-Paden L, Dixon L.  Differences in rates of depression in schizophrenia by race.  Schizophrenia Bulletin 2001; 27(1): 29-38.

Dixon L, Lyles A, Smith C, Hoch JS, Fahey M, Postrado L, Lucksted A, Lehman A.  Use and costs of ambulatory care services among Medicare payments to persons with schizophrenia. Psychiatric Services 2001; 52: 786-792.

Dixon L, Green-Paden L, Delahanty J, Lucksted A, Postrado L, Hall J.  Variables associated with disparities in treatment of patients with schizophrenia and co-morbid mood and anxiety disorders.  Psychiatric Services, 2001,52(9): 1216--1222.

Veenhoven, R. 1996a. "Happy Life-Expectancy. A comprehensive measure of quality-of-life in nations", Social Indicators Research, vol 39, p. 1-58.

Ott, Jan. 2000. "Freedom and the Achievement of Happiness."  Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands Paper for the Political Studies Association-UK 50th Annual Conference.  10-13 April , London

Kennon M. Sheldon, Andrew J. Elliot, Youngmee Kim,  and Tim Kasser. "What Is Satisfying About Satisfying Events? Testing 10 Candidate Psychological Needs,"  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 80, No. 2.

Lykken, D. T., M. McGue, A. Tellegen and T. J. Bouchard, Jr. Dec 1992. "Genetic Traits That May Not Run in Families," American Psychologist 47:12:1565-77.

Hamer, D. H. Oct 1996. The Heritability of Happiness. Nature Genetics 14:6:125-26.

Hamer, D. H., and P. Copeland. 1998. Living with Our Genes: Why They Matter More Than You Think. New York: Doubleday.

David Pearce. 2002. The Hedonistic Imperative.

Ad Bergsma. 2000. "Transhumanism and the Wisdom of Old Genes is Neurotechnology as Source of Future Happiness?" Journal of Happiness Studies, 1 (3): 401-417, 2000.

Emmott B. (1999): "Survey: the 20th Century" The Economist, Sept. 11, 1999.

Freedom House. 2002. "Amid Year's Global Threats, Freedom Gains: Study documents dramatic expansion of democracy over thirty years"

Francis Fukuyama. 2002. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Farrar, Strauss, Giroux. Pg.6.


Chapter 6: Biopolitics

Liminality, Anomie and Future Shock

This section starts with a reflection on

Toffler, Alvin. 1970. Future Shock. New York: Bantam Books.

My reflections on the role of liminality and future shock in shaping the bioLuddite response are inlfuenced by two classic anthropology texts

Douglas, Mary. 1966. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Turner, Victor. 1969. The Ritual Process. Chicago: Aldine.

Political Axes

This four-fold schema of political ideology is derived form the empirical work done by William Maddox and Stauart Lilie, reported in their 1984 Beyond Liberal and Conservative: Reassessing the Political Spectrum (CATO Institute). 


J. B. S. Haldane. 1923. "Daedalus or Science and the Future" A paper read to the Heretics, Cambridge, on February 4th, 1923. Transcribed by: Cosma Rohilla Shalizi.

Francis Fukuyama. 2002. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Farrar, Straus, Giroux. p.6.

Toffler, Alvin. 1970. Future Shock. New York: Bantam Books.

Toffler, 1970, ibid

Richard A. Slaughter  "Future Shock Re-assessed"  2002,

U.S. President's Commission For the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research. 1983. Deciding to Forego Life-Sustaining Treatment: A Report on the Ethical, Medical, and Legal Issues in Treatment Decisions. Washington, D.C.


Chapter 7: Cyborg Citizenship

Polygeny and Racism

Rajeev Balasubramanyam makes the important point that the distinctions between polygeny and monogeny were actually irrelevant, since most monogenists, such as Darwin, also believed in the biological inferiority of blacks. They believed this inferiority had evolved after Africans and Europeans diverged from a common human ancestor, rather than having been present at Creation or from animal origins.

Rajeev Balasubramanyam "Living with the Whites" Voice of the Shuttle, May 2002

See also:

Robert Bernasconi (ed.), 'Introduction', in American Theories of Polygenesis. Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 2002: v- xiii.

Nicholas Hudson "From 'Nation' to 'Race': The Origin of Racial Classification in Eighteenth-Century Thought" Eighteenth-Century Studies 29.3 (1996) 247-264

Human-Racism, Personhood Theory and Citizenship

Joseph Fletcher's book Humanhood: Essays in Biomedical Ethics (Prometheus Books, 1979) is one of the most important and seminal pieces on personhood ethics. A more recent and explicitly transhumanist argument for an expanded concept of legal personhood is found in Linda MacDonald Glenn's piece "Biotechnology at the Margins of Personhood: An Evolving Legal Paradigm" available at:

These should then be compared to the naturalistic human-racist language used to ground "human rights" in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Smith, Wesley J. 2002. "The Transhumanists: The next great threat to human dignity," National Review Online, September 20. Argues that transhumanism, animals rights and ersonhood

Brain Death and Personhood

Gervais, Karen G. 1986. Redefining Death. Yale University Press. The classic personhood-based case for a neo-corticalist definition of death.

Extra-uterine gestation and fetal personhood

Tooley, Michael. 1984. Abortion and Infanticide. Oxford University Press.  Classic argument for the non-personhood of the fetus and newborn.

Kuhse, Helga and Peter Singer. 1985. Should the Baby Live - The Problem of Handicapped Infants. Oxford University Press.  Argues that the non-personhood of the newborn should warrant a greater flexibility for parents to make treatment decisions for handicapped newborns.

Bailey, Ron. 2003. "Babies in a Bottle" Reason August 20. A recent review of technical progress toward extra-uterine gestation, and its political repercussions.

Apes and Genetically Enhanced Animals

Cavlier, Paolo and Peter Singer eds. 1993. The Great Ape Project. St. Martins Griffin.

Wise, Steven M. 2002. Drawing The Line: Science And The Case For Animal Rights. Perseus Books.

Keenan, Julian, Dean Falk, and Gordon G. Gallup. 2003. The Face in the Mirror: The Search for the Origins of Consciousness. Harper Collins. Summarizes research on the self-awareness of great apes, humans and other animals.

Posthumans and Machine Minds

McNally, Peter and Sohail Inayatullah. 1988. "The Rights of Robots." Whole Earth Review (Summer): 2-10. Suggests that we will have to redefine our concept of rights to admit the possibility of robotic personhood.

Solum, Lawrence B.  1992. "Legal Personhood for Artificial Intelligences" 70 North Carolina Law Review. 1231. Considers whether made things are always property, and relates AI's potential personhood to bioethics.


Leon Kass, "The Wisdom of Repugnance" New Republic, June 2, 1997
Arthur Allen. "Back to Nature: The bioethics czar's new right-hand man is passionately opposed to abortion, public schools, federal taxes and Democrats", Salon, November 30, 2001.

Douglas, Mary. Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. London and Henley: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966.

Turner, Victor. 1969. The Ritual Process. New York: Aldine De Gruyter: 95.

John Locke. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding: Book 2: Chapter 27  "Of Identity and Diversity".

John Stuart Mill. On Liberty. 1859.

Francis Fukuyama. 2002. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

George Annas, Lori Andrews and Rosario M. Isasi. 2002. "Protecting the Endangered Human: Toward an International Treaty Prohibiting Cloning and Inheritable Alterations" American Journal of Law and Medicine 28(2002): 151-178.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Peter Singer. 1975, Animal Liberation. Avon Books.

Joseph Fletcher. Humanhood: Essays in Biomedical Ethics. Buffalo, New York: Prometheus Books, 1979.

Michael Tooley. Abortion and Infanticide. Oxford: Claredon, 1983.

Leon Kass "The Meaning of Life - in the Laboratory" The Public Interest, Winter 2002. (First published 1978)

Roe v. Wade

462 U.S. 416, 458 (1983) (O'Connor, J., dissenting).

Brink, Susan. 1998. "The Smallest Preemie." U.S. News and World Report. March 30.

Unno, Nobuya. 2000.  "Development of an Artificial Placenta." Next Sex: Ars Electronica 2000  Ed. Gerfried Stocker and Christine Schoepf . Wien: Springer Verlag,: 252-3.

Powledge, Tabitha M. 1999. "The Ultimate Baby Bottle" Scientific American 10(3).

Robin McKie "Men redundant? Now we don't need women either: Scientists have developed an artificial womb that allows embryos to grow outside the body" The Observer , Sunday February 10, 2002

The President's Council on Bioethics. Human Cloning and Human Dignity: An Ethical Inquiry. Washington, D.C.  July 2002.

Weiss, Rick. "Gene Alteration Boosts Pig-Human Transplant Feasibility" Washington Post, January 3, 2002; Page E05

Veatch, Robert M. 1992. "Brain death and slippery slopes." Journal of Clinical Ethics 3:181-7.

Beecher, Henry K.  1968.  "A definition of irreversible coma: report of the Harvard Medical School Comm to examine the definition of brain death." Journal of the American Medical Association 205:85-88.

Veatch, Robert M. 1975.  "The whole-brain-oriented concept of death: An outmoded philosophical foundation." Journal of Thanatology 3:13-30.

Green, Michael, and Daniel Wikler.  1980.  "Brain death and personal identity." Philosophy and Public Affairs 9:105-133.

Youngner, Stuart, and Edward Bartlett.  1983.  "Human death and high technology: the failure of whole-brain formulations." Annals of Internal Medicine 99:252-58.

Gervais, Karen G.  1986.  Redefining Death.  New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Cranford, Ronald E, and David Randolph Smith.  1987.  "Consciousness: The Most Critical Moral (Constitutional) Standard for Human Personhood." American Journal of Law and Medicine 13:233-248.

Brody, Baruch. 1988. "Ethical Questions Raised by the Persistent Vegetative State." Hastings Center Report :33-40.

Arnold, Robert M. and Stuart J. Youngner.  1993 "The dead donor rule: Should we stretch it, bend it, or abandon it? " Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, 3: 273-78.

Emanuel, Linda.  1995.  "Reexamining death: the asymptomatic model and a bounded zone definition" Hastings Center Report.  25(4): 27-35. 

Halevy, Amir and Baruch Brody.  1993.  "Brain death: Reconciling definitions, criteria and tests" Annals of Internal Medicine.  119: 519-25.

Emanuel, Linda.  1995.  "Reexamining death: the asymptomatic model and a bounded zone definition" Hastings Center Report.  25(4): 27-35.

Alan Shewmon.  1998.  "'Chronic 'brain death': meta-analysis and conceptual consequences." American Journal of Neurology 51:1538-41.

Alan Shewmon. 1998.  "'Brainstem death,' 'brain death' and death: a critical re-evaluation of the purported equivalence." Issues in Law & Medicine, Fall 14(2):125-129

Yandava, Booma D., Lori L. Billinghurst, and Evan Y.  Snyder. 1999.  "Global" cell replacement is feasible via neural stem cell transplantation: evidence from the dysmyelinated shiverer mouse brain.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  96(12):7029-34. 

Snyder, Evan Y.  et al.  1997.  "Multipotent neural precursors can differentiate toward replacement of neurons undergoing targeted apoptotic degeneration in adult mouse neocortex." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.  94:11663-8. 

Boulis, Nicholas M. , Vikas Bhatia, Theodore I. Brindle, Harland T. Holman, Daniel J.  Krauss, Mila Blaivas and Julian T. Hoff.  1999. "Adenoviral nerve growth factor and beta-galactosidase transfer to spinal cord: a behavioral and histological analysis."  Journal of Neurosurgery.  90(1 Suppl):99-108.

Rauschecker, J.P. and R.V. Shannon. 2002. "Sending sound to the brain" Science, v295, n5557(Feb 8):1025-1029.

Stephen Kotler. 2002. "Vision Quest" Wired, Sept 2002.

Kennedy, Philip R. and Roy Bakay.  1998.  "Restoration of neural output from a paralyzed patient by a direct brain connection." Neuroreport 9(8):1707-11.

Kennedy, Philip R., Roy A. Bakay et al. 2000. "Direct control of a computer from the human central nervous system" IEEE Trans Rehabil Eng. Jun 8(2):198-202.

Krieger, Dianne. 1999. "Neurochips ahoy! Roberta Brinton cooks up a batch of replacement brain parts" Networker@USC, 9(3).

Nicolelis, Miguel A. L. and Mandayam A. Srinivasan. 2002. "Human-Machine Interaction: Potential Impact of Nanotechnology in the Design of Neuroprosthetic Devices Aimed at Restoring or Augmenting Human Performance" in Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Science and Cognitive Science. Edited by Mihail C. Roco and William Sims Bainbridge. World Technology Evaluation Center: Arlington Virginia.

World Transhumanist Association. The Transhumanist Declaration.

Stanley Shostak. Becoming Immortal: Combining Cloning and Stem-Cell Therapy. SUNY Press. 2002.

Regarding the effect of castration on longevity, fortunately this team has now discovered that they can achieve the same effect by knocking out a key gene without making the worms sterile. Humans appear to have the same gene, so we may also be able to double our lifespans without castration or hysterectomy. See:

Nuno Arantes-Oliveira, Javier Apfeld, Andrew Dillin, and Cynthia Kenyon. "Regulation of Life-Span by Germ-Line Stem Cells in Caenorhabditis elegans"  Science 2002 January 18; 295: 502-505.

Clynes, Manfred and Nathan S. Kline. 1960. "Cyborgs and Space" Astronautics, September issue, Pp. 26-27, 74-75.

Gray, Chris Hables. 1995. The Cyborg Handbook. New York: Routledge: 47.

Toffler ibid p.209

Kurzweil, Ray. The Age of Spiritual Machines.

World Transhumanist Association, Transhumanist FAQ

Annas, George, Lori Andrews and Rosario M. Isasi. 2002. "Protecting the Endangered Human: Toward an International Treaty Prohibiting Cloning and Inheritable Alterations" American Journal of Law and Medicine 28(2002): 153.


Chapter 8: Defenders of Natural Law

Religious Right BioLuddites

The Center for Bioethics and Culture and The Council for Biotechnology Policy (San Francisco, California and St. Louis, Missouri, USA) led by Nigel Cameron.

The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (Chicago, USA) led by conservative Christian bioethicist John Kilner, chair of ethics at Trinity International University to which many religious Right bioethicists have ties.

The Biotechnology & American Democracy Program of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (Washington D.C.) led by Eric Cohen, editor of The New Atlantis

Some of the classic theological denunciations of the project of germinal choice and human enhancement include:

Lewis, C.S. 1943. The Abolition of Man. Macmillan. Includes a warning about genetic engineering.

Ramsey, Paul. 1975. Fabricated Man: The Ethics of Genetic Control. Yale University Press. Methodist theologian Ramsey was one of the foundational writers in bioethics and a Christian opponent of germinal choice.

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. 1987. "Respect for Life: Instruction on respect for human life in its origin and on the dignity of procreation" issued February 22, 1987. Vatican statement which condemns all genetic manipulation of the embryo since it likely involved invitro fertilization, doesn't respect the embryo and might lead to transgenic creatures.

Pontifical Academy for Life. 1997. "Reflections on Human Cloning." A Vatican statement on cloning.

Council for Biotechnology Policy. 2002. "The Sanctity of Life in a Brave New World: A Manifesto on Biotechnology and Human Dignity."  A manifesto, signed by many leaders of the U.S. Christian Right, stating that humans have dignity (souls) from conception to death, and that there should be an international treaty to forbid cloning and inheritable genetic modification to protect that dignity.


Secular Conservative bioLuddites

President's Council on Bioethics  (Washington D.C., USA) chaired by Leon Kass, the many background documents and testimonies archived at the site are a comprehensive primer on the religious and secular opposition to human enhancement technology, which has been the PCB's principal focus under Kass.

Fukuyama, Francis. 2002. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Farrar, Strauss, Giroux.

Kass, Leon. 1997. "The Wisdom of Repugnance" The New Republic. June 2.  Kass' classic statement of his "yuck factor" philosophy.

___. 2002. Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics. Encounter Books. Kass' most recent statement of the need to stop life extension and human enhancement in order to protect human "dignity" from human liberty

___. 2003. "Ageless Bodies, Happy Souls: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Perfection" The New Atlantis. Spring.  A critique of life extension.


Deep Ecological bioLuddites

Foundation on Economic Trends (Washington D.C., USA) led by Jeremy Rifkin, and dedicated to the promotion of Jeremy Rifkin and his numerous projects to stop genetic research and technology. Founded 1977.

International Center for Technology Assessment, (Washington D.C., USA) led by Andrew Kimbrell, former Policy Director for Jeremy Rifkin at FOET, and author of The Human Body Shop. Dedicated to a broad anti-technology agenda. Founded 1994.

Foundation for Deep Ecology (Sausalito, California, USA), founded and funded by millionaire turned eco-anarchist, Douglas Tompkins.

Turning Point Project, directed by neoLuddite theorist Jerry Mander, program director of the Foundation for Deep Ecology.  The Turning Point Project was founded to launch a nationwide campaign in 1999, involving more than 100 environmental and progressive organizations, attacking "technoutopianism" species extinction, genetic engineering, economic globalization, industrial agriculture and nanotechnology.



Some of the key deep ecological bioLuddite texts are:

Devall, Bill and George Sessions. 1984. Deep Ecology: Living as If Nature Mattered. Peregrine Smith Books.  The classic statement of deep ecology philosophy.

Sale, Kirkpatrick. 1995. Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution: Lessons for the Computer Age. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley.  A good history on the original Luddite movement, and statement of core beliefs of the modern Luddites.

Kaczynski, Ted. 1996. The Unabomber Manifesto.  Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber on his terrorist bombing spree, specifically addresses the alleged threat to freedom from human genetic engineering, and insists that the only way to stop it is to destroy industrial civilization including modern medicine.

Kimbrell, Andrew. 1998. The Human Body Shop: The Cloning, Engineering, and Marketing of Life. Regnery Publishing, Inc. Kimbrell's most recent statement on the threats from biomedical capitalism.

Joy, Bill. 2000. "Why the future doesn't need us," Wired, April.
Joy's defection from being a leader of the cybernetic revolution to the being a prominent advocate of the "renunciation" of genetic, nano and cybernetic technologies was a bracing wake-up siren for complacent technoutopians. Although he is not a deep ecologist, his article is a classic argument for technology bans on the basis of potential apocalyptic risks.  

McKibben, Bill. 2003. Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age.  His title ably sums up the argument of the book - he's satisfied, and doesn't see any point in making things better with technology, especially if it means becoming posthuman, which he thinks is risky.


Chapter 9: Left-Wing BioLuddites

Society for Genetics and Society (Oakland, California, USA) led by long-time left activist Marcy Darnovsky and the former assistant political director for the Sierra Club Richard Hayes. Dedicated to stopping "techno-eugenics" and banning cloning and inheritable genetic modification.

Council for Responsible Genetics (Boston, USA), once more narrowly focused on genetic patents and public safety issues, but now led by Rifkinite Board which has signed on to a broader anti-biomedical agenda including stem cells and therapeutic cloning. Founded 1983.

ETC Group, The Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Corporate Concentration (Winnipeg, Canada) formerly RAFI, is an international organization headquartered in Canada, working on developing world development from an anti-corporate perspective. Recently they have focused attention on the threats posed by human genetic engineering and nanotechnology.

Foundation on Economic Trends (Washington D.C., USA) is Jeremy Rifkin's thinktank base, and the incubator and training facility for a dozen Luddite entrepeneurs around Washington D.C.


Left-Right Synthesis BioLuddites

Institute on Biotechnology and a Human Future   Most disturbing of all is this new Chicago-based thinktank, headed up by former left-libetarian bioethicist Lori Andrews and Christian Right bioethicist Nigel Cameron. They have recruited leading Christian Right bioLuddites such as Christopher Hook, William Hurlbut, C. Ben Mitchell, Paige Cunningham and Kevin Fitzgerald; leading deep ecologist bioLuddites Andrew Kimbrell, Brent Blackwelder and Stuart Newman; and leading left-liberal bioLuddites George Annas and Judy Norsigian.



Some key left-wing bioLuddite texts are:

Rifkin, Jeremy. 1983. Algeny. Penguin. The book that defined Rifkin's bioLuddism.

____. 1998. The Biotech Century: Harnessing the Gene and Remaking the World. J.P. Archer.  Rifkin's most recent book on the threats from biotech.

Rothman, Barbara Katz. 1988. Recreating Motherhood: Ideology and Technology in Patriarchal Society. Norton.  Argues that reproductive technology combines the evils of capitalism, patriarchy and technology.

Council for Responsible Genetics, "Position Paper on Human Germline Manipulation," 1992(2000).

Hubbard, Ruth and Elijah Wald. 1997. Exploding the Gene Myth. Boston: Beacon Press.  Argues that genetics won't accomplish as much as people expect, and that the focus on genetic therapy distracts from needed social problems.

WorldWatch Magazine. Special Issue: Beyond Cloning. July 2002. A dozen essays attacking human enhancement from a left point of view.

Winner, Langdon. 2003. "Are Humans Obsolete?"  An extended critique of the mysanthropy and elitism of the libertarian transhumanists, and a call for a more left-wing technopolitics, open to technological progress but sensitive to social reform and inequality.

ETC Group. 2003. The Strategy for Converging Technologies: The Little BANG Theory.  March/April. Argues that innovation on human enhancement should be stopped until the world is made more equal.



Chapter 10: Upwingers, Extropians and Transhumanists

Renaissance and Enlightenment Transhumanism

Mirandola, Giovanni Pico della. 1486. "Oration on the Dignity of Man."

Bacon, Francis. 1620. Novum Organum.


Early Twentieth Century Transhumanism

Wells, H.G. 1898. The Time Machine. A classic dystopian reflection on how class inequality might lead to subspeciation of the human race.

Haldane, J. B. S. 1924. Daedalus or Science and the Future. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1924. The classic essay by one of the founders of modern genetics on the future use of extra-uterine gestation and other technologies, which inspired Huxley's Brave New World.

Bernal, J. D. 1929. The World, the Flesh & the Devil: An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul. Speculates about space colonization, bionic implants and mental improvements.

Stapledon, Olaf. 1930. First and Last Men.  A boring book which projects many future posthuman possibilities.

Huxley, Aldous. 1932. Brave New World. San Bernadino: The Borgo Press, 1989. The classic anti-transhumanist critique of the dehumanizing and authoritarian possibilities of transhuman technologies, such as mood drugs and extra-uterine gestation.


Post World War Two Transhumanism

Ettinger, Robert. 1972. Man into Superman. St. Martin's. Ettinger vision of transhumanity.

Sterling, Bruce. 1985. Schismatrix. Arbor House. A novel that imagines transhumanism as a political philosophy uniting a diverse posthumanity.

FM-2030. 1989. Are You a Transhuman? Warner Books.

Regis, Ed. 1990. Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition. Perseus. An upbeat gonzo journalistic account of some of the pre-extropian transhumanists.

Alexander, Brian. 2003. Rapture: How Biotech Became the New Religion. Basic. Focuses on the parallel growth of the transhumanist subculture, and the gradual realization of biotech pioneers that the biotech revolution might make radical life extension possible. Ends before the emergence of the WTA.


Human Evolution, Reproductive Technology
and Germinal Choice

Fletcher, Joseph. 1974. The Ethics of Genetic Control. New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1974, pp. 147-87.   Fletcher made some of the first arguments for genetic choice, although he included a very problematic side argument for the creation of subhuman servants.

Glover, Jonathan. 1984. What Sort of People Should There Be?: Genetic Engineering, Brain Control and their impact on our future world. Penguin.  A defense of human genetic engineering that makes the distinction between therapy and enhancement, but accepts that enhancement could be ethical.

Robertson, John. 1994. Children of Choice: Freedom and the New Reproductive Technologies. Princeton University Press.  One of the most important statements of the case for procreative liberty, stopping short of germinal choice.

Hughes, James J. 1996. "Embracing Change with All Four Arms: A Post-Humanist Defense of Genetic Engineering"  Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics June, 6(4).

Silver, Lee. 1998. Remaking Eden. Avon.

Pence, Greg. 1998. Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? Rowman and Littlefield.

Savulescu, Julian. 2001. "Procreative Beneficence: Why We Should Select the best Children" Bioethics, 15(5/6). Argues that parents have an affirmative obligation to select the child, among the possible children they could have, who will have the best life. Includes a defense of selecting non-disease genes.

Stock, Gregory. 2002. Redesigning Humans: Choosing our Genes, Changing our Future. Mariner Books. The latest and most popular defense of germinal choice.


Extropians and Libertarian Transhumanism

Extropy Institute  The main network for libertarian transhumanists, although its leaders insist that it is no longer libertarian.

Against Politics  An extropian and anarchocapitalist website

Friedman, David. 1989. The Machinery of Freedom: A Guide to Radical Capitalism. An argument for replacing governments with "privately produced law," recommended by the Extropy Institute.

More, Max. 1990. "Deep Anarchy: An Eliminativist View of the State" Extropy #5/Winter.

____. 2000. "The Extropian Principles, Version 3.0: A Transhumanist Declaration."

Hanson, Robin. 1994. "What if Uploads Come First: The Crack of a Future Dawn." Extropy, 6(2).

____. 1998. "Is a singularity just around the corner? What it takes to get explosive economic growth," Journal of Evolution and Technology 2.

Postrel, Virginia. 1998. The Future and Its Enemies: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity Enterprise and Progress. The Free Press.

Burch, Greg. 2001. "Progress, Counter-Progress, and Counter-Counter-Progress" presented at Extro 5, June 16.

Fumento, Michael. 2003. BioEvolution: How Biotechnology Is Changing Our World. Encounter. The transhumanist case from a fellow of the libertarian Hudson Institute.

Bailey, Ron. 2004. Liberation Biology: An Ethical and Scientific Defense of the Biotech Revolution. Prometheus.


The Grey Future: Robotics, AI, Singularity and Uploading

Clynes, Manfred and Nathan S. Kline. 1960. "Cyborgs and Space" Astronautics, September issue, Pp. 26-27, 74-75. The seminal essay for NASA on building a human being integrated with technology that regulates their body and emotions.

Greg Bear. 1983. Blood Music. Arbor House. The book that anticipated the idea of "gray goo" and nano-AI transcension years before Drexler published The Engines of Creation.

Vinge, Vernor. 1993. "Technological singularity," Whole Earth Review 81, Winter: 89-95. The essay that launched the term and concept "Singularity."

Bostrom, Nick. "How Long Before Superintelligence?" International Journal of Futures Studies. Vol. 2. (1998).

Kurzweil, Ray. 1999. The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. Viking.

Moravec, Hans. 2000. Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind. Oxford University Press.

Brooks, Rodney. 2002. Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us. Pantheon.


Global Brain

Global Brain FAQ  A very useful summary of global brian theories.

Stock, Gregory. 1993. Metaman. Simon and Schuster.

Russell, Peter. 1995. The Global Brain Awakens: Our Next Evolutionary Leap. Global Brain, Inc.

Bloom, Howard. 2001. Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century. John Wiley.


Contemporary Transhumanism

World Transhumanist Association  The world's leading transhumanist organization.

BetterHumans  The leading portal for transhumanist news and views.

Transhumanist Student Network  The network of campus-based WTA acivists.

Bostrom, Nick, et al. 1998-2002. The Transhumanist Declaration.

____ et al. 1998-2003. The Transhumanist FAQ 1.0.

____ et al. 2003. The Transhumanist FAQ 2.0.

____. 2001. "Transhumanist Values."

Dewdney, Christopher. 1998. Last Flesh: Life in the Transhuman Era. Harpercollins.  Dewdney is a transhumanist Canadian poet.

Broderick, Damien. 2002. The Spike: How Our Lives Are Being Transformed By Rapidly Advancing Technologies. St. Martin's Press. Broderick is an Australian science fiction author and transhumanist.

Naam, Ramez. 2004. More Than Human: How Biotechnology Is Transforming Us and Why We Should Embrace It. Random House.



Chapter 11: Democratic Transhumanism

Critiques of Libertarian TechnoUtopianism and Elitism

Dery, Mark. 1996. Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century. Grove Press.

Jacoby, Russell. 1999. The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in an Age of Apathy. New York: Basic Books. An excellent defense of left utopianism, and criticism of minimalist libertarian utopias.

Borsook, Paulina. 2000. CyberSelfish: A Critical Romp Through the Terribly Libertarian Culture of High-Tech. Public Affairs.

Goertzel, Ben. 2000. "The Extropian Creed: Can High Technology and Libertarian Politics Lead us to a Transhuman Golden Age?" Frankfurter Allgemaine Zeitung, September.

____. 2003. The Path to Posthumanity. Goetzel, a serious AI researcher who is deeply involved in the AI/Singularity subculture, takes a friendly swipe at Extropian misanthropy in this excellent on-line book in "Chapter 15: Extropian Elitism and Humanist Posthumanism."


TechnoFeminism and Harawayan Cyborgology

The three most important feminist utopian novels all use reproductive technology: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1915 Herland depicts a woman-only society that reproduces with parthenogensesis.  Joanna Russ' 1975 The Female Man depicts a woman-only society in which women reproduce with parthenogenesis.   Marge Piercy's 1976 Woman on the Edge of Time depicts a utopian society which uses artificial wombs and a dystopian society in which gender differences have been genetically enhanced so that women have been virtually enslaved.

Firestone, Shulamith. 1970. The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. William Morrow. Argues that women will never be free of patriarchy until artifical wombs free them from having to carry babies.

After Haraway's Manifesto, which can be found in a dozen places on the Web, the next most important review of early cyborgology is Chris Hables Gray's edited 1995 volume The Cyborg Handbook (Routledge) a collection of dozens of essays on cyborgs and Harawayan social criticism.  Haraway's 1997 Modest_Witness@ Second_Millenium.FemaleMan_Meets_Oncomouse (Routledge) is distinctly more ambivalent about technology as a vehicle for human liberation. 

Haraway, Donna. 1984. "The Ironic Dream of a Common Language for Women in the Integrated Circuit: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s or A Socialist Feminist Manifesto for Cyborgs" Socialist Review 80:66-80. The somewhat opaque essay which launched the field of cyborgological culture studies. It argues that feminists should reject a dualistic view that associates men with culture and technology and women with nature, and instead embrace the cyborg as a liberating transgressive icon for women who would integrate the power of technology into themselves.

Gray, Chris Hables. 1995. The Cyborg Handbook, Routledge, London, NY. A collection of essays on cyborgs, from Kline and Clynes through the cyborgologist culture critics.

____. 2001. Cyborg Citizen: Politics in the Posthuman Age. Routledge. A thorough, though rambling, reflection on the relationship between technology and politics in the coming transhuman age.


Progressive Defenses of Germinal Choice and Reproductive Technology

Farquhar, Dion. 1996. The Other Machine: Discourse and Reproductive Technologies. Routledge. A feminist defense of reproductive technology.

Wicker, Randolph. 2000. "The Queer Politics of Human Cloning." Gay Today, March 20.  Randy Wicker is a veteran gay rights activist and founder of the Clone Rights United Front. He argues that gay rights and the right to use reproductive and genetic technology are intrinsically linked.


Advocates of Universal Access to Enhancement Technologies

Resnick, David. 1997. "Genetic engineering and social justice: a Rawlsian approach" Social Theory and Practice, Fall 1997 v23 n3 p427(22). Argues that genetic engineering can and should be used to promote social equality.

Dworkin, Ronald. 2000. Sovereign Virtues. Harvard University Press. Dworkin argues that the best way to develop the fullest liberty of citizens, which is the obligation of society, is to provide a general equality in the resources necessary for equal opportunity, including universal access to genetic enhancement.

Buchanan, Allen, Dan W. Brock, Norman Daniels, Daniel Wikler. 2000. From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice. Cambridge University Press. Four leading bioethicists' thorough critique of bioluddite arguments against genetic enhancement, and argument for social democratic policies to ensure universal access to genetic enhancements.

Singer, Peter. 2002. "Shoipping at the Genetic Supermarket."  Argues that "the state should be directly involved in promoting genetic enhancement."


Transhumanist Disability Advocates

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation  A powerful lobby for research into stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine.

Hockenberry, John. 2001. "The Next Brainiacs" Wired, Aug. Hockenberry is a paraplegic and journalist, and he argues that the disabled are cyborg pioneers.

Pottinger, Alan. 2002. Ascender Alliance Manifesto v. 2.  A manifesto for disabled transhumanists.


TechnoGaianism and Existential Threats

Amongst the substantial literature on the various existential risks to humanity there are a number of notable writings. A recent, short and very readable review of the variety of human and natural existential threats is Martin Rees' Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future In This Century--On Earth and Beyond (2003, Basic Books).  Rees appeals for us to take threats seriously in order to protect our posthuman future, not prevent it. Similarly, transhumanist writer Nick Bostrom extends the concept of existential risk in his 2001 essay "Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards" (available at to include "whimpers" such a super-totalitarian Borgification of the human race which closed off all possibility of a diverse and expanding posthumanity. 

Anderson, Walter Truett.  1987. To Govern Evolution: Further Adventures of the Political Animal. Harcourt Brace. Anderson argues that we have no choice but to learn to democratically govern evolution, both of the planet and of the human race.

Burch, Greg. "Extropian Environmentalism." The extropian/libertarian approach to "wise use" environmentalism.

Garrett, Laurie. 1995. The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. Penguin.

_____. 2000. Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health. Hyperion.

Freitas, Robert. 2000. "Some Limits to Global Ecophagy by Biovorous Nanoreplicators, with Public Policy Recommendations." How to prevent "gray goo."

Marc Gubrud, 2001. "Nanotechnology and International Security."

Bostrom, Nick. 2002. "Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios."
Journal of Evolution and Technology. 9.

Mulhall, Douglas. 2002. Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Robotics, Genetics and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World. Prometheus Books. A thorough statement of "nanoecology" and look at the ways molecular technology will help us prepare for and prevent natural and human-made disasters.

Rees, Martin. 2003. Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future In This Century--On Earth and Beyond.  Basic Books.  Rees lays out the various threats to the future of humankind, including human technologies, ecological destruction, and cosmological catastrophes.

Arnall, Alexander.. 2003. Future Technologies, Today's Choices: Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.  Greenpeace.


Left Anarchist Transhumanism

AnarchoTranshumanism   A nascent ideological flavor, that at least has its own website.

Godwin, William. "Enquiry Concerning Political Justice" Godwin's utopian essay not called for the abolition of property and the state, but also projected a fully technologically developed society that had conquered illness and death.



Chapter 12: Transhuman Democracy

Regulating Germinal Choices

Nick Bostrom. 2002. "Human Genetic Enhancements: A Transhumanist Perspective"


Patents on Human Genes

Fishman, Rachel. 1989. "Patenting Human Beings: Do Sub-Human Creatures Deserve Constitutional Protection?" American Journal of Law and Medicine XV (4): 461-482.

Walker, R. 1991. "Patent Law - Should Genetically Engineered Human Beings Be Patentable?" Memphis State University L. Rev. 101 at 111.

Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee. 2002. Patenting of Higher Life Forms and Related Issues. Report to the Government of Canada.


Universal Voucher-based Health Insurance

Bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel gives the idea of a universal voucher system, with competing, radically different health plans, a very useful defense in his 1992 The Ends of Human Life: Medical Ethics in a Liberal Polity. Harvard University Press.



Chapter 13: Defending the Future


Regulating and Engineering for More Cooperation

Walker, Mark. 2003. "Genetic Virtue." An argument for a conscious social policy to genetically enhance the moral virtues.


Group Selectionism

For more on group selectionist explanations of altruism and other social phenomena, see:

Sober, Elliott and David Wilson. 1999. Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior. Harvard University Press.

Field, Alexander. 2001 Altruistically Inclined? The Behavioral Sciences, Evolutionary Theory, and the Origins of Reciprocity. University of Michigan Press.

Bloom, Howard. 1995. The Lucifer Principle: An Exploration into the Forces of History. Atlantic Monthly Press.



Chapter 14: A Sexy, High-Tech Vision of a Radically Democratic Future


Building the Transhumanist Movement

Join the World Transhumanist Association at


Building the Next Left

Get involved with your local radical democratic movement or party

Socialist International  The existing social democratic and labour parties.

Green Parties Worldwide

Progressive Caucus of the US Democratic Party

My favorite text projecting a radical democratic and transhumanist future:

Wagar, Warren. 1992. A Short History of the Future. University of Chicago Press. A very readable vision of the building of a global democratic order that makes human enhancement technology universally available.


Fighting Body-Based Oppressions and Discrimination

National Organization of Women  The leading feminist organization in the United States.

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission   The leading international lobby for transgender, as well as gay and lesbian, rights.

National Transgender Advocacy Coalition  The leading US lobby for transgender rights.

Disabled Peoples International   A radical, global disability rights organization

Anti-Racist Action Network  A global network of anti-fascist activists.


Extending Rights to
Intelligent Non-Humans

Great Ape Project  The global campaign to extend human-level legal protections to the great apes.

Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights Steven Wise's foundation working to promote his defense of legal personhood for animals with selfhood.

International Institute for Animal Law  International network of lawyers and judges working to represent the interests of animals in the legal and legislative arena


Expanding Rights to Control Our Body

National Abortion Rights Action League A leading lobby for reproductive rights in the United States.

International Planned Parenthood Foundation  A leading global NGO working for reproductive rights in the developing world.

American Infertility Association  A lobby for consumers of infertility medicine.


Expanding Rights to Control Our Mind

Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics  A nonprofit education, law and policy center working in the public interest to foster freedom of thought and our right to control our own brains. Their issues include the right to use drugs and other brain technologies, and the right to brain privacy from  technologies such as "brain fingerprinting."

Drug Policy Alliance  The leading drug policy reform organization in the United States.


Democratizing Technological Innovation

Federation of American Scientists  A liberal science lobby.

Union of Concerned Scientists   A more ecological and left-wing science lobby. Produced the "Scientific Integrity in Policymaking" report critical of the Bush administration.

Genetic Alliance  An international coalition of individuals, professionals, and genetic support organizations working on genetic-based diseases, research, insurance, Medicaid, genetic support groups, and disability resources. Opposed to genetic discrimination.

Alliance for Aging Research  Leading coalition working to support therapeutic cloning and stem cell research in the US.

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility


Extending Access to Health Care Technology

Two leaders of the movement for a universal health care system in the United States are:

Physicians for a National Health Program

Universal Health Care Action Network

Program for Appropriate Technology in Health  PATH works with NGOs and governments in the developing to make health care technology more accessible.


Guaranteeing a Basic Income

The two places to start research on BIG are:

Basic Income European Network    The coalition of European groups working to institute basic income guarantees.

US Basic Income Guarantee   The network building support for a BIG in the US.

Thousands of texts arguing for a BIG going all the back to Tom Paine's Agrarian Justice, are available here:
but some of my favorites are:

Gorz, Andre. 1985. Paths to Paradise: On the Liberation From Work. Pluto Press.

____.  2000. Reclaiming Work: Beyond the Wage-Based Society. Blackwell.

Hughes, James J. 2004. "Embrace the End of Work" Betterhumans, February 20.


Creating Global Solutions

Annas, George. 2000. "The Man on the Moon, Immortality and Other Millenial Myths: The Prospects and Perils of Human Genetic Engineering" Emory Law Journal, 49(3).  Annas says that not all species-altering technologies need necessarily be made crimes against humanity. But he insists that none should be permitted until their consequences can be considered thoroughly by a representative international democratic body, and voted on.  Since we don't have such a body yet, Annas is willing to accept the United Nations in its place. Nonetheless he says that, in his view, all these species altering technologies should be banned.

Citizens for Global Solutions  The new merger of the two oldest US federalist groups, the World Federalist Association and the UN Association.

World Federalist Movement   The global federation of federalist groups.

World Social Forum   The leading coalition of grassroots groups working to build democratic alternatives to neoliberal globalization.



RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

East Coast Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @     phone: 860-297-2376

West Coast Contact: Managing Director, Hank Pellissier
425 Moraga Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
Email: hank @