Journal of Evolution and Technology
Vision > Philosophy
Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve” Jesse I. Bailey

I argue that Heidegger’s account of technology as “enframing” is a helpful lens through which to understand the possible effects and dangers of transhumanism. Without resorting to nebulous concepts such as “dignity,” Heidegger’s analysis can help us understand how new technologies employed to modify the body, brain, and consciousness will enframe our own bodies and identities as something akin to “standing reserve.” Under transhumanism, the body is enframed as an external, technologically modifiable product. I indicate some of t...
Vision > CyborgBuddha > Philosophy
Moral Enhancement and Political Realism Marcelo de Araujo

The possibility of morally enhancing the behavior of individuals by means of drugs and genetic engineering has been the object of intense philosophical discussion over the last few years. However, although moral enhancement may turn out to be useful to promote cooperation in some areas of human interaction, it will not promote cooperation in the domain of international relations in those areas that are critical to state security. Unlike some moral enhancement theorists, I argue that, because of the structure of the system of states, moral enhan...
Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life Michele Rapoport

Intelligent systems and devices are at the forefront of technological innovation and hold particular appeal for the creative imagination. Their appearance in the arts, fiction, and film allow one to glean insights into apprehensions regarding the contemporary human condition and concerns for its future. This study examines the loss of life and the absencing of the other as embodied in intelligent devices, as they are presented in three current, popular films. In these films, human fallibility and mortality provide the raison d’être for the c...
Vision > Bioculture > Fellows > Russell Blackford > Sociology > Philosophy > Futurism > Technoprogressivism
Book review: Zoltan Istvan’s The Transhumanist Wager Russell Blackford

The Transhumanist Wager may inspire some useful debates among transhumanists and others concerned with future of humanity, but I can’t wish it any influence on their thinking. I certainly hope it won’t be taken by outsiders as an accurate picture of transhumanism as a philosophy or a social movement.
Vision > Futurism
Book review: Ted Chu’s Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential Michael E. Zimmerman

Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential may be the most important book in favor of transhumanism since Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near (2005).
Vision > Bioculture > Affiliate Scholar > Seth Baum > Philosophy > Artificial Intelligence
Film Review: Transcendence Seth Baum

Is it possible to create an artificial mind? Can a human or other biological mind be uploaded into computer hardware? Should these sorts of artificial intelligences be created, and under what circumstances? Would the AIs make the world better off? These and other deep but timely questions are raised by the recent film Transcendence (dir. Wally Pfister, 2014).
Vision > CyborgBuddha > Philosophy
If You See a Cyborg in the Road, Kill the Buddha: Against Transcendental Transhumanism Woody Evans

A stream in transhumanism argues that the aims of Buddhism and transhumanists are akin. It is the case that transhumanism contains religious tropes, and its parallels to Christianity are readily apparent. It does not share much, however, with Buddhism’s Zen tradition. Zen tends to focus its practitioners on becoming fully present and human, not on becoming transcendent, super-powered, or posthuman. This paper explores some of the tensions between transhumanism and Buddhism through the lens of Zen, and suggests that transhumanist Buddhists sho...
Vision > Philosophy > Psychology > Futurism
The Pleasure Principle as a Tool for Scientific Forecasting of Human Self-Evolution Victor Y. Argonov

The pleasure principle (PP) may be a verifiable fundamental law of the living matter in the universe, and this law might then be used for forecasting human self-evolution. I do not pretend to “prove” PP, but argue that it must be regarded as a scientific hypothesis. Accordingly, I formulate verifiable and falsifiable postulates of PP. Their confirmation would allow the construction of a new scientific discipline, hedodynamics, that would be able to forecast the future development of human civilization and even the probable structure and psy...
Vision > Sociology > Philosophy > Technoprogressivism
Transhumanism and Marxism: Philosophical Connections James Steinhoff

There exists a real dearth of literature available to Anglophones dealing with philosophical connections between transhumanism and Marxism. This is surprising, given the existence of works on just this relation in the other major European languages and the fact that 47 per cent of people surveyed in the 2007 Interests and Beliefs Survey of the Members of the World Transhumanist Association identified as “left,” though not strictly Marxist (Hughes 2008). Rather than seeking to explain this dearth here, I aim to contribute to its being filled...
Rights > Economic > Vision > Affiliate Scholar > John Danaher > Sociology > Technoprogressivism
Sex Work, Technological Unemployment and the Basic Income Guarantee John Danaher

Is sex work (specifically, prostitution) vulnerable to technological unemployment? Several authors have argued that it is. They claim that the advent of sophisticated sexual robots will lead to the displacement of human prostitutes, just as, say, the advent of sophisticated manufacturing robots have displaced many traditional forms of factory labour. But are they right? In this article, I critically assess the argument that has been made in favour of this displacement hypothesis. Although I grant the argument a degree of credibility, I argue th...
Technological Unemployment but Still a Lot of Work… Katarzyna Gajewska

This article explores the impact of both technological unemployment and a basic income on the provision of services of general interest. A basic income may promote the restructuring of production into postcapitalist forms and projects involving peer production. This change, as well as technological unemployment, will result in lower state and market capacities to provide services. Instead, people will create various forms of self-organization to meet their needs. The paper presents examples of such models. Some ideas about the new forms of ineq...
Technological Growth and Unemployment:  A Global Scenario Analysis Riccardo Campa

The aim of this article is to explore the possible futures generated by the development of artificial intelligence. Our focus will be on the social consequences of automation and robotisation, with special attention being paid to the problem of unemployment. In spite of the fact that this investigation is mainly speculative in character, we will try to develop our analysis in a methodologically sound way. To start, we will make clear that the relation between technology and structural unemployment is still controversial. Therefore, the hypothet...
Workers and Automata:  A Sociological Analysis of the Italian Case Riccardo Campa

The aim of this investigation is to determine if there is a relation between automation and unemployment within the Italian socio-economic system. Italy is Europe’s second nation and the fourth in the world in terms of robot density, and among the G7 it is the nation with the highest rate of youth unemployment. Establishing the ultimate causes of unemployment is a very difficult task, and the notion itself of ‘technological unemployment’ is controversial. Mainstream economics tends to relate the high rate of unemployment that characterise...
A History of the BIG Idea: Winstanley, Paine, Skidmore and Bellamy Jamie Bronstein

The notion that humans have a right to basic capital or to a basic income guarantee by virtue of their existence can be traced to the Enlightenment. Many of the suggestions inherent in modern proposals for basic income or basic capital originated with four forerunners in the Anglo-American tradition: Gerrard Winstanley, Thomas Paine, Thomas Skidmore, and Edward Bellamy. All four embraced the notion that the equal moral considerability of all humans implied an equal right to the resources needed to survive, and were subjected to withering critic...
Rights > HealthLongevity > Economic > Vision > Staff > J. Hughes > Sociology > Technoprogressivism
A Strategic Opening for a Basic Income Guarantee in the Global Crisis… James Hughes

Robotics and artificial intelligence are beginning to fundamentally change the relative profitability and productivity of investments in capital versus human labor, creating technological unemployment at all levels of the workforce, from the North to the developing world. As robotics and expert systems become cheaper and more capable the percentage of the population that can find employment will also fall, stressing economies already trying to curtail "entitlements" and adopt austerity. Two additional technology-driven trends will exacerbate th...
Technology, Unemployment & Policy Options: Navigating the Transition to a Better World Gary E. Marchant, Yvonne A. Stevens and James M. Hennessy

There is growing concern that emerging technologies such as computers, robotics and artificial intelligence are displacing human jobs, creating an epidemic of “technological unemployment.” While this projection has yet to be confirmed, if true it will have major economic and social repercussions for our future. It is therefore appropriate to begin identifying policy options to address this potential problem. This article offers an economic and social framework for addressing this problem, and then provides an inventory of possible policy...
BIG and Technological Unemployment:  Chicken Little Versus the Economists Mark Walker

The paper rehearses arguments for and against the prediction of massive technological unemployment. The main argument in favor is that robots are entering a large number of industries, making more expensive human labor redundant. The main argument against the prediction is that for two hundred years we have seen a massive increase in productivity with no long term structural unemployment caused by automation. The paper attempts to move past this argumentative impasse by asking what humans contribute to the supply side of the economy. Historical...
Are Technological Unemployment and a Basic Income Guarantee Inevitable or Desirable? James Hughes

The question is a simple one: if in the future robots take most people’s jobs, how will human beings eat? The answer that has been more or less obvious to most of those who have taken the prospect seriously has been that society’s wealth would need to be re-distributed to support everyone as a citizen’s right. That is the proposition we used to frame this special issue of the journal, and the contributors have explored new and important dimensions of the equation.