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Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism

Bostrom rejects Nietzsche as an ancestor of the transhumanist movement, as he claims that there were merely some “surface-level similarities with the Nietzschean vision” (Bostrom 2005a, 4). In contrast to Bostrom, I think that significant similarities between the posthuman and the overhuman can be found on a fundamental level. In addition, it seems to me that Nietzsche explained the relevance of the overhuman by referring to a dimension which seems to be lacking in transhumanism. In order to explain my position, I will progress as follows. First, I will compare the concept of the posthuman to that of Nietzsche’s overhuman,  focusing more on their similarities than their differences. Second, I will contextualise the overhuman in Nietzsche’s general vision, so that I can point out which dimension seems to me to be lacking in transhumanist thought.

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Stefan Lorenz Sorgner is professor of philosophy and bioethics at John Cabot University in Rome, as of January 2016. His main fields of research are Nietzsche, the philosophy of music, bioethics and meta-, post- and transhumanism. He is author of Metaphysics without Truth - On the Importance of Consistency within Nietzsche’s Philosophy and Menschenwürde nach Nietzsche: Die Geschichte eines Begriffs, and he edits the book series “Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism/Jenseits des Humanismus: Trans- und Posthumanismus“ for Peter Lang Publishing.

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