Bioethics Blogs

Future Selves

In the latest issue of the Claremont Review of Books, political philosopher Mark Blitz — a professor at Claremont McKenna College — has a review of Eclipse of Man, the new book from our own Charles T. Rubin. Blitz writes:

What concerns Charles Rubin in Eclipse of Man is well conveyed by his title. Human beings stand on the threshold of a world in which our lives and practices may be radically altered, and our dominance no longer assured. What began a half-millennium ago as a project to reduce our burdens threatens to conclude in a realm in which we no longer prevail. The original human subject who was convinced to receive technology’s benefits becomes unrecognizable once he accepts the benefits, as if birds were persuaded to become airplanes. What would remain of the original birds? Indeed, we may be eclipsed altogether by species we have generated but which are so unlike us that “we” do not exist at all—or persist only as inferior relics, stuffed for museums. What starts as Enlightenment ends in permanent night….

Rubin’s major concern is with the contemporary transhumanists (the term he chooses to cover a variety of what from his standpoint are similar positions) who both predict and encourage the overcoming of man.

Blitz praises Rubin for his “fair, judicious, and critical summaries” of the transhumanist authors he discusses, and says the author “approaches his topic with admirable thoughtfulness and restraint.”

Some of the subjects Professor Blitz raises in his insightful review essay are worth considering and perhaps debating at greater length, but I would just like to point out one of them.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.