Transhumanism and human enhancement

AutorUn HE PAIK (Madrid, Spain)
CargoPhD Student of Law and Social Sciences, National Distance Education University-UNED. (Madrid, Spain)
Informes / Reports
Transhumanism and human
Transhumanismo y mejora humana*
Un He Paik
PhD Student of Law and Social Sciences, National Distance Education
University-UNED. (Madrid, Spain)
DOI:´ 10.14679/1265
Sumario / Summary: 1. Introduction. 2. Historical background. 3. Definition.
4. Main postulates. 5. Different versions of Transhumanism. 6. Current status. 7.
Conclusion. 8. References.
Resumen / Abstract: En este artículo exploraremos los orígenes del Transhumanismo,
las diferentes opiniones sobre los posibles antecedentes filosóficos como el
Humanismo, sus precursores de mayor influencia, el camino recorrido por este joven
movimiento filosófico-cultural, sus principales postulados en torno a la conquista de
la biología humana, la mejoras radicales por cambiar la condición humana, el amplio
espectro de sus distintas versiones tan distintas como controvertidos, un somero
análisis de su significado y el estado actual de este proyecto tecno-filosófico.
In this article we will explore the origins of Transhumanism, the different opinions on
possible philosophical antecedents such as Humanism, its most influential precursors,
the history of this young philosophical-cultural movement, its main postulates on the
conquest of human biology, radical enhancements to change the human condition,
the wide spectrum of its rather distinct and controversial versions, a brief analysis of
its meaning and the current state of this techno-philosophical project.
Palabras claves / Keywords:
Transhumanismo / Posthumanos / Mejoras transhumanistas / Reduccionismo /
Mejoras radicales / Singularidad tecnológica / Tecnociencias / Libertad morfológica.
* Article received 22 June, 2020 and accepted for publication 11 November, 2020.
Rev Der Gen H Núm. 54/2021: 177-202
178 Rev Der Gen H Núm. 54/2021
Transhumanism / Posthumans / Transhumanist enhancements / Reductionism / Radical
enhancements / Technological singularity / Techno-sciences / Morphological freedom.
1. Introduction
The history of mankind is the history of the struggles to overcome human
limitations, illnesses, disabilities, the sheer pursue of survival, well-being
and perpetuation. These efforts, inventions and their results are part of our
evolution. The twentieth century has been one of the most important in
scientifi c achievements such as the genetic mapping, cloning of mammals,
accelerated advances of the so-called NBIC1convergence, with notable
milestones that continue into the new millennium for a highly advanced
and sophisticated future towards the conquest of old human desires, namely
diseases and death and beyond.
Humans intend not only to overcome simple problems of health, well-be-
ing, quality of life, but we also seek to achieve more capabilities, not only
to master our limits but to surpass them. The ambitions for improvements
transcend the borders of our own biology, and will have a signifi cant impact
beyond the times we live in, a project in which humanity has already set out
and seems to have no setback.
It is undeniable that in recent years the devices we use, the vastness
of the information and connections that are within our reach, the news of
scientifi c progress and the projections of technological developments make us
doubt, at times, if we are in the presence of a plot of science fi ction. It is not
possible to deny global catastrophes both natural and non-natural, and with
the development of technology and sciences the catastrophe we are exposed
to the effects of the most private and solitary act such a twit or a hacking.
In this framework, a movement still very diffuse called Transhumanism,
essentially futuristic with utopian biases, is gaining a renewed importance.
It is basically an applied ethic with its roots in the rational and secular
Humanism and the Enlightenment, materialistic in nature and reductionist
in essence.2 Its reductionism is of a biological nature, through the defense
1 NBIC stands for Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cog-
nitive Technology. Vid. VAN EST, Rinie et ál, From Bio to NBIC Convergence-From Medical
Practice to Daily Life (Report submitted to the Bioethics Committee of the European
Council), Rathenau Instituut, 2014. Available at:
2 The Royal Academy defi nes reductionism as a “philosophical method that uses
phenomenological reduction” (, which in practice tran-
slates into considering a complex as the simple sum of its component parts. A defi nition

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