Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Nietzsche is a popular source of inspiration for transhumanist writers. Some, such as Sorgner (2009) and More (2010), argue that Nietzsche ought to be considered a precursor of the movement. Transhumanism is a philosophy committed to the desirability of using technology to transform human beings, through significant alteration of their brains and bodies, into a new posthuman species. One of the defining characteristics of transhumanism is the desire for personal immortality. I argue that this feature of transhumanism is wholly incompatible with Nietzsche’s philosophy, and a close examination of this disagreement brings out the degree to which transhumanists and Nietzsche differ in their values and philosophical commitments. Nietzsche does not think that personal immortality is desirable or metaphysically possible. I show that his views have more in common with philosophers like Bernard Williams and Derek Parfit than they do with transhumanism.
Johnson, Robert, "Infinite Monkeys: Nietzsche and the Cruel Optimism of Personal Immortality." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2022.
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