Nietzsche and Transhumanism:

is Artificial Enhancement a Nietzschean Option?

  • Michael James Sonne
Keywords: Transhumanism, Eternal Return, Dignity, Metamorphose

Abstract

This paper will look at what Nietzsche’s metamorphoses of the spirit can tell us about being human in light of artificial enhancement. It will argue that advancements in science including but not limited to: designer babies, immortality movements such as cryonics, and artificial intelligence, are veiled attempts to modify the human condition. Such attempts to modify the human condition can be viewed through the last metamorphose Nietzsche speaks of in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The metamorphose of the child who for Nietzsche is a new beginning, a game, a self-rolling wheel, a first movement, a holy yea is the driving force behind advances in artificial enhancement. This paper will argue that this is so by drawing parallels between the language of actors behind the artificial enhancement movement, and Nietzsche’s thought behind what the metamorphose of the child would mean for the human condition. The paper will argue that Nietzsche’s metamorphose of the child is a positive vision of the potential of human endeavours. The paper will conclude that artificial enhancement can be viewed through this metamorphose of spirit, insofar as its enhancements are taken to be advancements for humans; enhancement should enhance the human condition as opposed to overcoming the human condition.

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Published
2019-11-24
How to Cite
Sonne, M. J. (2019). Nietzsche and Transhumanism:: is Artificial Enhancement a Nietzschean Option?. Trinity Postgraduate Review Journal, 18(1), 19-37. Retrieved from https://ojs.tchpc.tcd.ie/index.php/tpr/article/view/1301