Monday, February 10, 2014

Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision of Our Future Evolution (Evolution, Transhumanism, and Human Purpose)

About the Book

In Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential, a prominent economist declares that the “posthuman era has arrived”— and reframes the transhumanism debate with an original ethical vision. Formerly the chief economist of General Motors, Ted Chu displays enormous erudition in this expansive study of the trajectory of human and cosmic evolution. Chu celebrates the prospect of new forms of cosmic life that, he shows,
will be the ultimate expression of humanity’s evolutionary purpose.

“The Posthuman Era Is Here”

“Today we stand at a new frontier. We have within our sight—if not yet within our reach—a radically new human freedom. It is the freedom from our inborn genetic condition—the liberation from the constraints of our biological form. . . The human era as we have known it is coming to an end. The posthuman era is about to begin.” So writes Ted Chu, PhD, in this magisterial treatment of the increasingly timely debate about transhumanism and the meaning and purpose of human evolution. A prominent macroeconomist and polymath, Chu offers the most systematic effort yet to explore the scientific, historical, ethical, and philosophical dimensions of this worldwide discussion, thus reframing a field too often disfigured by scientific reductionism.

Chu immediately establishes an interdisciplinary and evolutionary stance and then interrogates the ongoing transhumanist project from a rich variety of perspectives. He goes on to articulate a goal for humanity in the face of technological breakthroughs that beckon us toward previously unimagined potentials for progress—that is, if we can find the courage to consciously manage our own evolution. A new understanding of transhumanism emerges as he plumbs the depths of the world’s wisdom traditions and surveys the most cutting-edge evolutionary theories and scientific advances.

While admitting that the pursuit of human happiness is appropriate and noble, Chu demonstrates why our ultimate purpose—our “new divine covenant”—is to serve the forward march of cosmic evolution through the transcendence of our own biology, thus making way for our evolutionary successors in the posthuman future.

“Ted Chu brings an astonishing breadth of philosophical, religious, and technological reflection to bear on the most important question we could ask: where are we headed as a species? Clearly written and accessible
to the lay reader, this work adds a uniquely global perspective to futurist literature.”

—James Hughes, PhD, Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies