Kircher Online Lecture Series: “Human Enhancement: Myth, Ideology and Utopia

Human enhancement is closely linked to the rise of the transhumanist movement (Humanity+), which actively propagates radical techno-transformation of humanity. It frequently utilizes tropes known from mythology, utopian visions of a hedonistic paradise or a morally perfect utopia, and sometimes veers in the direction of religious and ideological discourse. Three aspects of this discourse: myth, ideology, and utopia, will be analyzed. Although the three aspects are coexistent and sometimes overlap, they are not self-same. The myth here will be understood as a specific fiction legitimating and codifying unfounded belief in human enhancement as the way to salvation or goal of life. It will be related to the studies by Michael Hauskeller (2014, 2016), Calvin Mercer and Tracy J. Trothen (2014), and Ernst Bloch (1992). The ideological dimension will be taken to mean constructing a system of ideas as part of a plan of action and will be presented regarding the studies of Karl Mannheim (1992) and Mariano Asla (2018, 2020). Finally, the utopian character of human enhancement discourse will concentrate on the idealized biopolitical vision and the expression of the contemporary perspectives on biopower and will draw from the theories presented by Lucas E. Misseri (2016, 2019) and Andrew Pilsch (2017).


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