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Better than well-being: Education beyond transhumanism. Lewin & Edwards

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Better than well-being: Education beyond transhumanism.
D. Lewin, A. Edwards
Liverpool Hope University
ABSTRACT
Much has been said about the different conceptions of well-being that educatorslook towards. In this paper we consider how transhumanists attempt to think beyond well-being. Our purpose here is not to suggest that we have arrived at a meaning of being or well-being and that it is now time move on towards a transhuman future.On the contrary, the transhuman vision beyond the present tells us more, we argue,about the limitations of our understanding of the depth of well-being. What might seem like rather fantastical models of the goal of education are not as distant asthey seem; the practical implications of modern technology increasingly require usto face the projection of humanity in our own image. It is argued that a theological conception of human nature will provide insight into transcendence that transhumanism does not consider.

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Better than well-being: Education beyond transhumanism. Lewin & Edwards

  1. 1. International Journal of Design and Innovation Research 1 Volume X – n°Y / 2011 IJODIR. Volume 7 – n° 1/2012, pages 1 à X Better than well-being: Education beyond transhumanism D. Lewin1, A. Edwards2 1 Liverpool Hope University Hope Park Liverpool L16 9JD UK lewind@hope.ac.uk 2 Liverpool Hope University Hope Park Liverpool L16 9JD UK edwardt@hope.ac.uk ABSTRACT. Much has been said about the different conceptions ofwell-being that educators look towards.In this paperwe consider how transhumanists attempt to think beyond well-being.Our purpose here is not to suggest that we have arrived at a meaning of being or well-being and that it is now time move on towards a transhuman future. On the contrary, the transhuman vision beyond the present tells us more, we argue, about the limitationsof our understanding ofthe depth of well-being.What might seem like ratherfantastical models of the goal of education are not as distant as they seem; the practical implications ofmodern technology increasingly require us to face the projection of humanity in our own image. It is argued that a theological conception of human nature will provide insight into transcendence that transhumanism doesnot consider. KEYWORDS: TRANSHUMANISM; EDUCATION; WELL-BEING; THEOLOGY; AUGUSTINE; PHILOSOPHY; TRANSCENDENCE
  2. 2. 2 IJODIR. Volume 7 – n° 1/2012 1. Introduction This paper is about how we educate towards and beyond well-being. Much has been said about the different conceptions of well-being that educators might use as reference points in education. Philosophers of education have long defined education as a means of developing and fulfilling human nature (Newman 1990; Dewey 1944; Freire 2000). Cultivating humanity beyond the narrowly defined anthropology presupposed by standards-driven education, contemporary philosophers like Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen see well-being as an inherently liberal concept encompassing far more than just economic, or even social, independence. Broadly speaking, we share the liberal perspective that Nussbaum espouses in her books Cultivating Humanity (1998) and Not For Profit (2010), despite some reservations about the unproblematic way in which liberal values are universalized by her. In this paper we will consider how transhumanists or posthumanists have tried to think beyond well-being – the phrase ‘better than well’ is often used to describe the basic goal of transhumanists (World Transhumanist Association). As you may have surmised from our liberal perspective, our purpose here is not to suggest that we have arrived at a meaning of human being or well-being and that it is now time move on. On the contrary, the trans or posthuman visions beyond the present tell us more about the limited conception of well-being that is generally entertain. What might seem as rather fantastical and fictional visions of our future are not as distant as they seem; on the one hand technological advance only seems to increase in pace and effect. On the other hand, the projections of our technological future tell us at least as much about our present preoccupations as they do our future capacities. And so the practical implications of modern technology increasingly require us to face the projection of humanity in our own image. 2. Transhumanism Recent developments in technology offer us, then, an increasingly bewildering range of ways to pursue the well-being agenda through technical interventions. One practical approach has been through human cognitive enhancement. Cognitive enhancers have been much in the media over recent years. Beyond historical enhancers such as caffeine and vitamin supplements, pills such as Ritalin and Adderall are not uncommon among students in the US wishing to enhance memory and concentration. Recent reports suggest that as many as 20 percent of college students have used Ritalin or Adderall to study, write papers and pass exams (Jacobs 2005). Such forms of technical intervention raise ethical questions above and beyond the immediate health concerns that should exist. Do such enhancements amount to cheating? Or are any individual gains purely ‘positional’ and so offset by a broader zero sum outcome (Bostrom et al. 2009)? On the other hand, perhaps such enhancements are no different, in essence, from nutritional variations that have always existed. The question of technical enhancement for education is much broader than the issue of cognitive enhancers. The kind
  3. 3. Better than well-being 3 of abilities conferred upon students by cognitive enhancement might support the sort of frenetic exam focus that modern education systems seem increasingly oriented towards. There seems to be a general correlation between our ideas concerning what it means to be well educated or intelligent (Kohn 2004), and the future of cognitive enhancement (Geake 2008; Edwards 2012). In both cases the priority of the intellect can appear to reflect the Platonic assumption that abstract knowledge of the world takes precedent over embodied being-in-the-world. The broader issue of transhumanism, then, reveals something significant about what we consider to be the essence of the human being. Education is, of course, oriented towards the future. But naturally that orientation is reliant upon an understanding of the past and present. We shall focus on how visions of the future reflect our present understandings of human nature, human intelligence and therefore human education. In other words, transhumanism tells us about how we think about ourselves – what we amount to and where we are going. It gives us some insight into the essence of human identity as it is conceived in the technological age. This is, then, much broader than an analysis of transhumanism. Transhumanists simply provide the most direct expression of a widespread conception of human identity. So what exactly is transhumanism? The world transhumanist association published the following definition in 2005: Transhumanism is “The intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.” (Humanity+) At a Philosophy of Religion conference at Oxford University in 2004, Nick Bostrom, one of the founding figures of transhumanism in the UK, talked to a rather unsympathetic audience about our transhuman possibilities. It seemed as though a mixture of religious and cultural conservatism within the audience reacted to the radical futuristic questions that animated Bostrom. There seemed little point in considering extended life for a few wealthy and powerful individuals in the context of a world threatened with global poverty and environmental devastation. Since then, Bostrom and the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University have made a concerted effort to appeal to engage with more conservative attitudes and a broader public by developing a reflective concern which emphasizes the ethical issues of transhumanism. In line with this broadened agenda, the definition of transhumanism now includes the following: “The study of the ramifications, promises, and potential dangers of technologies that will enable us to overcome fundamental human limitations, and the related study of the ethical matters involved in developing and using such technologies.” (Humanity+) Of course transhumanist ideals are not entirely new. The quest for immortality in many traditional religious and philosophical perspectives is ancient, even though not always thought in the literal sense that transhumanists sometimes do (Bostrom 2005). It is arguable that their vision of immortality is too literal, too overdrawn. This vision of heaven on (or beyond) earth sees eschatology as something we achieve through technology rather than a theological destiny (Lewin 2011, pp. 14-15).
  4. 4. 4 IJODIR. Volume 7 – n° 1/2012 Many argue that transhumanism is really the natural expression of humanist philosophy in the technological age (Bostrom 2005). However this is to be interpreted, it is worth mentioning some of the key figures who form part of the short history of transhumanism. Fereidoun M. Esfandiary, an Iranian born futurist who taught at a number of US universities spoke of his “deep nostalgia for the future.” (FM2030 1989). He changed his name to FM 2030 which referred, as it turned out, rather optimistically, to his hundredth birthday. But after dying of pancreatic cancer, aged 70, he was placed in cryonic suspension by Alcor Life Extension Foundation, where his body remains to this day. He is one of a number of transhumanists to have chosen cryonic suspension, hoping to be reanimated by advanced technology in the future. Other prominent transhumanists include Tom Bell – who became Tom Morrow and R. U. Sirius (born Ken Goffman). Tom Morrow (along with Max More) founded the Extropy Institute and Extropy Journal. Here Extropy is used in contrast to entropy, the force that leads to increased chaos over time within a closed system. For these thinkers, there is an inevitable organizing principle that ensures systems increase in organization over time and so the force of entropy fails to take into account human intervention which will tend towards greater convergence and organization. Another figure in this story, Max More, was born in Bristol as Max O’Connor, and emigrated to California. Of his new name he said the following: “It seemed to really encapsulate the essence of what my goal is: always to improve, never to be static. I was going to get better at everything, become smarter, fitter, and healthier. It would be a constant reminder to keep moving forward” (Regis). It is worth reflecting on the idea of changing names for a moment. We are given a name, normally by our parents, and many of us feel that what is given to us should, in some sense, be honoured. Speaking broadly, the religious attitude is concerned with a sense of gratitude for what is given to us in life. Of course from another point of view it is conceivable that we are the product of a haphazard configuration of natural forces for which gratitude would be inappropriate. Regardless of the on-going metaphysical debates, it is worth noting that prominent transhumanists are prone to changing their name as though it were an arbitrary appendage rather than personally constitutive. The ability to define oneself in this way is almost a rite of passage for those who belong to this fellowship, signifying not only their commitment to shaping the present but of taking command of the future. Despite its association with thespians and fugitives the act of naming is full of meaning. The Biblical account where Adam is given his name by God is significant, as is the responsibility Adam is given to name the creatures. Stories the world over speak of the power of names, of naming, and of knowing names, suggesting a deep sense in which names are anything but arbitrary. And the fact that we still refer to our first name as our ‘given’ name again reinforces a sense of respect for it. But the attitude that sees a name as arbitrary might be extended to reflect a view of human identity as not being dependent upon a number of contingent circumstances: one’s place of birth, one’s family, or one’s physical characteristics. This kind of utopian (displaced; dislocated) anthropology is an implicit feature of transhuman anthropology. All of these
  5. 5. Better than well-being 5 attributes, these accidents of birth, are exchangeable in the brave new world of transhumanism, leaving us to wonder where human identity really lies. Critics of transhumanism have resisted the transhuman tendency to see our biological context as arbitrary and something to go beyond. For example, Katherine Hayles argues that “the posthuman view privileges informational pattern over material instantiation, so that embodiment in a biological substrate is seen as an accident of history rather than an inevitability of life” (Hayles 1999: 2-3). Critics of transhumanism worry that the transhuman vision reinforces certain Neo-Platonic prejudices against embodiment and physicality, locating human identity too much in the cognitive and intellectual dimensions of existence. That this misunderstands the tradition of Neo-Platonism need not detain us. Indeed we will later refer to that very tradition to overcome the prevailing anthropology that informs transhumanism. What seems particularly heavy with significance for most of us is our mortality. For many transhumanists, however, we should consider and prepare for a future in which mortality itself will be rendered arbitrary. Max More acknowledges that Humanists too often shrink from the prospect of immortality (More 1994) because they tend to be conditioned to assume that death is constitutive of who we are. More wants us to be free of the arbitrary conditions that nature and culture lay upon us: “No more gods, no more faith, no more timid holding back. Let us blast out of our old forms, our ignorance, our weakness, and our mortality. The future belongs to posthumanity.” (More 1994) In general, More speaks up for the perfectly reasonable idea of pursuing human enhancement as far as humanly possible. But the question of how ‘better’ is to be defined cannot be ignored. Ritalin or Adderall, drugs which can be seen to medicate or to enhance depending on the perspective, might produce a certain smartness but the longer term effects remain unclear. Do such improvements in memory and concentration make for better people; are we made more wise, or just more smart? It is not easy to find drugs that claim to improve sensitivity, intuition, or empathy. Rather the common side effects of so-called smart drugs tend to include nervousness, agitation, and irritability, qualities that educators should not ignore (Nixey 2010). But from an engineering perspective these side effects can be regarded as technical challenges to be overcome. But what of subtler effects that might not be as evident? The human mind is sufficiently complex that many of us view any direct intervention with caution. A more conservative attitude would regard the potential disruption of subtle interdependencies as being of serious concern. If there exist subtle neurological interdependencies that constitute the material substrate of what might be called the psychological climate of human awareness, then interventions from smart drugs might seem questionable (how this might be distinguished from general nutrition is beyond my present scope, but clearly there is some definitional consideration to be made here). The precautionary principle has been a foundation for managing the risks associated with experimental and cutting-edge technologies (Heikkerö 2012). By their nature such risks are extremely hard to define and to measure, seeming to inhabit a space beyond known unknowns: the now infamous realm of unknown unknowns. Max More seeks to critically undermine and replace this precautionary approach with a proactionary principle (More
  6. 6. 6 IJODIR. Volume 7 – n° 1/2012 2005). But More’s argument in favour of a proactionary approach suggests the idea that mortality is a threat to human existence and so any hypothetical risk from technical intervention would be relatively small in comparison to such mortal dangers. If we regard mortality differently, as somehow constitutive of human identity, as many existentialist philosophers have done (Heidegger 1996), then our attitude will differ from More’s. And what of our ability to define human intelligence in terms of cognitive capacity? From an educational perspective, we can achieve a certain level of clarity in the cruder terms of short-term memory retention required for exam success. But the longer-term questions of ‘character formation’ and humanization that philosophers of education are deeply concerned with elude these formal aspects of intellectual identity (Nussbaum 1998). Educators are prone, at least rhetorically, to espouse a vision of education that cannot be defined along narrowly cognitive lines. For transhumanists the current state of humanity is not the endpoint of evolution, but merely an early phase (Bostrom 2005). Through the process of technological development we have taken control of evolution. If evolution was in any sense directed before technological humanity (for example by God, or alternatively conceived in terms of natural law), a contentious discussion still, transhumanists now suggest that we have the ability to take control of future developments through technological enhancement and intervention; specifically ageing, maximum life span, disease, cognitive power and other forms of human limitation. This affirmation of human capability and power is often associated with the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche who famously celebrates humanity’s overcoming in his image of the Übermensch, or overman (Sorgner 2009). At first sight this association might seem convincing. Nietzsche’s rhetoric of humanity’s self overcoming appears to be consistent with transhumanist ideals. Nietzsche has Zarathustra declare: “I teach you the overman. Man is something that is to be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?” (Nietzsche 2006: 5) Transhumanists may now begin to formulate an answer to this in technological terms. Bostrom acknowledges only a superficial similarity between Nietzsche’s ideas and those of transhumanism (Bostrom 2005), while Stefan Sorgner agrees with Jürgen Habermas that such similarities are far more than superficial (Sorgner 2009). But what is the self? What is to be overcome in Nietzsche, or in transhumanism? Would we not require a clear concept of humanity in order to speak of overcoming humanity? We have spoken of ageing, disease and death. But transhumanists tend to think of human identity in terms that are overcome through technology: the metaphors from the world of technology provide much of the context for thinking about human limitations. In other words, we would be improved through cognitive enhancement where our memory is improved and our cognitive capacity is upgraded. Such metaphorical upgrades would likely be regarded by Nietzsche as an extremely limited concept of human overcoming (Graham 2002). We want to argue that, as a culture, we are significantly ignorant of who or what we actually are. This is not the result of an ambiguity concerning current conceptions of human identity to be ironed out following more research. Rather this is a deeper ambivalence about the nature of human identity as such. What makes this matters worse is that we are
  7. 7. Better than well-being 7 increasingly unaware of our ignorance as we mistake our technological capacity for a humanizing capacity. Our lack of self-understanding can be seen, then, as inversely proportionate to our technological capacity, and given the extraordinary development of technological power, this suggests a deeply worring trend ; a trend that demands we respond to the imperative of responsibility (Jonas 1985). 3. The Logic of Self-Transcendance We have already noted that transhumanism relies upon a specific conception of humanism. But the logic of self-transcendence should be examined more closely. What is it for a human being to see beyond itself? Are the limitations that transhumanists seek to go beyond essential to human identity? There is a question of logic here: either mortality, being only a contingent limitation to surpass is not an essentially human trait, or it is somehow constitutive of being human and so essential to our nature. In either case we can question whether we are really talking about self-transcendence or true ‘trans’ humanism. It could be argued that our human future is destined to go beyond mortality and that transhumanism is simply a misnomer. Furthermore, just because we are affecting certain important features of human existence, does not necessarily imply a genuine overcoming. Ken Wilber has identified what he calls the pre/trans fallacy to describe a tendency to take certain states of experience that are non-rational in character to be an overcoming of rationality (Wilber 1982). Although Wilber is referring to religious experience, the basic structure of his analysis is illiuminating. Some non-rational states are, says Wilber, simply pre-rational. In a similar vein we can wonder whether transhumanism is really an overcoming. How are we to judge what is a genuine transcending of human nature from what is simply augmenting it in different ways? Is it not arbitrary to identify extended life, improved memory, and disembodied existence, (through, for example, mind uploading) as a transcendence of the human condition? It seems that transhumanists are, in fact, bound by their own passion for technology into limiting human existence in a number of arbitrary ways. Computing metaphors for intelligence are perhaps the most obvious example of this. Cognitive power and intelligence appear to be modeled after microchips and so it is little wonder that we seek to enhance our cognitive power through technical implants (Bostrom et. al. 2009). Improved memory might have its uses, but again is this really fundamental to who we are? These conceptions of human intelligence are really insufficient to account for the humanizing potential that many educators look towards. The well-being agenda surely must challenge the cultural bias for human nature being so narrowly defined. In the sphere of education we have tended to regard the moral and spiritual life as an important aspect of development and so it is worth translating self- transcendence to the domain of our moral and spiritual life.
  8. 8. 8 IJODIR. Volume 7 – n° 1/2012 4. A Theological Turn It is helpful to consider whether moral failings indicate a need for self-transcendence in a similar way to the physical or cognitive limitations that transhumanists seek to go beyond. Let us suppose that the human condition of selfishness could be transcended if human beings were able to see beyond their own particular concerns and recognize that their destiny and happiness is essentially bound up with those with whom they share the planet. Can we really say that such a perception is complete without it being transformative, without us being changed by it? As Socrates asks in the Gorgias, can we know justice without being just ourselves (Plato 1998)? Can we say we know what it means to be selfless in a purely theoretical or representational way? A genuine knowledge of selflessness would seem in some way to entail a move towards a state of selflessness. At the very moment one truly sees beyond one’s current state of selfishness one would be transformed by that perception. And yet we all feel we can, at different times, recognize our moral weaknesses and failings without them necessarily vanishing as a result of that recognition. How is it possible to see our moral frailties without them being transformed? What kind of knowledge is this? Is it purely representational, or more has it some substantive resonance for us? St Augustine’s theological anthropology suggests some kind of answer to this. In Augustine’s Confessions it is an awareness of absence or failure that draws Augustine towards God, as he famously says: “our hearts find no peace until they rest in you” (Augustine 1961: 21). Following these words Augustine wonders how we can pray to God when we do not know God. For this implies a paradox: that we can address ourselves to something that we do not know. Augustine’s God must be beyond all human definitions and conceptions of God, and in that sense, Augustine is engaged in apophaticism: the negation of all human projections of God. Not only is God unknown, but God is the definition of transcendence. This epistemological paradox structures the whole movement of Augustine’s reflections in his Confessions and the paradox is overcome by the sense that God is within us, more within us than we are ourselves. For Augustine, it is only in resting in God that we come to fully know who we are; knowing the self and knowing God are not separable events. God dwells at the centre of human being, and it is for this reason that in seeking ourselves, we seek God. Not only is there an apophatic movement in negating all images of God, but insofar as God dwells within us, Augustine is here also showing that we must negate all images of human nature. This central notion is drawn out by the theologian Denys Turner where he describes the apophatic anthropology not only of Augustine, but also of Meister Eckhart (Turner 1998). From this point of view, human nature is not a problem to be fixed, this assemblage of mortal and immortal attributes, but rather a constant process of becoming which is only fulfilled in the end of life. Thus, to become ourselves is the goal of human existence. The process of self-becoming involves a sense of self-overcoming, and, from a theological point of view, always has done. It is the recognition of moral weakness that tells us of a disproportion between what we are and who we really are. So at one level we are not ourselves. At another level, the true self is calling to be realized in and through a restless desire for God. This paradoxical structure
  9. 9. Better than well-being 9 accounts for our ability to recognize moral and spiritual weaknesses without simply being condemned by them. This theological tradition is deeply rooted in a Platonic philosophical understanding which itself shares the basic structure of this paradox. The process of moral education, for example in Plato’s Meno (Plato 1961), identifies a structurally identical paradox, that education is a process of drawing out what lies within the student. For the Western tradition, human destiny is itself a process of self-discovery in which human identity is not established, but itself a continual and unending process. In many ways drawing from this tradition, philosophers of education have recognized that to become who we truly are involves moral and spiritual education (Palmer 1993). But this kind of education, what for many people is at the heart of well-being (Poloma et al. 1990), depends upon a genuine sense of human frailty that is not simply representational. This genuine sense of human mortality, of selfishness, and of suffering makes sense to us because it refers beyond itself to a sense that we are not only what we think we are. We are not simply mortal, selfish, stupid, violent creatures. We may be all of these things, but a recognition of these limitations is also an overcoming of them in a very real sense. If we regard education in broadly Platonic, or indeed Liberal terms, then education must be understood as a humanizing force that depends upon this self-transcendence as the core of human identity. It seems impossible to make students better through a process of seeing them as objects whose characteristics are to be improved from the outside (Freire 2000). Rather well-being here depends upon the student’s own recognition of their limitations (albeit through some deeper divine subvention), which Augustine narrates for himself, but also for us and for God in his Confessions. Our selfish nature is only ever half the story. So in the case of selfishness we can see beyond ourselves, despite the paradox that this entails. We can, then, even in a very limited way, envision what it might mean to be selfless, even though this remains, in some sense, beyond us. This does not condemn us to a purely representational (or theoretical) idea (ideal) of the good life, but allows us to embark upon a dialectical journey of self-discovery as self-formation. Transhumanism does not engage with this dialectic of the self. Rather for transhumanists the self is defined in the positivist and secular terms of our culture. But that positivist conception regards primarily those features of human identity that can be defined functionally or assessed formally. What is most significant is that its conception of well-being is both arbitrary and highly contested. But its assumptions are broadly shared by much educational practice that seeks to narrow the human spirit into definable, transformable, attributes and skills. Of course transhumanists would largely reject the theological anthropology that we have presented here (Hughes 2008). But our concern is with the prevailing assumptions regarding human nature that have allowed the rise of the transhuman. 5. Conclusion This paper has argued that the philosophy of transhumanism makes certain anthropological assumptions that require interrogation. Transhumanism seems to assume that human nature is something already tried (and failed), that mortality, current memory and fitness and other apparently arbitrary conditions and constraints are limitations that modern
  10. 10. 10 IJODIR. Volume 7 – n° 1/2012 technology is now beginning to allow us to exceed. But more troubling is the fact that this anthropology is widely held well beyond the confines of transhuman discourse. Transhumanism provides a stark elaboration of the human condition as it is currently thought more generally in culture. From the transhuman perspective, human finitude is disabling, not enabling ; destructive, not constitutive. What seems particularly revealing is the sense in which transhumanists see our human condition as arbitrarily enframed by our gender, mortality, embodiment and cognitive structures. Transhumanism goes beyond only a straw man. It is a vision of humanity that we know to be incomplete and, from a theological point of view, is only underway, only finite. A theological anthropology, then, provides some insight into how human identity is not an established ‘essentialised’ concept, but a dialectical process. It is through a sense of human limitation that transcendence is possible. Transcendence is, in fact, built into the basic conception of identity implicit within what we have rather loosely called the theological tradition. The enhancement strategies taken up in transhumanism are arbitrary and directed solely by our present ability to circumscribe human identity which, as we noted, tend to be related to present metaphors drawn from computing. These computing metaphors are significant in conditioning the way we think about education since cognition is thought analogous with computing power. An awareness of certain assumptions, exemplified so well by transhumanism, provides us with an opportunity to go beyond transhumanism, and beyond its restricted conception of well-being. Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank colleagues at the Faculty of Education, Liverpool Hope University for their support during the development of this research. We would also like to thank Daniel Whistler of the department of Philosophy, Liverpool University for an invitation to participate the Educating Well-Being event in February 2012 at which certain aspects of this research were discussed and developed. We would also like to thank Simon Richir and the organisers of the philosophy stream at Laval Virtual 2012 for their support in bringing this paper to publication. 12. Bibliography Augustine, Confessions, trans. R. S. Pine-Coffin. London, Penguin, 1961. Bostrom N., “A History of Transhumanist Thought”, in Journal of Evolution and Technology, vol. 14, 1, 2005. Bostrom N., and A. Sandberg, “Cognitive Enhancement: Methods, Ethics, Regulatory Challenges” in Science and Engineering Ethics vol. 15, 3, 2009, pp. 343-349. Dewey J., Democracy and Education, New York, The Free Press, 1944.
  11. 11. Better than well-being 11 Edwards A., “Enhancement Technologies, Transhumanism and Education” in New Technology and Education. London, Continuum, 2012. FM2030, Are You a Transhuman?, New York, Warner Books, 1989. Freire P., Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Continuum, 2000. Geake J., “Neuromythologies in education,” in Educational Research, vol. 50, pp. 123-133. Graham E., “‘Nietzsche Gets a Modem’: Transhumanism and the Technological Sublime” Literature and Theology, vol. 16, 1, 2002 pp. 65-80. Hayles K., How We Became Posthuman, Chicago, Chicago University Press, 1999. Heidegger M., Being and Time, transl. J. Stambaugh. New York, State University of New York Press, 1996. Heikkerö T., Ethics in Technology: A Philosophical Study, Lexington Books, 2012. Hughes J., “Report on the 2007 Interests and Beliefs Survey of the Members of the World Transhumanist Association,” http://transhumanism.org/resources/WTASurvey2007.pdf (accessed 5/8/12). Humanity+, www.humanityplus.org/philosophy/transhumanist-faq/ (accessed 5/8/12) Jacobs A., “The Adderall Advantage,” http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/31/education/edlife/jacobs31.html?pagewanted=all (accessed 5/8/12) Jonas H., The Imperative of Responsibility, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1985. Kohn A., What Does It Mean to Be Well Educated? and More Essays on Standards, Grading, and Other Follies. Boston, Beacon Press, 2004. Lewin D., Technology and the Philosophy of Religion, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011. More M., “On Becoming Posthuman” Free Inquiry, Fall, 1994. More M., “The Proactionary Principle” http://www.maxmore.com/proactionary.htm (accessed 5/8/12) Newman J., The Idea of a University, University of Notre Dame Press, 1990. Nixey, C., ‘Are ‘smart drugs’ safe for students?’ The Guardian 2010, http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/apr/06/students-drugs-modafinil-ritalin (accessed 5/8/12). Nussbaum M., Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education, Harvard, Harvard University Press 1998. Nussbaum M., Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2010. Nietzsche F., Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2006. Palmer P., To Know as we are Known: Education as Spiritual Journey. HarperCollins, 1993. Plato, Gorgias, trans. J. Nichols. New York, Cornell University Press, 1998.
  12. 12. 12 IJODIR. Volume 7 – n° 1/2012 Plato. Meno, trans. R. Bluck. Cambridge Cambridge University Press, 1961. Poloma M., and B. Pendleton, “Religious domains and general well-being” in Social Indicators Research, vol. 22, 3, 1990, pp. 255-276. Regis E., “Meet the Extropians,” in Wired, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.10/extropians_pr.html (accessed 5/8/12) Sorgner S., “Nietzsche, the Overhuman, and Transhumanism” Journal of Evolution and Technology, vol. 20, 1, 2009, pp 29-42. Turner D., The Darkness of God : Negativity in Christian Mysticism, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998. Wilber K., “The Pre/Trans Fallacy” Journal of Humanistic Psychology, vol. 22, 2, 1982, pp. 5-43. World Transhumanist Association, http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/WTA/comments/734/ (accessed 5/8/12)

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