A Confucian Reflection on Transhumanism: How to Regulate our Posthuman Future?
Keywords:超人類主義, 人體增強, 儒家反思, 道, 天人合一, transhumanism, human enhancement, Confucian reflection, Dao, the Unity of Heaven and Man
LANGUAGE NOTE | Document text in Chinese; abstract also in English.
As the potential of high technology to manipulate human life becomes increasingly evident, the transhumanist movement is receiving greater scholarly attention, and the number of related research projects is growing exponentially. However, systematic research from a Confucian perspective is still lacking. This paper attempts to demonstrate the unique value of a Confucian perspective in reflecting on transhumanism. Confucian thought can not only help us grasp the implications and risks of transhumanism with clarity and depth but also offer alternative possibilities for imagining as well as regulating our posthuman future beyond the technocratic picture of transhumanism. Specifically, this paper develops a critical Confucian perspective in an implicitly comparative context to explain why Confucianism cannot accept transhumanism （due to the Confucian notion of “the unity of heaven and man”（天人合一）and to explore the similarities and differences between Confucian and bio-conservative perspectives on transhumanism. I thereby bring ideas from different cultural sources into dialogue to form a better understanding of what transhumanism means for human society and its future, and to answer the crucial question of how to regulate our posthuman future.
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