Upgrading the Human between East and West
Philosophy and Practice of Human Enhancement
What do we do?
In this center we:
- introduce you in the political and philosophical debate on human enhancement
- familiarize you with the major issues in this debate - introduced into the historical, politico-economic and anthropo(techno) logical dimensions of human enhancement
- provide overview and contacts with experts from the major centers of health enhancement
- provide practical knowledge of the currently available life extension technologies
- train in the traditional techniques and teach philosophical approaches directed toward fulfillment of human potential, such as Taoist philosophy and meditation practices
Our vision of human enhancement
Human enhancement is usually understood as the application of science and technology for improving human capacities or adding new ones. We embrace this definition, yet we extend the notion of human enhancement to include the application of modern science as well as ancient approaches to fulfilling human potential. This embraces both modern science as well as Asian practices of meditation, qi-gong and other tried and true practices of personal development.
The Double focus
We explore the human enhancement in two senses:
a) The narrow sense - as the one which implies the application of science and technology, particularly NBIC technologies (nano-, bio-, and information technology and the cognitive sciences), for up
grading or improving of human traits and /or capacities. Human enhancement technologies include genetic engineering, gene therapy, nootropics (e.g. Modafinil), brain computer interfaces, neuroimplants, tissue engineering, life extension technologies and cryogenics. Systematic application of these technologies in the future may lead to a substantial transformation of human qualities and perhaps to a change of ‘human nature’ as such.
b) The broader sense - as convergence of recent and antient ways to improve human functioning, including techniques for body-mind harmonisation, such as biofeedback training, yoga, tai-chi, qi-gong and various meditative styles. The combination of the two approaches, the inner and the outer, provides a comprehensive way for fulfilling human potential.
We see the human being as a process, which nature is not predefined, but emerges in the process and is situated in future. As self-creating beings, we aren't limited by any particular nature. We give shape to our lives as we live.
Mastering body - qua health enhancement technologies - and mastering life - qua the art of living in the cyberage - are the two wings that complement each other on the way to perfection.