11. Re-Inventing Ourselves

The Plasticity of Embodiment, Sensing, and Mind

  1. Max More and
  2. Natasha Vita-More
  1. Andy Clark

Published Online: 11 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118555927.ch11

The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future

The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future

How to Cite

Clark, A. (2013) Re-Inventing Ourselves, in The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future (eds M. More and N. Vita-More), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118555927.ch11

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118334294

Online ISBN: 9781118555927

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Keywords:

  • converging technologies;
  • human body;
  • human enhancement;
  • human mind;
  • human-machine interface;
  • philosophy;
  • profoundly embodied agent;
  • science

Summary

Human minds and bodies are essentially open to episodes of deep and transformative restructuring, in which new equipment (both physical and “mental”) can become quite literally incorporated into the thinking and acting systems that we identify as minds and persons. The chapter pursues this theme with special attention to the very notion of the human-machine interface itself. The chapter extends the discussion from bodily augmentation to mental augmentation, indicating what would need to be done to make the vexed idea of enhanced human mentality concrete. The discussion continues by developing a notion of the “profoundly embodied agent” as a means of marking the philosophical and scientific importance of our potential for repeated and literal episodes of self-reconfiguration. The chapter ends by relating this image of profound embodiment to some questions (and fears) concerning converging technologies for improving human performance.