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Eclipse of Man: Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress
     

Eclipse of Man: Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress

by Charles T. Rubin
 

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Tomorrow has never looked better. Breakthroughs in fields like genetic engineering and nanotechnology promise to give us unprecedented power to redesign our bodies and our world. Futurists and activists tell us that we are drawing ever closer to a day when we will be as smart as computers, will be able to link our minds telepathically, and will live for centuries&

Overview


Tomorrow has never looked better. Breakthroughs in fields like genetic engineering and nanotechnology promise to give us unprecedented power to redesign our bodies and our world. Futurists and activists tell us that we are drawing ever closer to a day when we will be as smart as computers, will be able to link our minds telepathically, and will live for centuries—or maybe forever. The perfection of a “posthuman” future awaits us.

Or so the story goes. In reality, the rush toward a posthuman destiny amounts to an ideology of human extinction, an ideology that sees little of value in humanity except the raw material for producing whatever might come next.

In Eclipse of Man, Charles T. Rubin traces the intellectual origins of the movement to perfect and replace the human race. He shows how today’s advocates of radical enhancement are—like their forebears—deeply dissatisfied with given human nature and fixated on grand visions of a future shaped by technological progress.

Moreover, Rubin argues that this myopic vision of the future is not confined to charlatans and cheerleaders promoting this or that technology: it also runs through much of modern science and contemporary progressivism. By exploring and criticizing the dreams of post humanity, Rubin defends a more modest vision of the future, one that takes seriously both the limitations and the inherent dignity of our given nature.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Rubin identifies a disquieting tendency among technologically minded idealists to regard not the human condition but humanity itself as the problem" —Financial Times

"A thoughtful warning about 'transhumanists' who aspire to make man immortal." —World Magazine

"Rubin's book... demonstrates the right way for scholars to grapple with the multifaceted questions raised by advances in biotechnology, robotics, and computing." —Catholic World Report

"A hugely significant accomplishment.... The transhumanist future, Rubin meticulously explains, is neither as inevitable nor as reasonable as some believe." —Peter A. Lawler, Berry College

"Nano-utopia ... the redesign of the body ... the biochemistry of bliss ... the immortality of an uploaded mind ... the coming Singularity. It's tempting to dismiss transhumanism as wacky. Charles T. Rubin shows why we should take seriously this most radical aspiration, and with clarity and beauty, defends the good of being human." —Diana Schaub, Loyola University Maryland

"More than a decade ago, Charles T. Rubin pointed out that the utopian dreams of perfecting humanity amounted to nothing less than an ‘extinctionist project.’ In this new book he explores some of the confusions and contradictions inherent to transhumanism, thereby helping us to understand and appreciate better what it means to be human." —Yuval Levin, editor of National Affairs

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594037368
Publisher:
Encounter Books
Publication date:
09/02/2014
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
819,938
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Charles T. Rubin is an associate professor of political science at Duquesne University, where he teaches courses in political philosophy and about the normative aspects of policy making. He is the author of The Green Crusade: Rethinking the Roots of Radical Environmentalism (1998), and has written for The New Atlantis (where he is a contributing editor), First Things, Commentary, and other publications.

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