As part of our ongoing colloquium series, Dr. Melinda Hall will be giving a talk that challanges the transhumanist movement through the lens by exploring existing stigma and it's relation to the shared human experience. After the talk, there will be a Q&A.
Abstract and Speaker biography:
Transhumanists seek to create “better” humans—but, if these conceptions of “better” do not question existing stigma, they will support it. I critique transhumanists like Nick Bostrom and Julian Savulescu, who view the human body through the lens of risk (especially the risk of disability), and view biotechnology through the lens of choice. They seek to curtail or eliminate dependence and vulnerability, rather than embracing these shared human experiences. We should reject the promotion of transhumanist enhancement strategies which rely, for their desirability, on stoking the fear of death and injury or exploiting desires for the realization of disembodied autonomy or rationality.
Melinda Hall (Ph.D., Vanderbilt University) is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Stetson University. She specializes in bioethics, continental philosophy, and the philosophy of disability. Hall is the author of The Bioethics of Enhancement: Transhumanism, Disability, and Biopolitics (Rowman & Littlefield 2016). The book draws on the work of Michel Foucault to demonstrate that disability is central to the debate over human enhancement. Hall’s work on human enhancement and the social and cultural construction of disability is also published in Disability Studies Quarterly, International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics, Philosophy Compass, and other publications.