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Transhumanism and Nanotechnology – Will Old Myths Come True?
1  University of Bremen, Department of Computer Science, Bibliothekktr. 5, 28359 Bremen, Germany


 A major goal of transhumanism is the transformation of human beings into posthuman ones by exploiting present and future technologies (cf., e.g., Bostrom 2005). Nanotechnology is considered as a promising candidate in this respect. Its objects of interest are molecular structures with their surface properties and their specific design as sensors and actuators in various environments including the human blood circulation, lung, brain, etc.

In the mythologies all over the world one encounters the idea of super-natural strength, invulnerability, eternal youth, invisibility, invincibility, and immortality. Some proponents of transhumanism dream of a future in which all this will come true. And there are leading experts in nanotechnology who formulate quite similar aims and objectives of their area: the obligatory victory over Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease, cleansing of wounds, blood, lung, brain enhancement, soldiers who fight without fear, managers who need no sleep to be able to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week for their company, magic hoods, and much more (cf, e.g., Roco and Bainbridge 2003).

In the presentation, I will discuss the relation between transhumanism and nanotechnology and compile some reasons why old myths will not come true.


Nick Bostrom: A History of Transhumanist Thought. Journal of Evolution and Technology ‐ Vol. 14 Issue 1 ‐ April 2005

 Mihail C. Roco and William Sims Bainbridge (Eds.): Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance – Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science, NSF/DOC-sponsored report, Kluwer Academic Publishers (currently Springer), Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2003.

Keywords: transhumanism, nanotechnology