Transhumanist Imagination

transhumanist imagination

Michael Hauskeller

TITLE

“’Erotic pleasure of an intoxicating intensity that mortal flesh has never known’ – the glorious sex life of the posthuman”

DEPARTMENT

Exeter University

EMAIL

BIO

Abstract: I am going to look at transhumanist and related visions of our posthuman future and study the role of sexuality in those visions. Sexuality features surprisingly often in the posthuman scenarios that are designed to sell us the idea of posthuman existence. And we find similar descriptions in the writings of the eugenicists in the early 20th century, for instance in H.G. Wells or G.B Shaw. Sex, in those visions, will of course be infinitely more intense and infinitely more pleasurable, but also unhampered by negative emotions such as jealousy or by (misplaced) moral scruples. We will be in complete control of our own bodies, will always perform perfectly. If no human is available, we will have marvelous sexbots who will be able to fulfill all our desires. If we are in danger of losing erotic interest in our partner or our partner in us, we can easily rekindle it by means of love pills that change the chemistry of our brains. Likewise, if we are in danger of loving too much and for that reason becoming too dependent, there will always be a way to tone down our love to a healthy level that leaves our autonomy intact. I will analyse the way sexuality is framed in these scenarios, how it is informed by mythological paradigms, and use this to determine the values that inform the transhumanists and posthumanist discourse.