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Transhumanism is a philosophical and intellectual movement which advocates the enhancement of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies that can greatly enhance longevity, cognition, and well-being.[1][2][3]

Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as the ethics[4] of using such technologies. Some transhumanists believe that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with abilities so greatly expanded from the current condition as to merit the label of posthuman beings.[2]

Another topic of transhumanist research is how to protect humanity against existential risks, such as nuclear war or asteroid collision.[5][better source needed]

Julian Huxley was a biologist who popularised the term transhumanism in an influential 1957 essay.[6] The contemporary meaning of the term "transhumanism" was foreshadowed by one of the first professors of futurology, a man who changed his name to FM-2030. In the 1960s, he taught "new concepts of the human" at The New School when he began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles, and worldviews "transitional" to posthumanity as "transhuman".[7] The assertion would lay the intellectual groundwork for the British philosopher Max More to begin articulating the principles of transhumanism as a futurist philosophy in 1990, and organizing in California a school of thought that has since grown into the worldwide transhumanist movement.[7][8][9]

Influenced by seminal works of science fiction, the transhumanist vision of a transformed future humanity has attracted many supporters and detractors from a wide range of perspectives, including philosophy and religion.[7]

In 2017, Penn State University Press, in cooperation with philosopher Stefan Lorenz Sorgner and sociologist James Hughes, established the Journal of Posthuman Studies[10] as the first academic journal explicitly dedicated to the posthuman, with the goal of clarifying the notions of posthumanism and transhumanism, as well as comparing and contrasting both.

Transhumanism is often compared, especially in the media, to the Nazi project to improve the race in a eugenic sense. This is resolutely denied by one of the most active supporters of transhumanism, the aforementioned Sorgner: "It is also false to identify transhumanists with Nazi ideology, as Habermas does, because Nazis are in favor of a totalitarian political organization, whereas transhumanists uphold the value of liberal democracies."[11]

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