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 and cognition.
Transhumanist thinkers study the potential benefits and dangers of emerging technologies that could overcome fundamental human limitations as well as the ethics 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.
Julian Huxley was a biologist who popularised the term transhumanism in an influential 1957 essay. 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". 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.
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.
In 2017, Penn State University Press, in cooperation with philosopher Stefan Lorenz Sorgner and sociologist James Hughes, established the Journal of Posthuman Studies 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.