Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential:
A Cosmic Vision for Our Future Evolution
by Ted Chu, PhD
$26.95 cloth/eBook $14.99 • 978-1-57983-0250 • 486 pages
Published by Origin Press • Pub Date: March 1, 2014
PURCHASE FROM PUBLISHER • PURCHASE AT AMAZON
—James Hughes, PhD, Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies; author of Citizen Cyborg
“Ted Chu brings an astonishing breadth of philosophical, religious, and technological reflection to bear on the most important questions we could ask.”
“Ted Chu is a pioneering visionary whose futurist concern deserves close attention.”—From the Foreword by John Haught, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Theology at Georgetown University, author of Deeper Than Darwin
“In my opinion Ted’s book is absolutely profound in the way it draws upon a dazzling variety of philosophical and scientific resources in order to place humanity within a cosmic evolutionary perspective . . . it is a one-of-a-kind book within my transhumanist library.” —Nikola Danalyov, Singularity Weblog
Today we face the imminent possibility of transcending our biological form, of becoming—or creating—entirely new lifeforms that will overcome our all-too-human limitations. In Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential, Chu makes the provocative claim that the human race is not only an end in itself, but may also be a means to a higher end—and that our true purpose is to give rise to our evolutionary successors. Here are key tenets of Chu’s book.
Is Cosmic Evolution Leading Us
To Biological Self-transcendence?
In this wide-ranging philosophic work, Ted Chu re-examines the question of human purpose in light of the transhuman potentials that science and technology have now placed within our reach.
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Dr. Chu argues that we need a deeper understanding of our place in the universe in order to navigate the daunting choices ahead of us that arise from advances in biotechnology, AI, robotics, and nanotechnology. Toward that end, he surveys human wisdom both East and West, traces humanity’s long evolutionary trajectory, and breaks new ground in evolutionary theory.
Chu makes us fully aware of the many risks ahead, but offers an original “cosmic vision” that provides the courage and the perspective we will need to explore the potentials of our posthuman future.
“Ted Chu’s elegantly written and well-researched book has, for me at least, the same status as Ray Kurzweil’s The Singularity Is Near. Even critics of his ‘Cosmic Vision’ will find Chu’s book required reading.”
Formerly the chief economist at General Motors, Ted Chu was also chief economist for Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. He is currently professor of economics at New York University at Abu Dhabi. During his 25 years as a business economist, Dr. Chu also held positions as macroeconomist for the World Bank and Arthur D. Little. For the last 15 years, his second career has been conducting independent research on the philosophical question of humanity’s place in the universe, building on his lifelong interest in the frontiers of evolutionary progress. As part of these research efforts, he founded the nonprofit CoBe (Cosmic Being) Institute in Michigan and serves as a senior scholar at ChangCe, a Beijing-based independent think tank. Born and raised in China, Chu graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai, and earned his PhD in economics at Georgetown University.