Posts Tagged 'Ideology'

Evolution, Extinction or Extension: What is the Risk of Adopting the Wrong Anthropic Principle?

The most recent paper continuing the work on human extension was published by EHU’s journal Topos.

Abstract:

The paper explores two main themes in science, philosophy and theology/worldview discourse: anthropic principles and transhumanism. After providing a brief history of the first theme, it cautions about potential dehumanisation from adopting the wrong anthropic principle as a kind of ‘disanthropic’ reasoning. Part of the solution is to reclaim a proper meaning of ‘anthropic’ for the social sciences and humanities beyond the natural sciences of physics and cosmology or statistical probabilities. The second theme is investigated both in theistic and nontheistic variants as they influence what is meant by ‘human’ in the context of evolution and development. Transhumanism is portrayed in terms of both risk and reward with the rise of neoeugenics and biotechnological human enhancements. The paper closes by briefly acknowledging Human Extension (Sandstrom 2011, 2014) as a reflexive anthropic principle that can be applied in social sciences and humanities to help overcome the ideologies of naturalism and scientism. The Human Extension approach focuses on choices and actions that bring into relief the eschatological claims of some transhumanists and posthumanists who speak disanthropically about human extinction due to technocratic artificial intelligence or who deny human exceptionalism and instead promote species egalitarism among earthly creatures.

Keywords:

anthropic principle, anthropic reasoning, evolution, naturalism, transhumanism, dehumanisation, human extension

http://topos.ehu.lt/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Topos-2-3_2014-Sandstrom.pdf

Human Extension – Book Publication

It’s a great pleasure to announce the publication of my first book – Human Extension: An Alternative to Evolutionism, Creationism and Intelligent Design. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

9781137464880.indd

This introductory book critiques the Intelligent Design Movement and its ideology, in addition to documenting the exaggeration of ‘evolution’ as a biological theory into the ideology of ‘evolutionism’. The ideology of ‘creationism’ is given rather short thrift as unfortunately linked with fundamentalism and biblical literalism in the USA. This does not, however, discount theistic views of Creation across a range of beliefs. Of main interest is the idea of Human Extension and how it impacts the current landscape of views involving origins and processes of change-over-time.

Thanks are expressed to the editors at NewGen and to the management at Palgrave Macmillan for their patient and consistent work on bringing this text to print in the Pivot Series.

http://www.palgrave.com/page/detail/human-extension-an-alternative-to-evolutionism-creationism-and-intelligent-design-gregory-sandstrom/?K=9781137464880

http://books.google.lt/books?id=2eRABAAAQBAJ&dq=sandstrom+%22Human+Extension%22&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Human Satellites and Creative Extension – SERRC

This was a risky short paper in response to a provocative article by Russian philosopher Lyudmila A. Markova at the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective. The initial paper left out the ‘many worlds’ perspective, i.e. that human beings may perceive ourselves as living in a ‘human multiverse.’ I thought it would be helpful to add it as a brainstorming possibility. Quite openly, I ask for feedback from anyone with thoughts about it: “Do the satellites extend (as technologies, media, cognition) from human beings or are we all self-sustainable ‘worlds’ around which our satellites fly in a greater social epistemological multiverse?”

This is an on-going discussion related to extended mind and human extension, soon with a visit to the extended knowledge project.

http://social-epistemology.com/2014/02/23/human-satellites-and-creative-extension-gregory-sandstrom/

Continue reading ‘Human Satellites and Creative Extension – SERRC’

Peace for Evolution’s Puzzle: The Arrival of Human Extension

Abstract:

A response to the review “Evolution is Still Puzzling” (2008) of “Pieces of Evolution’s Puzzle” (2008) that makes an attempt to answer the challenge of a lack of alternative to evolutionary theories in human-social sciences. By putting forward a candidate for a legitimate alternative to evolution, the evolutionary puzzle and its exaggeration from biology into improper humanities fields is potentially solved. This paper offers a paradigm shift primarily for sociology, the author’s home field, but also for four other fields that have been neutralized from providing peaceful alternatives in the study of change and development for human societies, instead of succumbing to the totalising logic of evolutionistic ideology. Human extension marks a moment of reversal from evolutionism with its arrival as a post-evolutionary general methodology.

General Introduction

Extension – “a fundamental notion concerning the nature of reality[i].” – A.N. Whitehead

The only way to achieve peace in the warring controversy over evolution is to put evolutionary theory in its proper scholarly place, refusing to allow it to be over-estimated in the Academy. The same was true with relativity theory in physics; it has only a limited conceptual transferability into human-social thought, philosophy and ethics. In making a principled categorical clarification about ‘evolutionism,’ those who choose to uphold evolution as a world-view, as the primary basis for their special sciences, philosophies, or (a)theologies, can be identified for their attempt to ‘universalise evolution,’ rather than limiting it within appropriate and responsible, meaningful boundaries.

Continue reading ‘Peace for Evolution’s Puzzle: The Arrival of Human Extension’

On ‘the Character of’ (tCo) vs. ‘the Nature of’ (tNo) – A Social-Realist Account*

In a previous entry I wrote about ‘non-natural’ and ‘extra-natural’ things as if they pose a challenge to the phrase ‘the nature of’ (tNo). This perhaps needs some clarification, especially for those who have come to embrace the ideology of ‘naturalism’ and the view that there is nothing ‘real’ other than that which is ‘natural.’

Showing my position upfront, I admit that I am not an ideological ‘naturalist,’ nor am I a ‘naturalist’ in the sense of that being my professional occupation (as Charles Darwin was on the Beagle or David Attenborough is today). That is to say, there are (at least) two distinct meanings of ‘naturalist’: 1) as an ideology (i.e. ‘naturalism’), and 2) as an occupation or vocation (i.e. working as a ‘naturalist’). What this means is that my academic activities are focussed on things other than purely ‘nature,’ except for the rather ambiguous concept duo of ‘human nature,’ which is of course part of the human-social sciences and humanities.

This short message contends that one way to articulate the distinctiveness of the human-social sciences in contrast to the natural-physical sciences is to replace or substitute (or simply provide a suitable alternative to) the phrase ‘the nature of’ with the phrase ‘the character of’ (tCo). This linguistic move displays a ‘personalist’ instead of a ‘naturalist’ approach. But why should others adapt their language this way and for what purpose?

Continue reading ‘On ‘the Character of’ (tCo) vs. ‘the Nature of’ (tNo) – A Social-Realist Account*’

Big-ID vs. small-id – Flip-Flopping IDM-Style

One doesn’t need to read far into ‘Intelligent Design’ (Big-ID) theory literature to discover the Intelligent Design Movement’s (IDM’s) refusal to study the supposed ‘Designer(s)’ of that which is said by IDists to be ‘Designed.’ This fact lowers the explanatory power of their theory immensely, almost entirely, even if Big-IDists don’t wish to acknowledge it for ideological purposes.

An easy way to highlight this challenge is to speak of Big-ID and small-id, as I’ve done on this blog already. Discussion about this has also taken place in commentary at Uncommon Descent (UD), one of the IDM’s most popular blogs. Unfortunately, no consensus has yet been reached and thus no clarity to stop the waffling back and forth between the two terms. Likewise, no attempt to sort out when or even if capitalisation of ‘Intelligent Design’ is justified or if non-capitalisation of ‘intelligent design’ is always preferred or if the two linguistic expressions carry the same meaning has been made at UD. This could be done simply by dedicating a single thread to the issue. But for ideological purposes, this is likely not going to happen.

Continue reading ‘Big-ID vs. small-id – Flip-Flopping IDM-Style’

Varieties of Evolution and Evolutionism – Sociological-Economical-Anthropological-Philosophical

This list of quotations, definitions and figures was collected by:

Gregory Sandstrom

M.A. Philosophy, B.A. Economics, B.A. Sociology

Candidate of Sociological Sciences

St. Petersburg State University

Russian Federation

(2006)

This collection of quotations, definitions and figures was done while in the Netherlands and Russia, working on my Master and PhD degrees. It was intended to show various ways the term ‘evolution’ is used in human-social sciences, i.e. outside of natural-physical sciences. I haven’t done much with it since 2006 and that means it’s in some ways out of date, at least in so far as I’ve probably collected 5+ times more quotations about evolution since then and haven’t yet come around to organise them.

A majority of these quotations were typed (or copy-pasted) directly from the book or article while reading them for academic research. This is not a ‘quote-mined’ list meant for ‘culture-warring’ (e.g. by anti-Darwinian IDists and Creationists), but rather is meant to provoke further thought about how ‘evolutionary’ theories are conceived and applied professionally, by major figures in human-social sciences. In light of the mission of this Blog about Human Extension,  the list also aims at provoking people to consider how evolution is or should be thought of as a limited concept and indeed, how it may even be inappropriate to use ‘evolution’ (i.e. instead of ‘development,’ ‘progress,’ ’emergence’ or simply ‘change’) in the human-social sciences. The collector of these quotations is not an ‘evolutionist’ and in most cases does not advocate the uses of evolution shown below.

If you appreciate or enjoy a quotation from this list that you hadn’t seen before and would like to save and use it somewhere, please include the link to this Blog article at Human Extension as your mediated source for this citation. Information about the original source is cited in most cases, according to academic referencing standards.

Criticisms of and additions to this list are welcome in the Comments section below.

~~

Evolution (relative def’n): variation, natural selection, ‘struggle for life’ (T. Malthus) or ‘survival of the fittest’ (H. Spencer), (group rather than individual) change (over long periods of time), random mutation, adaptation, process, differentiation, integration, progress, growth, alteration, metamorphosis, advancement, development, emergence;

Continue reading ‘Varieties of Evolution and Evolutionism – Sociological-Economical-Anthropological-Philosophical’


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E-mail: gregorisandstrom@yahoo.com

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