Sociologist James Hughes shares his thoughts on how libertarian transhumanism allows for cognitive liberty and bodily autonomy, the ethical implications of using enhancement technologies to amplify human virtues, and the challenge of being a techno-optimist.
James Hughes, the Executive Director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, is a bioethicist and sociologist who serves as the Associate Provost for Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning for the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB), and as Senior Research Fellow at UMB’s Center for Applied Ethics. He holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Chicago where he taught bioethics at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics.
Dr. Hughes has taught health policy, bioethics, medical sociology and research methods at Northwestern University, the University of Connecticut, and Trinity College. Dr. Hughes is author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future (2004) and is co-editor of Surviving the Machine Age: Intelligent Technology and the Transformation of Human Work (2017). In 2005 Dr. Hughes co-founded the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) with Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, and since then has served as its Executive Director. Dr. Hughes serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Evolution and Technology, and as co-founder of the Journal of Posthuman Studies.
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Produced by FUTURES Podcast Recorded, Mixed & Edited by Luke Robert Mason