Transhumanism: from Julian Huxley to UNESCO
What Objective for International Action?
Julian Huxley, founder and the first Director-General of UNESCO, is at the heart of contemporary debates on the nature and objectives of the concept of transhumanism, which he first used in the early 1950s. Therefore, the analysis of his idea of transhumanism - a tool to improve the quality of life and the condition of man - should lead us to question his heritage in terms of philosophy that inspires UNESCO’s action as it seeks to build a comprehensive approach to artificial intelligence that takes into account, among other things, the values and principles of universal ethics and aims to derive the best from the use of this technology.
This title where the British biologist, the elder brother of the famous science fiction writer, Aldous Huxley, author of the Brave New World1, coexists with the United Nations Organization in charge of Education of Science and Culture is obvious for those who know the history of this international organization or who like radio games: Julian Huxley was appointed as the first Director-General of UNESCO in 1946. But, beyond this evidence, there is a deeper link that highlights the history of the renewal of the idea of transhumanism (I) and questions about the role that UNESCO has, among the other international organizations (II).
Keywords: Julian Huxley, UNESCO, transhumanism, ethics of artificial intelligence.
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