ABSTRACT. The current foundation phase of “Transhumanist” politics deserves a critical discussion of the philosophical principles that implicitly underlie its new political organization. As part of the effort towards a self-critical evaluation of political transhumanism, which is undoubtedly still in a very early phase of development, this chapter discusses the philosophy drafted by the founder of the “Transhumanist Party of the USA,” Zoltan Istvan, in his bestselling novel The Transhumanist Wager (2013) dedicated to develop the vision of a better society. Istvan called the philosophy underlying his meta-national, if not global, vision “Teleological Egocentric Functionalism.” We discuss the achievements, contradictions and dialectics of and within this philosophy; its possible relation to realistic social policy programs; as well as the potential implications and consequences. The goal is to achieve a more considered overall discourse at the contested new ideological interface between humanism and transhumanism which could define an influential zeitgeist of our time. pp. 82–107

Keywords: Zoltan Istvan; Teleological Egocentric Functionalism; transhumanism

How to cite: Benedikter, Roland, Katja Siepmann, and Annabella McIntosh (2016), “Zoltan Istvan’s ‘Teleological Egocentric Functionalism:’ A Libertarian Philosophical Basis for ‘Transhumanist’ Politics,” Review of Contemporary Philosophy 15: 82–107.

Received 22 April 2015 • Received in revised form 6 July 2015
Accepted 6 July 2015 • Available online 15 July 2016

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Willy Brandt Centre,
University of Wroclaw/Breslau
Global Studies Department,
University of California, Santa Barbara
Independent scholar, Berlin

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