Nowy Człowiek a problem cywilizacji
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Taking the concept of human nature as a starting point, the author discusses the problem of the so-called New Man. He shows that the relation: “human nature – civilization” is dialectical in character. The first part of the essay confronts the concept of human nature, in its classical Aristotelian fashion, with two visions of Western civilization: Oswald Spengler’s and Felix Koneczny’s. The decisive role of two turning points in the history of Western civilization – Christianity and Enlightenment – in the process of revealing the tacit dimensions of human nature is emphasized. The second part of the essay focuses on the project for the new man proposed by Ray Kurzweil, a propagator of transhumanism, that poses a challenge to proponents of traditionally conceived human nature. The axis of contention between Kurzweil and the opponents of transhumanism, in the background of which lies the theory of Turing’s machine and Gödel’s theorem function, is the question of whether it is possible to increase ad infinitum the cognitive functions of a new entity: a conglomerate of human and machine, that is a cyborg. The author notes the unclear consequences to the understanding of human nature that would result if the project were realized.