David Pearce is a British utilitarian philosopher who promotes what he calls The Hedonistic Imperative. David is also a co-founder of the World Transhumanist Association and a vegan who argues that we (or our future posthuman descendants) have a responsibility not only to avoid cruelty to animals within human society but also to alleviate the suffering of animals in the wild.
During our 85 minute conversation with David Pearce we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: why in his view philosophy is mostly a matter of temperament; Utilitarianism as his choice of flavor; why he decided to be a vegan; defining and measuring sentience; his definition of transhumanism and why philosophy has largely ignored it; The Abolitionist Project; the importance and impact of suffering; The Hedonistic Imperative; whether killing other humans can be permissible under extreme circumstances; Buddhism; his take on the technological singularity, mind uploading and the Hameroff/Penrose model of consciousness…
My favorite quotes that I will take away from this interview with David Pearce are his two definitions of transhumanism:
“Technical solution to an ethical problem.”
“The use of technology to overcome biological limitations.”
(You can listen to/download the audio file above or watch the video interview in full. If you want to help me produce more episodes please make a donation!)