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Singularity (Posthuman transcension) Glossary

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Accelerating change: In futures studies and the history of technology, the perceived increase in the rate of technological (and sometimes social and cultural) progress throughout history, which may suggest faster and more profound change in the future. The term is associated with various advocates of technological singularity, such as Vernor Vinge and Ray Kurzweil. Wikipedia

AI: artificial intelligence.

Aurobindo, Sri: Indian poet, yogi and mystic, who integrated Eastern monism and Western evolutionism. Parallel to but independent of Teilhard de Chardin, he described the evolution of the Earth and the cosmos as progressing through the stages of matter, life, and mind to a collective Divine transformation. (MAK)








Human: in Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, man is a transitional being, intermediate between the animal and supramental stages of evolution. (MAK)






Mind, Mental being: in this context, a particular evolutionary stage, representing the rational mind and socio-cultural evolution. (MAK)



Omega point: in Teilhard de Chardin's pantheistic evolutionary theology, the personal and transcendent state of maximum complexification, towards which the Earth is evolving, and associated or identified with Christ; the end of history, or of history as we know it. Enormously influential (generally second or third hand) on the new age movement. Similar to Sri Aurobindo's independently arrived at but more radical concept of Supramental transformation, and the Transhumanist Singularity (perhaps direct or indirect influence re the history of ideas). The mathematical physicist and cosmologist Frank J. Tipler developed a materialistic "hard science" version of Teilhard's Omega Point. (MAK)

Pantheism, Panentheism: Pantheism a form of monism that asserts that God is the same as the cosmos, and vice versa. Panentheism is similar except that it asserts that God is not only the same as the cosmos and everything in it (pantheism), but also transcends the cosmos. Panentheism tends to be preferred by mystics, and ties in also with emanation. (MAK)

Posthuman: "after humanity" - in transhumanism, future or near-future technologically advanced intelligences that will evolutionarily succeed Homo sapiens. Can also be applied to Sri Aurobindo's equivalent metaphysical concept of the supramental being. See also singularity. (MAK)




Sentience quotient concept introduced by Robert A. Freitas Jr. in the late 1970s. (Freitas, 1984). It defines sentience as the relationship between the information processing rate of each individual processing unit (neuron), the weight/size of a single unit, and the total number of processing units (expressed as mass). It was proposed as a measure for the sentience of all beings living and computer from a single neuron up to a hypothetical being at the theoretical computational limit of the entire universe. On a logarithmic scale it runs from -70 up to +50. (Wikipedia)

Sentient being any entity that possesses sentience, that is, the ability to feel, perceive or be conscious, or to have subjective experiences. Eighteenth century philosophers used the concept to distinguish the ability to think ("reason") from the ability to feel ("sentience"). In modern western philosophy, sentience is the ability to have sensations or experiences (described by some thinkers as "qualia"). For Eastern philosophy, sentience is a metaphysical quality of all things that requires respect and care. The concept is central to the philosophy of animal rights, because sentience is necessary for the ability to suffer, which entails certain rights. In science fiction, non-human characters described as "sentient" typically have similar abilities, qualities and rights as human beings. )Wikipedia)

Singularitarianism: philosophy or belief that a technological singularity is likely to happen in the medium future, and that deliberate action ought to be taken to ensure that the Singularity benefits humans. (Wikipedia)

Singularity: In mathematics, a point at which a given mathematical object is not defined or not well-behaved, for example infinite or not differentiable. In the natural sciences, a point in spacetime where the laws of physics break down, for example where gravitational forces cause matter to have an infinite density and zero volume (as in a Black Hole). In transhumanism and futurism, the end of history as we know it, the point (Technological singularity) at which accelerating change and technological progress becomes so rapid, or alternatively that an exponential growth of artificial intelligence surpasses human levels of intelligence, so that it becomes impossible to predict the nature of any post-singularity intelligence or technological civilization; see Acceleration Watch website for more. Teilhard de Chardin's Omega Point and Sri Aurobindo's Supramental transformation are metaphysical equivalents. (MAK) More

Sophont being any entity that possesses both sentience and the ability to reason and be self-aware.

Strong AI: the philosophical premise that AIs can be fully sentient and sophont beings.

Supermind, Supramental being: Sri Aurobindo's term for the posthuman stage of existence, which will succeed the mental being. (MAK)


Teleology: the philosophical supposition that there is design, purpose, directive principle, or final causes in the works and processes of nature, and therefore that either design and purpose analogous to that found in human actions are inherent also in the rest of nature, or that evolution is being pulled to a final goal or consumation. Teleology was explored by Plato and especially Aristotle, by Saint Anselm, and Immanuel Kant (Critique of Judgment). Philosophers and thinkers like Hegel, Marx and Engels, Henri Bergson (Creative Evolution), Teilhard de Chardin (evolutionary theology), and Ken Wilber (Integral Theory), are among the many who have in different ways have advocated a teleological theory of evolution. Both philosophical naturalism and teleology investigate the existence or non-existence of an organizing principle behind those natural laws and phenomena investigated by science. Philosophical naturalism asserts that there are no such principles, whereas teleology asserts that there are (see archetype, vitalism). Teleology is rejected by both metaphysical naturalism (e.g. Richard Dawkins), neo-pragmatism, and postmodern philosophy (as an example of a "grand narrative"). (MAK, and Wikipedia glossary)

Technological singularity: hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human intelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such an intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which the future becomes difficult to understand or predict. Nevertheless, proponents of the singularity typically anticipate such an event to precede an "intelligence explosion", wherein superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds. The term was coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity. The concept is popularized by futurists like Ray Kurzweil and it is expected by proponents to occur sometime in the 21st century, although estimates do vary. (Wikipedia)

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre: French Jesuit paleontologist who integrated Catholicism, panentheism, and naturalistic theories of evolution into an evolutionary cosmology and theology, according to which matter (the external reality) evolves towards greater and greater consciousness (the inner reality), culminating in an Omega Point of shared God-Consciousness (MAK) More

Transhumanism: emergent philosophy analysing or favouring the use of science and technology, especially neurotechnology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, to overcome human limitations and improve the human condition. Dr. Robin Hanson describes it as "the idea that new technologies are likely to change the world so much in the next century or two that our descendants will in many ways no longer be 'human'." See also conscious evolution, singularity. (Wikipedia glossary).







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