There are as of yet no posthumans. But these ideas are not new, nor are they exclusive to the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. We have long imagined ourselves transformed. Our visions and variations of a transformed humanity are voluminous and often informed by the environmental, social and physical conditions we find ourselves in. Thus, there will be differing and conflicting visions of what the human future can and should look like.
Hopkins presents four different visions of humanity's future: Transformations of the body:
- Barbie bodies: Cosmetic and aesthetic enhancements; attaining a sexual idea; often risky procedures; not to escape limitations of the body, but to create an ideal of the body; a superficial ideal of the transformed body; surface level, "about looks"; body seen as an object that one uses and whipped into shape to conform to the mind's ideal so that the person can feel a certain way about themselves; a shallow human approach; but they may also feel that they may succeed more given a certain type of physicality.
- (Francis) Bacon bodies: These transformations are about functionality; to do more human things more often and for a longer time; extends functionality of the body; mimicking what time and nature already do; function cleanly, clearly and effectively -- but not about appearance; a healthy and long-lived body.
- Nietzsche bodies: A "super body" endowed with characteristics that "normal" humans do not have; man is something that needs to be surpassed; the body is transformed but not the mind; power to impose one's will on the world? Motivated by human emotions. The "super" human approach.
- Plato bodies: Separation of 'soul' from the body; body seen as the source of all the trouble, something that chains our minds to the body; we want the mind to be free; we would live in a more noble condition if freed from the constraints and influence of the body; transhuman application is uploading or virtual reality; total disembodiment may not be possible, but something very close may be obtained; maybe a "transhuman" approach.
Idea of transformation is not a unitary thing.