Futures: The Journal for Policy, Planning and Futures Studies, Vol. 41
In the present moment of cultural and political transition, one question seems to become the center of most other societal and civilizational questions: will the basic self-perception of the human being change under the influence of the new “neurotechnologies” and its accompanying ideologies like “Human enhancement” and “Transhumanism”? And if yes, how? Applied consciousness research is currently one-sidedly understood as brain research, and it is carried out mainly by the Natural Sciences under the influence of the “Economic–Technological Complex” and its relatively narrow interests. With its paradigmatic materialism determining the cultural spread of its temporary findings, it is already modifying our imaginary about what a human being is, what its rational self-determination can be, and how a “good society” can work. What is at stake with the change related to the findings of the new “consciousness technologies” is not only the principal socio-philosophical status of the human “self” or “I”, but also the related concepts of humanism, open societies, individualism and rationality. Thus, the new neurotechnologies and their “neurophilosophies” are currently in the process of profoundly influencing the very basics of our cultural self-understanding, grown over centuries. This article discusses some of the implications of this development within the greater picture of the current “global mindset change”.