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Bodies and Minds in Human Enhancement: African Perspectives


Bodies and Minds in Human Enhancement: African Perspectives

Edited by Ojochogwu Abdul and Leo Igwe


Humans have always modified their bodies and striven to improve their minds. However, with growing innovations in biomedicine, bioengineering, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and neurotechnology, the possibilities to alter biological and cognitive form and function are moving in radically new directions. Human enhancement—our ability to use technology to alter biology and augment our bodies and minds — aim to improve human characteristics, including appearance and physical, sensory or mental capacities and functioning often beyond the conventionally understood “normal”. In addition to steroid use and cosmetic surgeries to become stronger and more attractive, genetic and regenerative medicine are opening new prospects for bodily rejuvenation and extended lifespans, while technological assists such as computerized prosthetics and artificial organs present means for enhanced capabilities. People today also use pharmaceuticals (particularly cognitive enhancers) to get smarter, improve performance, and boost creativity, attentiveness, memory, perception, etc. In the future, nanotechnology might produce implants that enable humans to see in the dark, or in currently non-visible regions such as the infrared, whereas with advancements in artificial intelligence, nano-computers might be imbedded into our bodies in ways that help process more information faster, and even to an extent where humans and machines become indistinguishable. These and many more examples in an emerging range of cosmetic, neurological, genetic and robotic enhancement technologies portend scenarios of significant changes for human bodies and minds, and as well as signify effects on the social conditions and cultural expectations that themselves enable such transformations. 

How do these transhumanist visions fit with African conceptions of body and mind? Are African notions of personhood, dignity, identity, human destiny, the good, etc., threatened or compatible with (and possibly improved by) these technologically driven transformations of body and mind? Would the notion of race be a factor in the redesign, nature and understanding of the bodies and minds of the future? What trajectory of social, cultural and economic impacts may expected from the enhancements of human bodies and minds in African societies? 

This debut volume in the Transhumanism and Africa Series invites African and Africanist philosophers and scholars to respond to such issues and contribute critical and innovative chapters all in connection to the general theme: Bodies and Minds in Human Enhancement: African Perspectives. Specific topics for engagement include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Mind and Body in African Worldviews

• Disabilities, (Neuro-)prosthetics, and Human Enhancement

• African Cultural Assumptions on Bodily Alterations 

• African Historical, Modern and Futuristic Notions of Bodily Modifications

• Cosmetic Surgeries, Synthetic Bodies and African Aesthetics

• Human Enhancement and Personhood in an African Context

• Cognitive Enhancers and African Perspectives on Mind and Intelligence

• Bodily Modifications and African Conceptions of Gender and Sexual Identities.

• Cognitive Liberty, Personhood and Dignity in Africa

• Morphological Freedom and African Views on Personhood and Human Dignity

• Human Enhancement, Change, and Implications for Self and Personal Identity in African Philosophy

• Mind-Body Enhancements and Implications for African Notions of the Individual and Community

• African Vitalist Theories in Relation to Mind and Body Augmentation

• Virtual Reality, Digital Existences, and African Ontology

• Virtual Embodiment and Afrocommunitarianism

• African Philosophical Anthropologies, Artificial Intelligence and Non-human Persons

• African Concepts of Man and the Posthuman

• Age Reversal, Life Extension and Intergenerational Relationships in Africa

• Human-Machine Interactions, Cyborgism and Futures of the Body

• Brain-Computer Interfaces and Futures of Mind

• Moral Neuroenhancements and African Moral Values

• Reproductive Technologies and Genetically Modified African Bodies

• Race, Human Enhancements, and the Redesign of African Bodies and Minds

• Mind-Body Enhancements and Africans’ Capacity Development

• Mind-Body Enhancements and Skills for the African Workforce of the Future


Please submit your abstracts and short bios to the editors at and 


Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: February 15, 2024

Deadline for Submission of Completed Chapters: June 30, 2024

Estimated publication date: October 2024


This book will be published in the book series "Transhumanism and Africa", within the larger imprint "Trivent Transhumanism" edited by Prof. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner. For details on the series, visit: 

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