Advisory Board

David Pearce

David Pearce is a British transhumanist philosopher who promotes the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. He is an animal rights advocate known for his work on the concept of “humane” or “gradualist” transhumanism, which argues that humanity should work towards using technology to eliminate suffering in all sentient beings. He approaches ethical issues from a formal, lexical negative utilitarian perspective.

Dave is a writer known for his work on the concept of Transhumanism, which is a philosophical movement that aims to use technology to fundamentally transform the human condition and help people overcome physical and mental limitations. He is the author of the book The Hedonistic Imperative, a manifesto that outlines his arguments for the use of biotechnology to achieve this goal and is a philosophical position called hedonistic utilitarianism, which advocates for the maximization of pleasure and the minimization of suffering for all sentient beings. Read the abstract of the manifesto.

In his manifesto, he outlines how technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and neurosurgery could potentially eliminate all forms of unpleasant experiences. He predicts that our descendants will enjoy genetically preprogrammed bliss that is orders of magnitude richer than anything accessible today.

Dave is a leading figure in the transhumanist movement and has written extensively on topics such as animal welfare, radical life extension, brain-computer interfaces, and the ethical implications of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and brain-computer interfaces.

He is also the Cofounder of the World Transhumanist Association (WTA), now known as Humanity+, which advocates for the ethical use of science and technology to enhance human capabilities and well-being and improve the human condition.

The World Transhumanist Association was founded in early 1998 by David Pearce and Swedish polymath Nick Bostrom, to provide a general organizational basis for all transhumanist groups and interests, across the political spectrum. The aim was also to develop a more mature and academically respectable form of transhumanism, freed from the “cultishness” which, at least in the eyes of some critics, had afflicted some of its earlier convocations. Read What is It Like to be a Philosopher?

He also cofounded the Abolitionist Society in 2002 with Pablo Stafforini, Sean Henderson, and Jaime Savage, and serves as its honorary president. He is the director of BLTC Research.

BLTC Research was founded in 1995 to promote paradise engineering. They are dedicated to an ambitious global technology project which seeks to abolish the biological substrates of suffering. Not just in humans, but in all sentient life.

Dave has also developed his own distinctive view of transhumanism based on an ethic of hedonistic utilitarianism. He argues, in The Hedonistic Imperative, for an ambitious program to eliminate suffering in both human and non‐human animals by means of advanced neuro‐technology (in the short term pharmaceuticals, in the longer term perhaps genetic engineering). In parallel with this negative effort to abolish suffering, he proposes a positive program of “paradise engineering” in which sentient beings would be redesigned to enable everybody the experience of unprecedented levels of well‐being.

In Dave’s utopia, our motivation system would run on “gradients of bliss” instead of the current pleasure‐pain axis. WTA’s activities focused mainly on Internet discussion, development of documents, representation in the media, organizing of an annual TransVision conference, and publication of the scholarly online Journal of Transhumanism later renamed to the Journal of Evolution and Technology.

Currently, Dave is a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and the director of bioethics of Invincible Wellbeing and is on the advisory boards of the Center on Long-Term Risk, the Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering, and since 2021 the Qualia Research Institute.

Until 2013, Dave was on the editorial advisory board of the controversial and non-peer-reviewed journal Medical Hypotheses. He has been interviewed by Vanity Fair (Germany) and on BBC Radio 4’s The Moral Maze, among others.

Dave has been the Director of the Neuroethics Foundation since 2012. He also runs the web hosting company Knightsbridge Online as their Director since 1997, which aims to help compassionate technophobes develop an online presence as painlessly as possible. But his main interest lies in the potential use of science to eradicate cruelty and suffering wherever they are found — and eventually, perhaps, the birth of true “paradise-engineering”.

In 2021, Dave presented his work and plan on The Biohappiness Revolution. In this plan, he describes the potential future of humanity in which advances in science and technology are used to eliminate suffering and create a world in which all sentient beings experience only positive emotions. This would be achieved through a combination of genetic engineering, neurotechnology, and other forms of biotechnology. The Biohappiness Revolution would represent a major shift in human consciousness and would require the development of new ethical frameworks to guide the use of these technologies.

Read Abolitionist Bioethics and the presentation work for Transvision 2021.

Watch The Biohappiness Revolution by David Pearce.

Listen to him on The Future And You. Read his interview with R.U. Sirius and with Jonathan Despres. Read his articles Utopian Surgery: Early arguments against anaesthesia in surgery, dentistry, and childbirth, Wirehead Hedonism versus paradise engineering, and Future Opioids.

Read Negative Utilitarianism FAQ and A History of Transhumanist Thought. Read What is It Like to be a Philosopher.

Visit his LinkedIn profile, his Homepage, Wikiquote and Wikipedia page, his personal page HedWeb, and his Abolitionist page. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.