CLAUDIO PENSIERI, MASSIMILIANO VITALI AND VITTORADOLFO TAMBONE POSTHUMANIST’S VALUES IN WORLDWIDE MOVIES
CUADERNOS DE BIOÉTICA XXV 2014/3ª
Pop-Philosophy is the transmission of philosophical
concepts through popular media such as TV, internet,
comics, etc. We developed an appropriate tool and
methodology to assess the effectiveness of Movies in
broadcasting posthumanism’s contents.
We decided to investigate, through a questionnaire
for “content analysis”, the delivery of posthumanists
values in the student population of the Campus Bio-
Medico University of Rome through a speciﬁc medium:
Film. We performed an analytical breakdown, a clas-
siﬁcation of ﬁlms and the values conveyed by them,
in order to make inferences on the overall meaning of
the message, the possible effects on the recipient, in-
terests, strategies and ﬁlm producers’ values. We chose
to focus our attention on a series of ﬁlms that were
related to the values listed in the Italian transhumanist
manifesto1: “the lengthening of life, the slowing down
of the aging process, the strengthening of physical and
mental disabilities and able-bodied, even beyond the
limits of the current biological structure”2. In particular,
in the movies that we surveyed, we found these posthu-
manists aspects: 1. memory and physical enhancements;
2. completely modiﬁed bodies (water-breathing, ﬁre-
resistance, empowerment,etc); 3. uploading memories
and consciousness into a computer to live as a digital life
form; 4. connecting into a neural network and living in
connection with other individuals; 5. enhancement and
6. immortality. This pilot study will allow us to have an
adequate tool for a larger scale research.
2. European and Worldwide Movie Theaters
In 2011, 818 ﬁlms3 were produced and the global box
ofﬁce for all ﬁlms, released in each country around the
1 National Council of Italian Association of Transhumanists
(AIT) [On line publication] «Manifesto». 11/02/2008. < http://www.
RANSUMANISTI+ITALIANI > [consulted: 27/08/2013].
2 National Council of Italian Association of Transhumanists
(AIT) [On line publication] «Manifesto sintetico». 11/02/2008. <http://
www.transumanisti.it/1.asp?idPagina=3> [consulted: 28/08/2013].
3 Motion Picture Association of America [On line publica-
tion] «Theatrical Market Statistic 2012». 21. <http://www.mpaa.org/
world, reached $34.7 billion in 20124. In 2012, the ad-
missions in the USA were 1,360 millions while in Europe
they were 1,190 million5.
We can only hypothesize the impact that the values
broadcasted by a ﬁlm all over the world could have in
the population’s mind.
In 2013, between April and June, we interviewed 296
students at the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome
in order to investigate which ﬁlms they had seen that
dealt with the disclosure of posthumanist values.
We developed our research in two phases:
Phase I: we asked the students the names of 3
ﬁlms (that they had seen) that conveyed “post-
humanists” values. We submitted the question-
naire to 296 students representing the health
professions: Medicine, Nursing, Radiographers
(TRR), Food science and nutrition (SANUM) and
Phase II: we made analysis of the perception of
the primary message conveyed by the top 5 ﬁlms
cited. We decided to use an “ad hoc” question-
naire with pre-compiled statements. In its con-
struction we considered to insert the correct mes-
sage conveyed merged with other 4 messages that
progressively diminished from the actual meaning.
In particular, our aim was to investigate 3 aspects:
the idea of Man, the idea of God and the idea of Nature
conveyed by those ﬁlms.
Idea of Man: because we are talking about trans-
humanism, so the idea of “man” conveyed must
be a central point of the analysis.
Idea of God: because we believe that Posthuman-
ism is a “myth” (category of myth that refers to
the source, it has something to say about God
and besides, according to the myth of origin, it
changes the nature of God).
4 Ibid, 4.
5 Media Salles [On line publication] «European Cinema Year-
book 2012». 3-4. 2013. [Consulted: 21/06/13].