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David Pearce (born 1959) is a philosopher and writer best known for his 1995 manifesto 'The hedonistic imperative'[1] and the associated ideas about abolishing suffering for all sentient life using biotechnology and other technologies.[2]


Pearce studied philosophy at Brasenose College, Oxford.[3] In 1998, together with Nick Bostrom, Pearce co-founded the World Transhumanist Association, today known as Humanity+.

Pearce is 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 the Qualia Research Institute. He is also a fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and is on the futurist advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation.

Abolition of suffering

Pearce argues that it is technically feasible and ethically rational to abolish suffering on the planet by replacing Darwinian suffering-based motivational systems with minds motivated exclusively by pleasant experience. He stresses that this "abolitionist project" is compatible with a diverse set of values and "intentional objects".[2]

Other interests

Pearce has also written on the intelligence explosion,[4] wild animal welfare,[5] philosophy of mind,[6] affective enhancement,[7] and other topics at the intersection of transhumanism and effective altruism.


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