Edited by Julian Savulescu and Dr. Nick Bostrom
To what extent should we use technology to try to make better human beings? Because of the remarkable advances in biomedical science, we must now find an answer to this question.
Human enhancement aims to increase human capacities above normal levels. Many forms of human enhancement
are already in use. Many students and academics take cognition enhancing drugs to get a competitive edge. Some top athletes boost their performance with legal and illegal substances. Many an office worker begins each day with a dose of caffeine. This is only the beginning. As science and technology
advance further, it will become increasingly possible to enhance basic human capacities to increase or modulate cognition, mood, personality, and physical performance, and to control the biological processes underlying normal aging. Some have suggested that such advances would take us beyond the
bounds of human nature.
These trends, and these dramatic prospects, raise profound ethical questions. They have generated intense public debate and have become a central topic of discussion within practical ethics. Should we side with bioconservatives, and forgo the use of any biomedical
interventions aimed at enhancing human capacities? Should we side with transhumanists and embrace the new opportunities? Or should we perhaps plot some middle course?
Human Enhancement presents the latest moves in this crucial debate: original contributions from many of the world's
leading ethicists and moral thinkers, representing a wide range of perspectives, advocates and sceptics, enthusiasts and moderates. These are the arguments that will determine how humanity develops in the near future.
Nick Bostrom and Julian Savulescu: Introduction: Human Enhancement Ethics: The State of the Debate
Part I - Human Enhancement in General
1. Norman Daniels: Can anyone really be talking about ethically modifying human nature?
2. Eric Jeungst: "Alter-ing" Human Nature?
Misplaced Essentialism in Science Policy
3. Ryuichi Ida: Should We Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective
4. Michael Sandel: The Case Against Perfection: What's wrong with designer children, bionic athletes, and genetic engineering
5. Frances Kamm: What Is
And Is Not Wrong With Enhancement?
6. John Harris: Enhancements Are A Moral Obligation
7. C.A.J. Coady: Playing God
8. Erik Parens: Toward a More Fruitful Debate about Enhancement
9. Arthur L. Caplan: Good, Better, or Best?
10. Julian Savulescu: The Human Prejudice and the
Moral Status of Enhanced Beings: What Do We Owe the Gods?
Part II - Specific Enhancements
11. Dan W. Brock: Is Selection of Children Wrong?
12. Peter Singer: Parental Choice and Human Improvement
13. Susumu Shimazono: Reasons Against the Selection of Life: From Japan's
Experience of Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis
14. Torbjörn Tännsjö: Medical Enhancement and the Ethos of Elite Sport
15. Christine Overall: Life Enhancement Technologies And the Significance of Social Category Membership
16. Daniel Wikler: Paternalism in the Age of Cognitive Enhancement:
Do Civil Liberties Presuppose Roughly Equal Mental Ability?
17. Robin Hanson: Enhancing Our Truth Orientation
Part III - Enhancement as a Practical Challenge
18. Nick Bostrom and Anders Sandberg: The Wisdom of Nature: An Evolutionary Heuristic for Human Enhancement
There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.
Julian Savulescu is Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and Director of the Program on Ethics and the New Biosciences in the 21st Century School, University of Oxford. Nick Bostrom is Director of the Future of Humanity Institute at the
University of Oxford. He previously taught at Yale University in the Department of Philosophy and in the Yale Institute for Social and Policy Studies.
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