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Human Enhancement

Human Enhancement

Paperback

Edited by Julian Savulescu, Edited by Nick Bostrom

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 232mm x 26mm | 621g
  • Publication date: 7 January 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199594961
  • ISBN 13: 9780199594962
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 183,805

Product description

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.

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Author information

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.

Review quote

Review from previous edition An excellent discussion by leading bioethicists of the issues raised by human enhancement. It would be excellent for use in classes devoted to spending at least a few weeks on enhancement, either at the upper-level undergraduate or graduate level. Robert Streiffer, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Human Enhancement gives a thorough and authoritative overview of the current state of this rapidly evolving field. Greg Bognar, Mind

Table of contents

Introduction: Human Enhancement Ethics: The State of the Debate ; PART I - HUMAN ENHANCEMENT IN GENERAL ; 1. Can anyone really be talking about ethically modifying human nature? ; 2. "Alter-ing" Human Nature? Misplaced Essentialism in Science Policy ; 3. Should We Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective ; 4. The Case Against Perfection: What's wrong with designer children, bionic athletes, and genetic engineering ; 5. What Is And Is Not Wrong With Enhancement? ; 6. Enhancements Are A Moral Obligation ; 7. Playing God ; 8. Toward a More Fruitful Debate about Enhancement ; 9. Good, Better, or Best? ; 10. The Human Prejudice and the Moral Status of Enhanced Beings: What Do We Owe the Gods? ; PART II SPECIFIC ENHANCEMENTS ; 11. Is Selection of Children Wrong? ; 12. Parental Choice and Human Improvement ; 13. Reasons Against the Selection of Life: From Japan's Experience of Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis ; 14. Medical Enhancement and the Ethos of Elite Sport ; 15. Life Enhancement Technologies And the Significance of Social Category Membership ; 16. Paternalism in the Age of Cognitive Enhancement: Do Civil Liberties Presuppose Roughly Equal Mental Ability? ; 17. Enhancing Our Truth Orientation ; PART III- ENHANCEMENT AS A PRACTICAL CHALLENGE ; 18. The Wisdom of Nature: An Evolutionary Heuristic for Human Enhancement