Human development or human enhancement? A methodological reflection on capabilities and the evaluation of information technologies
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethics and Information Technology 13 (2):81-92 (2011)
Nussbaum’s version of the capability approach is not only a helpful approach to development problems but can also be employed as a general ethical-anthropological framework in ‘advanced’ societies. This paper explores its normative force for evaluating information technologies, with a particular focus on the issue of human enhancement. It suggests that the capability approach can be a useful way of to specify a workable and adequate level of analysis in human enhancement discussions, but argues that any interpretation of what these capabilities mean is itself dependent on (interpretations of) the techno-human practices under discussion. This challenges the capability approach’s means-end dualism concerning the relation between on the one hand technology and on the other hand humans and capabilities. It is argued that instead of facing a choice between development and enhancement, we better reflect on how we want to shape human-technological practices, for instance by using the language of capabilities. For this purpose, we have to engage in a cumbersome hermeneutics that interprets dynamic relations between unstable capabilities, technologies, practices, and values. This requires us to modify the capability approach by highlighting and interpreting its interpretative dimension.
|Keywords||Capabilities Ethics Hermeneutics Human enhancement Human-technology relations Information technology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Fred Adams & Kenneth Aizawa (2009). Why the Mind is Still in the Head. In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge. 78--95.
Nicholas Agar (2008). Liberal Eugenics: In Defence of Human Enhancement. John Wiley & Sons.
Nick Bostrom (2003). Human Genetic Enhancements: A Transhumanist Perspective. [REVIEW] Journal of Value Inquiry 37 (4):493-506.
Nick Bostrom (2005). In Defense of Posthuman Dignity. Bioethics 19 (3):202–214.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Andy Miah, Citation, Please Cite the Printed Work: Miah, A. (2006) Rethinking Enhancement in Sport, in Bainbridge, W.S. & Roco, M.C. 'Progress in Convergence: Technologies for Human Wellbeing.' Annals of The. [REVIEW]
Alfred Nordmann (2007). If and Then: A Critique of Speculative Nanoethics. [REVIEW] NanoEthics 1 (1):31-46.
Vincent Menuz, Thierry Hurlimann & Béatrice Godard (2013). Is Human Enhancement Also a Personal Matter? Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (1):161-177.
Justine Johnstone (2007). Technology as Empowerment: A Capability Approach to Computer Ethics. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 9 (1):73-87.
Anne Phillips (2002). Martha C. Nussbaum, Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach:Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Ethics 112 (2):398-403.
Mark Coeckelbergh (2010). Health Care, Capabilities, and Ai Assistive Technologies. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (2):181 - 190.
Patrick Lin & Fritz Allhoff (2006). Nanoethics and Human Enhancement: A Critical Evaluation of Recent Arguments. Nanotechnology Perceptions 2:47-52.
J. Thompson (2002). Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (1):111 – 113.
Benedetta Giovanola (2009). Re-Thinking the Anthropological and Ethical Foundation of Economics and Business: Human Richness and Capabilities Enhancement. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 88 (3):431 - 444.
Added to index2010-06-12
Total downloads51 ( #34,645 of 1,101,944 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #14,899 of 1,101,944 )
How can I increase my downloads?