David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (6):497-507 (2007)
This article critically evaluates bettering human life. Because this involves lives that do not exist yet, the article investigates human eugenics and enhancement through the social prism of ‘the imaginary’ (defined ‘as a set of assumptions and concepts for thinking and speaking about human enhancement and its future direction’) . “Exploring basic assumptions underlying the idea of human enhancement” investigates underlying assumptions and claims for human enhancement. Firstly, human eugenics and enhancement entangles a factual as well as a normative claim about what improvement/betterment maybe constitutive of. Secondly, claims about what a better life is, is often a future orientated claim about whether certain kinds of life that do not exist yet should ever exist. Moral images of thought are introduced and how they work to make normative judgments about lives that do not exist. This implicates the moral problem of difference, where an image of a ‘better’ life—classically expressed in eugenics as a ‘superior’ and/or ‘normal’ life—necessarily entails inferiority and/or deviance from a norm. “Moral imagination in contemporary fiction and the history of old eugenics”, introduces moral images in history of eugenics and demonstrates how examples fall foul of the problem. “The new (liberal) eugenics and the moral image of therapy” examines progress in contemporary debates, the move from authoritarian to non-authoritarian eugenics (human enhancement), and how, to some extent, this has solved the problem of difference, through liberal defence of personal choice. “The heart of the eugenic issue” suggests that personal choice in liberal non-authoritarian eugenics is not immune to basic drive behind all eugenic arguments; desire as lack which is expressed as the continual dissatisfaction of not having our future expectations met.
|Keywords||Eugenics Human enhancement The moral problem of difference Moral imagination and moral images of thought Authoritarian and non-authoritarian eugenics Personal choice Desire as lack|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Vincent Menuz, Thierry Hurlimann & Béatrice Godard (2013). Is Human Enhancement Also a Personal Matter? Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (1):161-177.
Richard Twine (2007). Thinking Across Species—a Critical Bioethics Approach to Enhancement. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (6):509-523.
Walter Glannon (2001). Genes and Future People: Philosophical Issues in Human Genetics. Westview Press.
Allen Buchanan (2008). Enhancement and the Ethics of Development. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 18 (1):pp. 1-34.
John Harris (2011). Moral Enhancement and Freedom. Bioethics 25 (2):102-111.
Rob Sparrow (2012). Human Enhancement and Sexual Dimorphism. Bioethics 26 (9):464-475.
Joanna Zylinska (2010). Playing God, Playing Adam: The Politics and Ethics of Enhancement. [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 7 (2):149-161.
Nicholas Agar (2008). Liberal Eugenics: In Defence of Human Enhancement. John Wiley & Sons.
Thomas Douglas (2008). Moral Enhancement. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.
Robert Sparrow (2011). Liberalism and Eugenics. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):499 - 517.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads32 ( #45,032 of 1,011,230 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #64,700 of 1,011,230 )
How can I increase my downloads?