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Russell Powell & Allen Buchanan (2011). Breaking Evolution's Chains: The Prospect of Deliberate Genetic Modification in Humans.

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  1. The Evolution of Human Birth and Transhumanist Proposals of Enhancement.Eduardo R. Cruz - 2015 - Zygon 50 (4):830-853.
    Some transhumanists argue that we must engage with theories and facts about our evolutionary past in order to promote future enhancements of the human body. At the same time, they call our attention to the flawed character of evolution and argue that there is a mismatch between adaptation to ancestral environments and contemporary life. One important trait of our evolutionary past which should not be ignored, and yet may hinder the continued perfection of humankind, is the peculiarly human way of (...)
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  2.  43
    In Genes We Trust: Germline Engineering, Eugenics, and the Future of the Human Genome.Russell Powell - 2015 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (6):669-695.
    Liberal proponents of genetic engineering maintain that developing human germline modification technologies is morally desirable because it will result in a net improvement in human health and well-being. Skeptics of germline modification, in contrast, fear evolutionary harms that could flow from intervening in the human germline, and worry that such programs, even if well intentioned, could lead to a recapitulation of the scientifically and morally discredited projects of the old eugenics. Some bioconservatives have appealed as well to the value of (...)
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  3.  15
    The Disvalue of Genetic Diversity, Or: How to Treat a Sandelian Ethos on Steroids.Russell Powell - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (6):29-32.
  4.  16
    Taming Our Brave New World.Joshua A. Reagan - 2015 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (6):621-632.
    Advances in reproductive technology have already revolutionized our culture in various ways, and future potential developments, particularly in genetics, promise more of the same. The practice of surrogacy threatens to upend the way we understand the family. Germline engineering of human embryos could, among other things, lead to the treatment of genetic diseases hitherto incurable; but the widespread use of such engineering could have broader ramifications for our culture, for better and for worse. Parents may eventually be able to select (...)
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  5.  29
    An Empirically Informed Critique of Habermas' Argument From Human Nature.Nicolae Morar - 2014 - Science and Engineering Ethics (1):1-19.
    In a near-future world of bionics and biotechnology, the main ethical and political issue will be the definition of who we are. Could biomedical enhancements transform us to such an extent that we would be other than human? Habermas argues that any genetic enhancement intervention that could potentially alter ‘human nature’ should be morally prohibited since it alters the child’s nature or the very essence that makes the child who he is. This practice also commits the child to a specific (...)
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  6.  17
    Organism, Machine, Artifact: The Conceptual and Normative Challenges of Synthetic Biology.Sune Holm & Russell Powell - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):627-631.
    Synthetic biology is an emerging discipline that aims to apply rational engineering principles in the design and creation of organisms that are exquisitely tailored to human ends. The creation of artificial life raises conceptual, methodological and normative challenges that are ripe for philosophical investigation. This special issue examines the defining concepts and methods of synthetic biology, details the contours of the organism–artifact distinction, situates the products of synthetic biology vis-à-vis this conceptual typology and against historical human manipulation of the living (...)
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  7.  23
    The Right and Wrong of Growing Old: Assessing the Argument From Evolution.Bennett Foddy - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):547-560.
    One argument which is frequently levelled against the enhancement of human biology is that we do not understand the evolved function of our bodies well enough to meddle in our biology without producing unintended and potentially catastrophic effects. In particular, this argument is levelled against attempts to slow or eliminate the processes of human ageing, or ‘senescence’, which cause us to grow decrepit before we die. In this article, I claim that even if this argument could usefully be applied against (...)
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  8.  61
    Enhancing the Species: Genetic Engineering Technologies and Human Persistence.Chris Gyngell - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):495-512.
    Many of the existing ethical analyses of genetic engineering technologies (GET) focus on how they can be used to enhance individuals—to improve individual well-being, health and cognition. There is a gap in the current literature about the specific ways enhancement technologies could be used to improve our populations and species, viewed as a whole. In this paper, I explore how GET may be used to enhance the species through improvements in the gene pool. I argue one aspect of the species (...)
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  9.  57
    Ecological Engineering: Reshaping Our Environments to Achieve Our Goals.Neil Levy - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):589-604.
    Human beings are subject to a range of cognitive and affective limitations which interfere with our ability to pursue our individual and social goals. I argue that shaping our environment to avoid triggering these limitations or to constrain the harms they cause is likely to be more effective than genetic or pharmaceutical modifications of our capacities because our limitations are often the flip side of beneficial dispositions and because available enhancements seem to impose significant costs. I argue that carefully selected (...)
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  10. Evolution, Genetic Engineering, and Human Enhancement.Russell Powell, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):439-458.
    There are many ways that biological theory can inform ethical discussions of genetic engineering and biomedical enhancement. In this essay, we highlight some of these potential contributions, and along the way provide a synthetic overview of the papers that comprise this special issue. We begin by comparing and contrasting genetic engineering with programs of selective breeding that led to the domestication of plants and animals, and we consider how genetic engineering differs from other contemporary biotechnologies such as embryo selection. We (...)
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  11.  55
    How Human Nature Can Inform Human Enhancement: A Commentary on Tim Lewens's Human Nature: The Very Idea.Grant Ramsey - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):479-483.
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  12.  14
    Arboriculture in Clinical Ethics: Using Philosophical Critical Appraisal to Clear Away Underbrush in Ethical Analysis and Argument.L. B. Mccullough - 2011 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (1):1-5.
    This paper introduces the 2011 number of the Journal on Clinical Ethics. Philosophical critical appraisal is essential for the success of philosophical analysis and argument in clinical ethics. To clear away conceptual underbrush, papers in this Clinical Ethics number of the Journal address genetic engineering, conscience-based objections to forms of health care, placebos, and preventing exploitation of patients to be recruited to become research subjects.
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