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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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  • On the limits, imperfections and evils of the human condition. Biological improvement from a thomistic perspective.Mariano Asla - 2019 - Scientia et Fides 7 (2):77-95.
    Transhumanism is a scientific and philosophical movement that proposes to overcome, through new technologies, the restrictions imposed on us by our biological condition. Some transhumanists assume that the struggle against natural limits could lead to a radical change in our body or even to its replacement. Other authors, such as Nicholas Agar, propose a moderate enhancement that does not exceed the framework of what we understand to be human. In this article, I will offer a plausible interpretation of the project (...)
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  • Enhancement, Biomedical.Thomas Douglas - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Public Goods and Procreation.Jonny Anomaly - 2014 - Monash Bioethics Review 32 (3-4):172-188.
  • Moral Metaphysics.Daniel Star - 2013 - In Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter sketches four forms of realism ascribed to four great historical figures that provide an important set of determinate versions of moral realism. Plato provides a picture according to which moral facts exist in a non-concrete realm of abstract universal properties. Aristotle provides a picture according to which moral facts exist as concrete facts in the world. Hume provides a picture according to which moral facts have their basis in universal human sentiments. Kant provides a picture according to which (...)
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  • 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.
    In this commentary on Lewens, I argue that although his criticisms of Machery's conception of human nature are sound, I disagree with his conclusion that human nature cannot inform us regarding issues of human enhancement. I introduce a framework for understanding human nature, the “life history trait cluster account,” which aligns the concept of human nature with the human sciences and allows human nature to inform questions of human enhancement.
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  • Yesterday’s Child: How Gene Editing for Enhancement Will Produce Obsolescence—and Why It Matters.Robert Sparrow - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics 19 (7):6-15.
    Despite the advent of CRISPR, safe and effective gene editing for human enhancement remains well beyond our current technological capabilities. For the discussion about enhancing human beings to be worth having, then, we must assume that gene-editing technology will improve rapidly. However, rapid progress in the development and application of any technology comes at a price: obsolescence. If the genetic enhancements we can provide children get better and better each year, then the enhancements granted to children born in any given (...)
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  • The Disvalue of Genetic Diversity, Or: How (Not) to Treat a Sandelian Ethos on Steroids.Russell Powell - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (6):29-32.
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • An Empirically Informed Critique of Habermas’ Argument From Human Nature.Nicolae Morar - 2014 - Science and Engineering Ethics 21 (1):95-113.
    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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  • Why Should We Become Posthuman? The Beneficence Argument Questioned.Andrés Pablo Vaccari - 2019 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (2):192-219.
    Why should we become posthuman? There is only one morally compelling answer to this question: because posthumanity will be a more beneficial state, better than present humanity. This is the Posthuman Beneficence Argument, the centerpiece of the liberal transhumanist defense of “directed evolution.” In this article, I examine PBA and find it deficient on a number of lethal counts. My argument focuses on the writings of transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom, who has developed the most articulate defense of PBA and disclosed (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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