A Thomistic appraisal of human enhancement technologies

Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4):289-310 (2014)

Authors
Jason Eberl
Saint Louis University
Abstract
Debate concerning human enhancement often revolves around the question of whether there is a common “nature” that all human beings share and which is unwarrantedly violated by enhancing one’s capabilities beyond the “species-typical” norm. I explicate Thomas Aquinas’s influential theory of human nature, noting certain key traits commonly shared among human beings that define each as a “person” who possesses inviolable moral status. Understanding the specific qualities that define the nature of human persons, which includes self-conscious awareness, capacity for intellective thought, and volitional autonomy, informs the ethical assessment of various forms of enhancement. Some forms of cognitive and physical enhancement may be desirable from the perspective of what constitutes the “flourishing” of human persons in our fundamental nature; while other forms of enhancement, such as emotive or so-called “moral” enhancement, run the risk of detracting from human flourishing when evaluated from the virtue-theoretic perspective Aquinas promotes
Keywords Enhancement  Personhood  Human nature  Transhumanism  Virtue  Thomas Aquinas
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DOI 10.1007/s11017-014-9300-x
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References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
The Future of Human Nature.Jurgen Habermas - 2004 - Philosophy 79 (309):483-486.

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Citations of this work BETA

Can Prudence Be Enhanced?Jason T. Eberl - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):506-526.

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