David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (2):157-167 (2009)
The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact that developments in transhumanist technologies may have upon human cultures, and to do so by exploring a potential debate between Habermas and the transhumanists. Transhumanists, such as Nick Bostrom, typically see the potential in genetic and other technologies for positively expanding and transcending human nature. In contrast, Habermas is a representative of those who are fearful of this technology, suggesting that it will compound the deleterious effects of the colonisation of the lifeworld, further constraining human autonomy and undermining the meaningfulness of the lifeworld by expanding the technological control and manipulation of humanity. It will be argued that these opposed positions are grounded in fundamentally different understandings of the consequences of scientific and technological advance. On one level, the transhumanists remain confident that the lifeworld has within it the resources necessary to find meaning and purpose in a society deeply infused by genetic technology. Habermas disagrees. On another level, the difference is articulated by Horkheimer and Adorno in Dialectic of Enlightenment, primarily by challenging what may be understood as a Baconian faith in science as a project for the domination of nature. While the transhumanists broadly embrace this faith, Habermas returns to something akin to Horkheimer and Adorno’s pessimistic scepticism
|Keywords||Transhumanism Genetic engineering colonisation of the lifeworld|
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References found in this work BETA
Nick Bostrom (2005). In Defense of Posthuman Dignity. Bioethics 19 (3):202–214.
Nick Bostrom (2005). A History of Transhumanist Thought. Journal of Evolution and Technology 14 (1):1-25.
Fredrik Svenaeus (2009). The Ethics of Self-Change: Becoming Oneself by Way of Antidepressants or Psychotherapy? [REVIEW] Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (2):169-178.
Jürgen Habermas (1970). On Systematically Distorted Communication. Inquiry 13 (1-4):205-218.
Citations of this work BETA
Karin Christiansen (2009). The Silencing of Kierkegaard in Habermas' Critique of Genetic Enhancement. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (2):147-156.
Hub Zwart (2009). Genomics and Identity: The Bioinformatisation of Human Life. [REVIEW] Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (2):125-136.
Nicolae Morar (2014). An Empirically Informed Critique of Habermas' Argument From Human Nature. Science and Engineering Ethics (1):1-19.
Laura Cabrera & John Weckert (2013). Human Enhancement and Communication: On Meaning and Shared Understanding. Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (3):1039-1056.
Ivo Jirásek & Geoffery Zain Kohe (2015). Readjusting Our Sporting Sites/Sight: Sportification and the Theatricality of Social Life. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 9 (3):257-270.
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