Human Enhancement and the Giftedness of Life

Philosophical Papers 40 (1):55-79 (2011)

Authors
Michael Hauskeller
University of Exeter
Abstract
Michael Sandel's opposition to the project of human enhancement is based on an argument that centres on the notion of giftedness. Sandel claims that by trying to ?make better people? we fall prey to, and encourage, an attitude of mastery and thus lose, or diminish, our appreciation of the giftedness of life. Sandel's position and the underlying argument have been much criticised. In this paper I will try to make sense of Sandel's reasoning and give an account of giftedness that defends its relevance for the ethical assessment of the human enhancement project. In order to do so, I will also look at virtue-related notions, such as gratitude and humility, and distinguish the gifted from the merely given. The failure to acknowledge this distinction gives rise to one of the most common objections to Sandel's argument. Other objections will be shown to rest on similar misunderstandings
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DOI 10.1080/05568641.2011.560027
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References found in this work BETA

The Case Against Perfection.Michael J. Sandel - 2004 - The Atlantic (April):1–11.
Enhancement and the Ethics of Development.Allen Buchanan - 2008 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 18 (1):pp. 1-34.
What Is And Is Not Wrong With Enhancement?Frances Kamm - 2010 - In Julian Savulescu & Nick Bostrom (eds.), Human Enhancement. Oxford University Press.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Human Enhancement, Social Solidarity and the Distribution of Responsibility.John Danaher - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):359-378.
An Evaluative Conservative Case for Biomedical Enhancement.John Danaher - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (9):611-618.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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