Humana Mente 7 (26):95–116 (2014)

Authors
Jan-Christoph Heilinger
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Abstract
The paper discusses the role of anthropological arguments in contemporary ethics as exemplified in the current debate about biotechnological human enhancement interventions. Anthropological arguments refer to a normative conception of what it means to be a human being and are highly contested in contemporary moral philosophy. Most often they are promoted to constrain the ethically acceptable use of enhancement technologies. I argue that anthropological arguments can play a fundamental and important role in assessing the moral qualities of enhancement interventions, but only if their normative justification and their specific content are properly determined. I offer an account how to do so, based on the contractualist and pragmatist ideal that all those who are affected by a decision of normative relevance should be included in what I call a “quasi-democratic deliberative process”. However, given that they stand in need of wide agreement, anthropological arguments resulting from such a process will be be rather minimal in content. In the exemplary debate about human enhancements they hence turn out to be widely – though not fully – permissive and unable to justify a restrictive stance towards enhancement interventions.
Keywords Human Enhancement  Ethics  Human nature
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 60,992
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
Principia Ethica.G. E. Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.
Science, Truth, and Democracy.Philip Kitcher - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Principia Ethica.Evander Bradley McGilvary - 1904 - Philosophical Review 13 (3):351.
The Case Against Perfection.Michael J. Sandel - 2004 - The Atlantic (April):1–11.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Perfection and the Demand for Human Enhancement.Adriana Warmbier - forthcoming - Ethics in Progress 2015 (No.1).
Human Nature and Enhancement.Allen Buchanan - 2009 - Bioethics 23 (3):141-150.
The Ethics of Human Enhancement.Alberto Giubilini & Sagar Sanyal - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (4):233-243.
Enhancement and Human Nature: The Case of Sandel.T. Lewens - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (6):354-356.
Should We Enhance Animals?S. Chan - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (11):678-683.
A Thomistic Appraisal of Human Enhancement Technologies.Jason T. Eberl - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4):289-310.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-04-08

Total views
20 ( #527,647 of 2,439,431 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #433,565 of 2,439,431 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes