‘Human Enhancement’? It’s all About ‘Body Modification’! Why We Should Replace the Term ‘Human Enhancement’ with ‘Body Modification’

NanoEthics 8 (3):307-315 (2014)
The current use of the term ‘Human Enhancement’ implies that it is a modern, new phenomenon in which, for the first time in history, humans are able to break through their god or nature-given bodily limits thanks to the application of new technologies. The debate about the legitimation of ‘HE’, the selection of methods permitted, and the scope and purpose of these modern enhancement technologies has been dominated by ethical considerations, and has highlighted problems with the definition of the relevant norms. For example, ‘HE’ always presupposes that the current state of the ‘natural human’ or ‘healthy’ body is defined in opposition to an ‘artificial human’ or ‘diseased or disabled’ body, and also desirable technologies and methods are not but should be defined on the basis of objective, universally accepted criteria. All these definitions are, however, linked to socio-cultural norms and ideals, which can vary over time and between cultures. It is therefore impossible to arrive at a universal, durable definition of ‘enhancement’ that can be shared and understood globally, and will remain permanently valid. This discussion note contrasts the terms ‘HE’ and ‘Body Modification’ , and their respective strengths and weaknesses. ‘BM’ is a neutral term that is capable of encompassing every kind of modification, be it cultural, physical, psychological or neurological, is not limited to certain techniques and is not reliant on normative sub-definitions . In the light of this analysis, it is proposed that the term ‘HE’ be replaced with ‘BM’ in order to allow a neutral, unprejudiced discussion to take place
Keywords Body modification  Dualism  Ethics  Human enhancement  Naturalism  Social determinism  Transhumanism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11569-014-0205-y
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,370
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

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Should We Enhance Animals?S. Chan - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (11):678-683.
Is Human Enhancement Also a Personal Matter?Vincent Menuz, Thierry Hurlimann & Béatrice Godard - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (1):161-177.
Some Jewish Thoughts on Genetic Enhancement.S. M. Glick - 2011 - Journal of Medical Ethics 37 (7):415-419.
Enhanced Humans Versus "Normal People": Elusive Definitions.M. Bess - 2010 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (6):641-655.
A Thomistic Appraisal of Human Enhancement Technologies.Jason T. Eberl - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (4):289-310.
Cognitive Enhancement: Methods, Ethics, Regulatory Challenges. [REVIEW]Nick Bostrom - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):311-341.
Towards a Moderate Stance on Human Enhancement.Nikil Mukerji & Julian Nida-Rümelin - 2014 - Humana.Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies 26:17-33.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
35 ( #151,260 of 2,193,771 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #95,976 of 2,193,771 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature