Liberal Eugenics In Defence of Human Enhancement

ISBN-10: 1405123907
ISBN-13: 9781405123907
Edition: 2004
Authors: Nicholas Agar
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Description: In this provocative book, philosopher Nicholas Agar defends the idea that parents should be allowed to enhance their children's characteristics. Gets away from fears of a Huxleyan 'Brave New World' or a return to the fascist eugenics of the past.  More...

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Book details

List price: $41.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 11/30/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 216
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.682
Language: English

In this provocative book, philosopher Nicholas Agar defends the idea that parents should be allowed to enhance their children's characteristics. Gets away from fears of a Huxleyan 'Brave New World' or a return to the fascist eugenics of the past. Written from a philosophically and scientifically informed point of view. Considers real contemporary cases of parents choosing what kind of child to have. Uses 'moral images' as a way to get readers with no background in philosophy to think about moral dilemmas. Provides an authoritative account of the science involved, making the book suitable for readers with no knowledge of genetics. Creates a moral framework for assessing all new technologies.

Preface and Acknowledgments
Genius Sperm, Eugenics, and Enhancement Technologies
Two kinds of eugenics
Technological possibilities
Moral perplexities
Hither posthumanity?
A Pragmatic Optimism about Enhancement Technologies
Will we be able to clone geniuses?
Human genomics and the search for smart genes
Doogie's downside
Nuclear powered vacuum-cleaners or nuclear bombs
A pragmatic optimism about enhancement technologies
Making moral images of biotechnology
Utilitarian and Kantian advice about enhancement
Moral images and moral consistency
Midgley's scepticism about consistency
Harvesting Stem cells: RESEARCH or THERAPY?
Are enhancement technologies wrong because they are 'yucky'?
Why food is different
Are enhancement technologies wrong because they will destroy meaning?
The moral image of therapy
The biotechnological solution to disease
Who benefits from gene therapy?
Are we essentially human beings or essentially persons, and does it matter?
Genetic influences, environmental influences, and the formation of human identities
Interactionism's implications for identity
The scope of THERAPY and the notion of disease
Buchanan, Brock, Daniels, and Wikler on protecting normal functioning
THERAPY, obligation, and procreative liberty's diminishment
The moral image of nature
Enhancement, NATURE, and Posthumanity
The biology of human nature
A moral parity of natural and engineered genetic arrangements
Pluralism about human flourishing
How to avoid infringing freedom of choice
Are we permitted to enhance (or reduce) intelligence?
The moral image of nurture
A moral and developmental parity of genes and environment
Manufacturing humans
Enhancement and bad parenting
The limited powers of genetic engineers
Are enhancements problematic because they are positionally valuable?
Regulating the pursuit of positional value
Our Postliberal Future
Two biotechnological tendencies: polarisation and homogenisation
Distributing access to enhancement technologies
Reducing the burden of universal access
Biotechnology's threat to citizenship
The importance of reciprocity
The threat of homogenization
Prejudice and enhancement
Kitcher and Buchanan et al.
On resisting morally defective environments
A parallel between GM humans and GM food
The ethics of shifting bigotry's burden
Enhanced humans when?
The Precautionary Principle and enhancement technologies
The real problem with developing enhancement technologies
A clash of moral gestalts
A biotechnological Catch-22
Once we have traversed the ethically impossible passage
Further readings on human enhancement
Bibliography
Index

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