Truly Human Enhancement A Philosophical Defense of Limits
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The transformative potential of genetic and cybernetic technologies to enhance humancapabilities is most often either rejected on moral and prudential grounds or hailed as the futuresalvation of humanity. In this book, Nicholas Agar offers a more nuanced view, making a case formoderate human enhancement -- improvements to attributes and abilities that do not significantlyexceed what is currently possible for human beings. He argues against radical human enhancement, orimprovements that greatly exceeds current human capabilities. Agar explores notions oftransformative change and motives for human enhancement; distinguishes between the instrumental andintrinsic value of enhancements; argues that too much enhancement undermines human identity;considers the possibility of cognitively enhanced scientists; and argues against radical lifeextension. Making the case for moderate enhancement, Agar argues that many objections to enhancementare better understood as directed at the degree of enhancement rather than enhancement itself.Moderate human enhancement meets the requirement of truly human enhancement. Byradically enhancing human cognitive capabilities, by contrast, we may inadvertently create beings("post-persons") with moral status higher than that of persons. If we create beings moreentitled to benefits and protections against harms than persons, Agar writes, this will be bad newsfor the unenhanced. Moderate human enhancement offers a more appealing vision of the future and ofour relationship to technology.
List price: $39.00
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 12/13/2013
Size: 6.75" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall