Beyond Humanity?: The Ethics of Biomedical Enhancement

ISBN : 9780199671496

Allen E. Buchanan
304 Pages
143 x 215 mm
Pub date
Jan 2013
Uehiro Series in Practical Ethics
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  • New work on the hottest topic in practical ethics
  • Allen Buchanan is one of the world's leading moral philosophers
  • The latest developments in this highly controversial debate
  • Introduces clear and careful argument into a debate dominated by rhetoric
  • Presents practical proposals for just and cautious public policy regarding human enhancement

Biotechnologies already on the horizon will enable us to be smarter, have better memories, be stronger and quicker, have more stamina, live longer, be more resistant to diseases, and enjoy richer emotional lives. To some of us, these prospects are heartening; to others, they are dreadful. In Beyond Humanity a leading philosopher offers a powerful and controversial exploration of urgent ethical issues concerning human enhancement. These raise enduring questions about what it is to be human, about individuality, about our relationship to nature, and about what sort of society we should strive to have. Allen E. Buchanan urges that the debate about enhancement needs to be informed by a proper understanding of evolutionary biology, which has discredited the simplistic conceptions of human nature used by many opponents of enhancement. He argues that there are powerful reasons for us to embark on the enhancement enterprise, and no objections to enhancement that are sufficient to outweigh them.


1: The Landscape of the Enhancement Debate
2: Enhancement and Human Development Enhancement and Human Development
3: Character
4: Human Nature and the Natural
5: Conservatism and Enhancement
6: Unintended Bad Consequences
7: Moral Status and Enhancement
8: Distributive Justice and the Diffusion of Innovations

About the author: 

Allen Buchanan is Professor of Philosophy at Duke University

"Whether or not the benefits are worth the risks, Buchanan's thought-provoking work deserves careful consideration." - Rev. Ezra Sullivan, National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

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