Reframing the Debate on Human Enhancement

The May 2014 issue of Humana.Mente Journal, Reframing the Debate on Human Enhancement, will be of interest to h+ Magazine readers.

We are going to give neither an intensional definition of the concept of human enhancement nor are we going to attempt to build a collection that contains all the possible interventions (extensional). Our analysis draws on an overall meaning of human enhancement as scientific and technological progress that expands the possibilities of human action and reduces its dependence on natural or cultural predetermined constraints, allowing the human condition to be changed via science and technology. Human enhancement thus refers to extended cognitive skills, extended sensory capacities, a significant increase in life expectancy, mood modulation as well as new capabilities that might be provided to healthy individuals.
Rather than dealing with the definitional issue, we aim to sketch out the epistemological and moral underpinnings of the debate on human enhancement in order to provide a demarcation of issues regarding human enhancement. Ultimately, the aim of this issue is to go beyond sterile disputes between supporters and detractors of human enhancement.

The entire issue is available as a free downloadable pdf here.

Of particular note, check out the article Identity Expansion and Transcendence by William Sims Bainbridge and Cognitive Enhancement and Personal Identity by Roberto Mordacci.


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Volker Gerhardt Technology as a Medium of Ethics and Culture [PDF – 269kb]
Nikil Mukerji,
Julian Nida-Rümelin
Towards a Moderate Stance on Human Enhancement [PDF – 364kb]
Christopher Coenen Transhumanism and its Genesis: The Shaping of Human Enhancement Discourse by Visions of the Future [PDF – 249kb]
Barbara Henry Human Enhancement and the Post-Human; the Converging and Diverging Pathways of Human, Hybrid and Artificial Anthropoids [PDF – 227kb]
David-Jack Fletcher Transhuman Perfection: The Eradication of Disability Through Transhuman Technologies [PDF – 326kb]
Jan-Christoph Heilinger Anthropological Arguments in the Ethical Debate about
Human Enhancement
[PDF – 168kb]
William Sims Bainbridge Identity Expansion and Transcendence [PDF – 187kb]
Roberto Mordacci Cognitive Enhancement and Personal Identity [PDF – 187kb]
Anna Gotlib Girl, Pixelated – Narrative Identity, Virtual Embodiment, and Second Life [PDF – 328kb]
Filippo Santoni de Sio, Philip Robichaud, Nicole A. Vincent Who Should Enhance? Conceptual and Normative Dimensions of Cognitive Enhancement [PDF – 249kb]
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner Is there a “Moral Obligation to Create Children with the Best Chance of the Best Life”? [PDF – 179kb]
Fox Swindells Economic Inequality and Human Enhancement Technology [PDF – 152kb]
Nathan Van Camp How Liberal is (the Liberal Critique of) a Liberal Eugenics? [PDF – 198kb]
Alberto Pirni Towards a “Human Enhancement Society”? Opportunities for an Aristotelian Approach to Frame the Question [PDF – 192kb]
Pericle Salvini Human Presence and Robotic Mediations: An Alternative Framework for Explicating Human Enhancement [PDF – 211kb]



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