Biotechnology and Human Dignity Open Access

Davis, Keenan (2015)

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Wielding technological power to alter the human condition is no new phenomenon. However, the current rate of change in such power as well as its remarkable scope and ease of access will certainly present heretofore unseen difficulties of extraordinary consequence. To ethically address the ways in which we might use biotechnology to modify human nature, we must have recourse to an overarching guiding concept such as human dignity. The greatest threats to human dignity result from a reductionist understanding of various philosophical dualisms, including mind-body, nature-nurture, and fact-value. This thesis will promote a moderate and pragmatic naturalist ethics for harmonizing these irresolvable dialectics in service of human dignity, and will illustrate the resulting methodology through the specific example of cognitive enhancements.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Bioethics and Human Dignity in the Twenty-First Century p. 1

Chapter 1 - Biotechnology and Human Enhancement p. 8

Chapter 2 - Eudaimonic Human Dignity p. 41

Chapter 3 - Human Dignity and Cognitive Enhancements p. 82

Conclusion: Heuristics for Implementing Biotechnology p. 105

Bibliography p. 110

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