Engineering the Human: Human Enhancement Between Fiction and Fascination
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The volume is collection of articles treating the topic of human improvement/enhancement from a variety of perspectives – philosophical, literary, medical, genetic, sociological, legal etc. The chapters in this volume treat not only those aspects that most immediately come to mind when one thinks of ‘human enhancement’, such as genetic engineering, cloning, artificial implants and artificial intelligence etc. Somewhat less obvious aspects include evolutionary perspectives in connection with the prolongation of the human lifespan, plastic surgery since its beginnings, and questions such as whether the distinction between ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ can really be drawn at all and how it has been conceived across the ages, or what the legal implications are of recent developments and techniques. Many papers make links to the representation of these developments in popular culture, from Jules Verne through Aldous Huxley to the movie Gattaca, address the hopes and fears that come with them as well as the question how realistic these are. While all chapters are written by scientists at the international top of their respective fields, all are accessible to a non-specialist audience and eminently readable. We believe that they represent a state-of-the art overview of questions that are of interest to a large audience. The book thus targets a non-specialist audience with an interest in philosophical, sociological, scientific and legal issues involved in both traditional and recent matters concerning the desire of mankind to improve itself, the human body, the human mind and the human condition. It is unique in that it brings together all these aspects within a coherent and cohesive collection.