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The Ethics of Human EnhancementUnderstanding the Debate$
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Steve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, Tony Coady, Alberto Giubilini, and Sagar Sanyal

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198754855

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198754855.001.0001

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Buchanan and the Conservative Argument against Human Enhancement from Biological and Social Harmony

Buchanan and the Conservative Argument against Human Enhancement from Biological and Social Harmony

Chapter:
(p.211) 15 Buchanan and the Conservative Argument against Human Enhancement from Biological and Social Harmony
Source:
The Ethics of Human Enhancement
Author(s):

Steve Clarke

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198754855.003.0015

In his recent Beyond Humanity? (2011), Allen Buchanan takes issue with a slew of arguments against human enhancement put forward by prominent conservatives. This chapter discusses his treatment of the conservative line of argument against human enhancement ‘from biological and social harmony’ (Buchanan 2011, pp. 161–2). It identifies a version of this line of argument that has more going for it than Buchanan allows. It does not argue that it is strong enough to warrant the banning of the use of all human enhancement technologies, as many conservatives (and some liberals) urge, but argues that it gives us reason to be cautious about the widespread adoption of some possible human enhancements. The chapter also shows that there is nothing distinctively conservative about this line of argument. It deserves to be taken seriously by both liberals and conservatives.

Keywords:   biological and social harmony, Allen Buchanan, conservatives, human enhancement, liberals

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