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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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Challenging Human Enhancement

Challenging Human Enhancement

1 Challenging Human Enhancement
The Ethics of Human Enhancement

Alberto Giubilini

Sagar Sanyal

Oxford University Press

The chapter presents an overview of the major lines of debate in the ethics of human enhancement. While permissive and restrictive positions on enhancement can be contrasted, the conservative camp (which is the focus of the book as a whole) is a specific subset of the latter. Although the restrictive but non-conservative position is outlined, most of the chapter is devoted to the themes and arguments of the conservative camp. To give a well-rounded account of the conservative position, the chapter begins with connections to the tradition of social conservatism, before moving to prominent themes in the conservative opposition to human enhancement. These include the charge of ‘playing God’, the appeal to intuition or emotion, human dignity, and the connection to eugenics. The final section of the chapter surveys some of the recent work in moral psychology that the human enhancement debate increasingly draws upon.

Keywords:   human enhancement, conservatism, dignity, playing God, eugenics

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