14. Human Enhancement Ethics: The State of the Debate (2008) Introduction Chapter.

By Nick Bostrom and Julian Savulescu

Are we good enough? If not, how may we improve ourselves? Must we restrict ourselves to traditional methods like study and training? Or should we also use science to enhance some of our mental and physical capacities more directly?

Over the last decade, human enhancement has grown into a major topic of debate in applied ethics. Interest has been stimulated by advances in the biomedical sciences, advances which to many suggest that it will become increasingly feasible to use medicine and technology to reshape, manipulate, and enhance many aspects of human biology even in healthy individuals. To the extent that such interventions are on the horizon (or already available) there is an obvious practical dimension to these debates. This practical dimension is underscored by an outcrop of think tanks and activist organizations devoted to the biopolitics of enhancement.

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(00:20) 1. Background

(08:46) 2. Enhancement in General

(24:14) 3. Enhancements of Certain Kinds

(43:48) 4. Enhancement as Practical Challenge

(47:48) 5. Conclusion

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