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Download e-book for kindle: Is Human Nature Obsolete?: Genetic Engineering and the by Baillie H. W. (Ed), Casey T. (Ed)

By Baillie H. W. (Ed), Casey T. (Ed)

ISBN-10: 0262025698

ISBN-13: 9780262025690

ISBN-10: 0262524287

ISBN-13: 9780262524285

An interdisciplinary exploration of no matter if sleek genetics and bioengineering are best us to a posthuman destiny.

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Additional info for Is Human Nature Obsolete?: Genetic Engineering and the Future of the Human Condition (Basic Bioethics Series)

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Winner points out that the desirability of this posthuman creature is in fact gaining traction in academic circles and especially in the social sciences. For it is there that the hoary concept of a “stable, coherent” human nature (and all its ethical and political implications) has finally given way to all forms of theoretical and social constructionism. In short, among our university elites, nothing now stands in the way of seriously considering the merging of our bodies with technical devices.

His reflection on this record leads to several observations. Humanness is a recent phenomenon (dating back between 150,000 and 50,000 years), and in general the attribution of humanness is a bit faddish—or at least influenced by the concerns of the times. For the purposes of his discussion, Proctor equates humanness Introduction 21 with language and culture, attributes that do not require a fixed human essence but do seem to argue for an identifiable human condition—that is, for a set of limits within which human life has historically functioned.

It also illustrates the larger philosophical problem at stake here: Is there a need to understand the larger phenomena, that is, understand what they are, before we begin to locate the phenomena’s material conditions? For example, we need to understand in some sense what memory is before we go looking for its “place” in the brain, or we need to understand what altruism is before we look to see its genetic basis. The discussion is, in essence, about the contrast between materialism and freedom, and the adequacy of each in explaining the phenomenon of human life.

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Is Human Nature Obsolete?: Genetic Engineering and the Future of the Human Condition (Basic Bioethics Series) by Baillie H. W. (Ed), Casey T. (Ed)

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