Human enhancement is one of the most exciting - and troubling - areas of recent scientific advance. It raises new and profound challenges relating to the human condition as well as giving rise to serious questions surrounding the limits and ethics of changing human nature. This stimulating volume is the first to review the very latest scientific developments in human enhancement. It is unique in its examination of the ethical and policy implications of these technologies from a broad range of perspectives, including philosophy, the biological and neurosciences, and the social sciences. The audiobook covers all major forms of human enhancement: cognitive, mood, physical, moral and life extension, as well as general conceptual and moral questions about enhancement. Enhancing Human Capacities includes state of the art reviews of the science of enhancement from different perspectives, ethical discussion of key concepts and questions, and concrete policy applications. The audiobook concludes with general discussions of the policy implications of biomedical enhancement in the EU and US contexts. All contributions are by world leading ethicists, neuroscientists and social scientists from Europe and North America.
Julian Savulescu is Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics within the Faculty of Philosophy. He is also Director of the Wellcome Centre for Neuroethics, and Director of the Program on the Ethics of the New Biosciences, within the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford. He is author of over 200 publications and has given over 100 international presentations. Ruud ter Meulen is Chair in Ethics in Medicine, and Director of the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at the University of Bristol. Previously he worked as Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Bioethics at the University of Maastricht (The Netherlands). He is author of over 130 publications and has given over 100 national and international presentations. He was co–ordinator of the ENHANCE project in which most of the chapters of this audiobook were produced. Guy Kahane is Deputy Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and Research Fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Neuroethics, both at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford. Kahane is also Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College Oxford, and a recipient of a Wellcome Trust University Award in Biomedical Ethics. Kahane has published extensively in applied ethics, metaethics and value theory.
Would you listen to Enhancing Human Capacities again? Why?
Yes, it has diverse topics with detailed information, so in the future I may skip between chapters based on what I'm interested in at the time, but there are so many interesting topics, perspectives, and pieces of information that I will likely come back to this.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
Some compelling concepts are medicine being proactive to enhance life instead of focusing mainly on disease, some of the possibilities for the near future, and also, for me at least, some of the more philosophical topics brought in at the end.
What about Gregory Gorton’s performance did you like?
For material that can be dry because of its complexity, but also interesting because of it, the tone is an appropriate balance between neutral tone, quick pace, and expressiveness.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I've been exposed to them before, but I find subjects such as to what extent a person would retain their personality if they could effectively live forever and the possibility of inorganic consciousness fascinating.
Any additional comments?
Many parts of this may be more dry, complex, and philosophical than many people will enjoy, but for those interested in things like history and interpretation of the Chinese Room thought experiment this is worth listening to all the way through. Even if you happen to disagree, this is thought provoking material.
Would you try another book from Julian Savulescu and Ruud ter Meulen and/or Gregory Gorton?
Has Enhancing Human Capacities turned you off from other books in this genre?
No but I will tread more carefully.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Enhancing Human Capacities?
Almost all of it. There is nothing about the tech. It's all about the ethical pondering on things they barely talk about. They ramble on and on about some will think this, while some will think that. blah blah blah. All the while not discussing the tech or how it may be used so never really getting to anything concrete. People need stories. Tell us about the tech or the people who's lives will be advanced by the tech. Or how it will be misused.
It's like Philosophizing why people might be unhappy with you murdering a loved one instead of the story about a love triangle gone wrong ending in murder. One is interesting the other is a good reason to kick someone in the balls. You know which is which.
Any additional comments?
philosophy is not Science end of story.
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