Human Nature and Enhancement

  title={Human Nature and Enhancement},
  author={Allen E. Buchanan},
  journal={Behavioral \& Experimental Economics},
  • A. Buchanan
  • Published 21 January 2009
  • Philosophy
  • Behavioral & Experimental Economics
Appeals to the idea of human nature are frequent in the voluminous literature on the ethics of enhancing human beings through biotechnology. Two chief concerns about the impact of enhancements on human nature have been voiced. The first is that enhancement may alter or destroy human nature. The second is that if enhancement alters or destroys human nature, this will undercut our ability to ascertain the good because, for us, the good is determined by our nature. The first concern assumes that… 

A Thomistic appraisal of human enhancement technologies

  • J. Eberl
  • Philosophy
    Theoretical medicine and bioethics
  • 2014
I explicate Thomas Aquinas’s influential theory of human nature, noting certain key traits commonly shared among human beings that define each as a “person” who possesses inviolable moral status.

12. Partiality for Humanity and Enhancement

We consider a strategy for justifying bio-conservative opposition to enhancement according to which we should resist radical departures from human nature, not because human nature possesses any

Enhancement, Human Nature, and Human Rights

Enhancement technologies are not only object of fundamental controversies but also affect both the boundaries of the human and the concept of individual rights. They range from plastic surgery, smart

An Empirically Informed Critique of Habermas’ Argument from Human Nature

The argument from human nature is based on a series of false or problematic assumptions, and fails to play the normative role intended by Habermas, and ultimately, genetic enhancement jeopardizes the very foundations of moral equality.

Reasoning about Human Enhancement: Towards a Folk Psychological Model of Human Nature and Human Identity

The development of more complex models of humanness and human identity may facilitate deeper insights into the consequences of enhancement while findings from the emerging science of human nature are incorporated into the understanding of what it means to be human.

Subhuman, Superhuman, and Inhuman: Human Nature and the Enhanced Athlete

Some critics argue that the problem with performance enhancements in sports is that their use distorts the humanity of the athlete, in of three ways: (1) that performance enhancements demean

A Not-So-New Eugenics: Harris and Savulescu on Human Enhancement

January-February 2011 As Nick Agar noted in the pages of this journal in 2007, there now exists a significant body of work in bioethics that argues in favor of enhancing human beings. Writers

Human Nature as Normative Concept : Relevance for Health Care

Three areas in medicine and health care where human nature has been proposed as a normative principle to guide moral decision-making include attempts to describe the virtuous patient and health-care provider, debates over the legitimacy of biotechnological enhancements of human capacities, and arguments against the moral acceptability of reproductive cloning.

Human Nature: The Very Idea

The only biologically respectable notion of human nature is an extremely permissive one that names the reliable dispositions of the human species as a whole. This conception offers no ethical

What Would Some Confucians Think About Genetic Enhancement from the Perspective of “Human Nature”?

  • K. Wu
  • Philosophy
    The American journal of bioethics : AJOB
  • 2010
If genetic enhancement (any kind of it) fails to result in disruption of the community of God and man, keeping and strengthening it instead—if it were to be based on man’s love toward man as the crown of God's creation, it would be regarded as God's blessing to humankind by Orthodoxy.


The Goodness of Fragility: On the Prospect of Genetic Technologies Aimed at the Enhancement of Human Capacities

  • E. Parens
  • Philosophy
    Kennedy Institute of Ethics journal
  • 1995
Beginning with the assumptions that genetic technology will make possible the enhancement of some significant human capacities and that our society will have self-evident reasons to pursue such