Playing God, Playing Adam: The Politics and Ethics of Enhancement
- Joanna Zylinska
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The question of enhancement occupies a prominent place not only in current bioethical debates but also in wider public discussions about our human future. In all of these, the problem of enhancement is usually articulated via two sets of questions: moral questions over its permissibility, extent and direction; and technical questions over the feasibility of different forms of regenerative and synthetic alterations to human bodies and minds. This article argues that none of the dominant positions on enhancement within the field of bioethics is entirely satisfactory due to the limited, monadic, pre-technological and non-cultural conception of the human that is adopted in these models. Critically engaging with both opponents of enhancement (Habermas) and its advocates (Harris, Agar, Bostrom, Dworkin), Zylinska also takes some steps towards outlining a nonnormative ethics of enhancement. The latter sees its human and non-human subjects as always already enhanced, and hence dependent, relational and coevolving with technology.
- Agar, N. 2004. Liberal eugenics: in defence of human enhancement. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Bostrom, N. 2003. Human genetic enhancements: A transhumanist perspective. Journal of Value Inquiry 37(4): 493–506. Available online at http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/393/ CrossRef
- Bostrom, N. 2008. Letter from Utopia. Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 2(1): 1–7. Available online at http://www.nickbostrom.com/utopia.html CrossRef
- Campbell, T. 2008. Bíos, Immunity, Life: The Thought of Roberto Esposito. Introduction to Bíos: Biopolitics and philosophy, by Roberto Esposito, vii–xlii. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.
- Cascais, F. 2003. Bioethics: a tentative balance. Studia Bioethica 1(1): 25–34.
- Clark, T. 2000. Deconstruction and technology. In Deconstructions: a user’s guide, ed. N. Royle, 238–257. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
- Dworkin, R. 2000. Playing God: Genes, clones, and luck. In Sovereign virtue: The theory and practice of equality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Habermas, J. 2003. The future of human nature. Cambridge: Polity.
- Harris, J. 2007. Enhancing evolution: the ethical case for making better people. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press.
- Levinas, E. 1969. Totality and infinity: An essay on exteriority. Trans. Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.
- Levinas, E. 1986. The trace of the other. Trans. Alphonso Lingis. In Deconstruction in context, ed. Mark C. Taylor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Levinas, E. 1998. Otherwise than being: Or beyond essence. Trans. Alphonso Lingis. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press.
- Miah, A. 2008. Engineering greater resilience or radical transhuman enhancement? Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology 2: 1.
- Mills, C. 2008. Genetic screening and selfhood: toward a bioethics of singularity. Australian Feminist Studies 23(55): 43–55. CrossRef
- Poster, M. 2001. The being of technologies. In What’s the matter with the internet, 21–38. Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press.
- Savulescu, J., and N. Bostrom (eds.). 2009. Enhancing humans. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Singer, P. 1994. Rethinking life and death: the collapse of our traditional ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Stiegler, B. 1998. Technics and time, 1: The fault of Epimetheus. Trans. Richard Beardsworth and George Collins. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- The Ister. 2004. A Film by David Barison and Daniel Ross. Australia.
- Weber, S. 1996. Upsetting the setup: Remarks on Heidegger’s “Questing After Technics”. In Mass mediauras: Form, technics, media. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
- Zylinska, J. 2009. Bioethics in the age of new media. Cambridge: MIT.
- Playing God, Playing Adam: The Politics and Ethics of Enhancement
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry
Volume 7, Issue 2 , pp 149-161
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors
- Joanna Zylinska (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW, UK