, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 321-324
Date: 27 Dec 2011

Review of Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Meulen and Guy Kahane eds., Enhancing Human Capacities

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As the broad scope of the title suggests, Enhancing Human Capacities brings together a vast and comprehensive range of perspectives on all manner of existing and prospective forms of human enhancement. Those perspectives come from specialists in philosophy, biology, neuroscience and social sciences, and many of the articles explore the ethical, social and political issues raised by the use of different types of enhancements. Accordingly, the book is organised into sections covering the five human capacities that are most amenable to some form of enhancement: cognitive, mood, physical, lifespan and moral. Most of the contributions are based on a recent European public policy project concerned with developing ethical and legal frameworks to address these issues. But this gives the book a strongly practical focus which also extends beyond the European context with the inclusion of a chapter on the difficulties of formulating such policies within the U.S political and judicial systems. Lik