Human Nature and Respect for the Evolutionarily Given: a Comment on Lewens
- Russell Powell
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Any serious ethical discussion of the enhancement of human nature must begin with a reasonably accurate picture of the causal-historical structure of the living world. In this Comment, I show that even biologically sophisticated ethical discussions of the biomedical enhancement of species and speciel natures are susceptible to the kind of essentialistic thinking that Lewens cautions against. Furthermore, I argue that the same evolutionary and developmental considerations that compel Lewens to reject more plausible conceptions of human nature pose equally serious problems for some prominent critiques of biomedical enhancement that presuppose the existence of a “given” biological potential that can be distorted by agentic cultural influences.
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- Human Nature and Respect for the Evolutionarily Given: a Comment on Lewens
Philosophy & Technology
Volume 25, Issue 4 , pp 485-493
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Genetic engineering
- Human nature
- Russell Powell (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Philosophy, Boston University, 745 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, 02215, USA