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Changing Human Nature. The Ethical Challenge of Biotechnological Interventions on Humans

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Abstract

There is currently a prolific ethical debate about biotechnological interventions into human beings and the potential to alter the human organism, its functioning,, or genetic makeup. This article presents how such interventions can be seen as a challenge to concepts of “human nature” and reviews the different understandings of this notion. Representative of this debate is the ethical concern about “human enhancement interventions” that aim to improve human functioning beyond what can be considered as healthy or normal. The different ethical stances toward enhancement are presented.

Keywords

  • Human nature
  • Human enhancement
  • Biotechnology
  • Health
  • Normalcy
  • Psychopharmaceuticals
  • Prosthethics
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Genetic interventions
  • Bioconservatives
  • Bioliberals
  • Biostatistical understanding of human nature

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Correspondence to Jan-Christoph Heilinger .

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Heilinger, JC., Müller, O., Sample, M. (2015). Changing Human Nature. The Ethical Challenge of Biotechnological Interventions on Humans. In: Schramme, T., Edwards, S. (eds) Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8706-2_52-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8706-2_52-1

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