Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future
A provocative work by medical ethicist James Hughes, Citizen Cyborg argues that technologies pushing the boundaries of humanness can radically improve our quality of life if they are controlled democratically. Hughes challenges both the technophobia of Leon Kass and Francis Fukuyama and the unchecked enthusiasm of others for limitless human enhancement. He argues instead for a third way, "democratic transhumanism," by asking the question destined to become a fundamental issue of the twenty-first century: How can we use new cybernetic and biomedical technologies to make life better for everyone? These technologies hold great promise, but they also pose profound challenges to our health, our culture, and our liberal democratic political system. By allowing humans to become more than human - "posthuman" or "transhuman" - the new technologies will require new answers for the enduring issues of liberty and the common good. What limits should we place on the freedom of people to control their own bodies? Who should own genes and other living things? Which technologies should be mandatory, which voluntary, and which forbidden? For answers to these challenges, Citizen Cyborg proposes a radical return to a faith in the resilience of our democratic institutions.
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I wish i could say this is a must read for every transhumanist, but I'd be lying. The only note worthy points that are raised in this book are that of the societal effects of human enhancement technologies. The problem with this book is that it strays from looking at those question from an analytic perspective, to a ideological perspective. By the end of the book, you've pretty much read a manifesto for the leftist-politicizing of an idea that really shouldn't be politicized. Hugely disappointing if you actually care about the science and philosophy of transhumanism.
Review: Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond To The Redesigned Human Of The FutureUser Review - Mark Niemann-Ross - Goodreads
Consider this book in two parts: A discussion of the sociology of trans-humanism, and the biased opinions of the author. The sociology discussed is GREAT. James Hughes does an invigorating job of ... Read full review
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