Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future

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Basic Books, 2004 - Computers - 294 pages
7 Reviews
Argues that technologies pushing the boundaries of humanness can radically improve our quality of life - IF they are controlled democratically and made equally available in a liberal society. 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. 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 Future

User Review  - Paul - Goodreads

New technologies are coming in the near future that have the potential to radically change what it means to be human. This book looks at why democratic societies must respond to things like cloning ... Read full review

Contents

Better Living Through Science and Democracy
3
Controlling the Body
11
Living Longer
23
Getting Smarter
33
Being Happier
43
From Future Shock to Biopolitics
55
Cyborg Citizenship
75
B Defenders of Natural Law
107
LeftWing BioLuddites
125
Upwingers Extropians and Transhumanists
155
Democratic Transhumanism
187
Further Resources
267
Index
285
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

James Hughes is the producer of the public affairs program, Changesurfer Radio, and the Executive Director of the World Transhumanist Association. He lives in Willington, Connecticut.

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