Enhancing Evolution: The Ethical Case for Making Better People

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Princeton University Press, Sep 27, 2010 - Science - 272 pages
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In Enhancing Evolution, leading bioethicist John Harris dismantles objections to genetic engineering, stem-cell research, designer babies, and cloning and makes an ethical case for biotechnology that is both forthright and rigorous. Human enhancement, Harris argues, is a good thing--good morally, good for individuals, good as social policy, and good for a genetic heritage that needs serious improvement. Enhancing Evolution defends biotechnological interventions that could allow us to live longer, healthier, and even happier lives by, for example, providing us with immunity from cancer and HIV/AIDS. Further, Harris champions the possibility of influencing the very course of evolution to give us increased mental and physical powers--from reasoning, concentration, and memory to strength, stamina, and reaction speed. Indeed, he says, it's not only morally defensible to enhance ourselves; in some cases, it's morally obligatory.


In a new preface, Harris offers a glimpse at the new science and technology to come, equipping readers with the knowledge to assess the ethics and policy dimensions of future forms of human enhancement.

 

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User Review  - fpagan - LibraryThing

It is good to know that there are professional ethicists like Harris who see nothing inherently wrong with such things as human cloning and genetic engineering and who refute stick-in-the-mudders like ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
1 Has Humankind a Future?
8
2 Enhancement Is a Moral Duty
19
3 What Enhancements Are and Why They Matter
36
4 Immortality
59
5 Reproductive Choice and the Democratic Presumption
72
6 Disability and SuperAbility
86
7 Perfection and the Blue Guitar
109
8 Good and Bad Uses of Technology
123
9 Designer Children
143
10 The Irredeemable Paradox of the Embryo
160
11 The Obligation to Pursue and Participate in Research
184
Notes
207
Bibliography
227
Index
239
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About the author (2010)

John Harris is the Lord David Alliance Professor of Bioethics at the University of Manchester School of Law, joint editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, and a member of Britain's Human Genetics Commission. His many books include On Cloning and Clones, Genes, and Immortality.

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