Being Me: What it Means to be Human

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John Wiley & Sons, Feb 6, 2004 - Science - 288 pages
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'O brave new world, That has such people in't!'

Shakespeare, "The Tempest"

New scientific developments are changing the world, but whether the world of our children and grandchildren will be the hell of Huxley's "Brave New World" or the sheltered paradise described by Shakespeare depends on how we choose to use these developments.

That choice will frequently be driven by our appreciation of what human beings really are. In this thought-provoking book Pete Moore presents an antidote to the scientific reductionism that so frequently seeks to narrow any definition of our species by single features, such as our genes or the ability of our brains. This exploration of the nature of humanity reveals the rainbow spectrum that makes us who we are. Through discussions with individuals whose lives help us to focus on individual aspects of our make up, Moore explores the difficult issues that are facing us.

This book provides a timely reminder that technology cannot be separated from its impact on real people and how their lives are changed for the better or worse. Medical developments offer tremendous opportunities for good, but if we lose sight of what it is to be human they also have the ability to be used for very dangerous, even evil purposes. We have a chance to influence this future. We should not ignore the challenge.

DR PETE MOORE is a medical journalist and an official rapporteur at Windsor Castle and the House of Lords. He is the author of Blood and Justice (0470 848421, Hbk / 0470 84844 8 Pbk).

 

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Contents

1 An embodied being
17
2 A conscious being
47
3 A genetic being
83
4 A historic being
107
5 A related being
133
6 A material being
157
7 A spiritual being
181
8 A sexual being
211
9 A social being
237
10 Free to be me
259
Bibliography
273
Index
275
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Dr Pete Moore is a medical journalist and Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Bristol. He is Chairman of the Medical Journalists Association and winner of numerous awards for his journalism, including the MJA Tony Thistlethwaite Award for his most recent book, Blood and Justice. He is an official rapporteur at Windsor Castle and private meetings at the House of Lords. He has a PhD in physiology and has held a range of post-doctoral research fellowships with The Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation. He also lectures in ethics.

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