Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

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Macmillan, May 1, 2003 - Science - 272 pages
30 Reviews

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama made his now-famous pronouncement that because "the major alternatives to liberal democracy had exhausted themselves," history as we knew it had reached its end. Ten years later, he revised his argument: we hadn't reached the end of history, he wrote, because we hadn't yet reached the end of science. Arguing that our greatest advances still to come will be in the life sciences, Fukuyama now asks how the ability to modify human behavior will affect liberal democracy.


To re-orient contemporary debate, Fukuyama underlines man's changing understanding of human nature through history: from Plato and Aristotle's belief that man had "natural ends," to the ideals of utopians and dictators of the modern age who sought to remake mankind for ideological ends. Fukuyama persuasively argues that the ultimate prize of the biotechnology revolution-intervention in the "germ-line," the ability to manipulate the DNA of all of one person's descendents-will have profound, and potentially terrible, consequences for our political order, even if undertaken by ordinary parents seeking to "improve" their children.


In Our Posthuman Future, our greatest social philosopher begins to describe the potential effects of exploration on the foundation of liberal democracy: the belief that human beings are equal by nature.

 

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Review: Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

User Review  - Daniel Toker - Goodreads

If nothing else, the breadth of knowledge that Fukuyama brings to bear on the ethics of biotechnology is remarkable: he is as comfortable talking about ethology as he is Kantian ethics or ... Read full review

Review: Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

User Review  - Alex McManus - Goodreads

Ever since I read The Future Doesn't Need Us in 1999 from Wired magazine, I have been following GNR (Genetics, Nano Technology, and Robotics). This may be one of the reasons why "postmodernism" didn't ... Read full review

Contents

PART I PATHWAYS TO THE FUTURE
1
PART II BEING HUMAN
103
PART III WHAT TO DO
179
Notes
219
Bibliography
243
Index
257
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Francis Fukuyama is Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University. In 2002, he was appointed to the President's Council on Bioethics. He is the author of The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, and The End of History and the Last Man, among other works. He lives in McLean, Virginia.

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