Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Truly Human EnhancementA Philosophical Defense of Limits$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nicholas Agar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026635

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026635.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

What Interest Do We Have in Superhuman Feats?

What Interest Do We Have in Superhuman Feats?

(p.33) 3 What Interest Do We Have in Superhuman Feats?
Truly Human Enhancement

Nicholas Agar

The MIT Press

Should we pursue superhuman feats by means of genetic or cybernetic technologies? An interest in superhuman feats seems to conform to the objective ideal. The greater the degree of enhancement enabled by the application of genetic or cybernetic technologies to our bodies and minds, the more impressive will be our physical and mental feats. There is, however, another kind of value that we attach to our capacities which follows the anthropocentric ideal. This mode of evaluation assigns increasing value to enhancements of our capacities across and somewhat beyond the normal human range. However, somewhere beyond that range it assigns decreasing value. I use examples of athletic achievement to illustrate this way of valuing. Radical enhancement brings the objective and anthropocentric ideals into conflict. We do not, as a practical matter, have to resolve this conflict by selecting either the objective or the anthropocentric ideals to guide our deliberations about enhancement. There are ways to procure many of the goods that track the objective ideal that do not involve enhancing human capacities. They are likely to be more effective at providing many of the goods that motivate the radical enhancement of human capacities.

Keywords:   Simulation theory, Erythropoietin, Transformative change, Extended mind

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.