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Truly Human EnhancementA Philosophical Defense of Limits$
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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

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A Defense of Truly Human Enhancement

A Defense of Truly Human Enhancement

(p.137) 7 A Defense of Truly Human Enhancement
Truly Human Enhancement

Nicholas Agar

The MIT Press

This chapter defends enhancements of a lesser degree than radical enhancements. The failures of imagination and identification that prevent us from fully valuing radically enhanced experiences and achievements do not prevent us from valuing experiences and achievements enabled by moderate enhancement. Moderate enhancements need not threaten the continuities of autobiographical memory that underpin our identities. The ideal of Truly Human Enhancement defended in this book locates itself between two more extreme philosophical ideals about enhancement – the bioconservative rejection of all forms of humans enhancement and the transhumanist suggestion that more human enhancement is almost always better than less. In this chapter I argue for moderate human enhancement indirectly. I argue for a defeasible presumption in favor of moderate enhancement. Some degree of human enhancement is widely recognized as good practice in education and nutrition. There are no good philosophical grounds to reject similar degrees of enhancement arranged by the modification of genes or the application to our bodies of cybernetic implants.

Keywords:   Moderate enhancement, Genetic enhancement, Interactionist view of development, Deliberate practice

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