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Enhancing Human Capacities

Julian Savulescu (Editor), Ruud ter Meulen (Editor), Guy Kahane (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-9581-2
576 pages
April 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Enhancing Human Capacities (1405195819) cover image


Enhancing Human Capacities is the first to review the very latest scientific developments in human enhancement. It is unique in its examination of the ethical and policy implications of these technologies from a broad range of perspectives.
  • Presents a rich range of perspectives on enhancement from world leading ethicists and scientists from Europe and North America
  • The most comprehensive volume yet on the science and ethics of human enhancement
  • Unique in providing a detailed overview of current and expected scientific advances in this area
  • Discusses both general conceptual and ethical issues and concrete questions of policy
  • Includes sections covering all major forms of enhancement: cognitive, affective, physical, and life extension
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Table of Contents

Preface (Guy Kahane, Julian Savulescu and Ruud ter Meulen).

I. Key Concepts and Questions.

1. Introduction: Wellbeing and the Concept of Enhancement (Julian Savulescu, Anders Sandberg, and Guy Kahane).

2. The Concept of Nature and the Enhancement Technologies Debate (Lisbeth Witthoefft Nielsen).

3. Enhancement, Autonomy and Authenticity (Niklas Juth).

4. Breaking Evolution's Chains: The Promise of Enhancement by Design (Russell Powell and Allen Buchanan).

II. Cognitive Enhancement.

5. Introduction: Cognition Enhancement--Upgrading the Brain (Anders Sandberg).

6. The Social and Economic Impacts of Cognitive Enhancement (Anders Sandberg and Julian Savulescu).

7. Cognitive Enhancing Drugs: Neuroscience and Society (Charlotte R. Housden, Sharon Morein-Zamir, and Barbara J. Sahakian).

8. Cognitive Bias and Collective Enhancement (Steve Clarke).

9. Smart Policy: Cognitive Enhancement in the Public Interest (Nick Bostrom and Rebecca Roache).

III. Mood Enhancement.

10. Introduction: Feeling Better – Scientific, Ethical and Social Issues in Mood Enhancement (Ron Berghmans, Ruud ter Meulen, Andrea Malizia and Rein Vos).

11. Reasons to Feel, Reasons to take Pills (Guy Kahane).

12. What's In a Name- ADHD and the Grey Area Between Treatment and Enhancement (Maartje Schermer and Ineke Bolt).

13. What Is Good or Bad In Mood Enhancement? (Rein Vos).

14. Asperger's Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder and the Relation between Mood, Cognition and Well-Being (Laurens Landeweerd).

15. Is Mood Enhancement a Legitimate Goal of Medicine? (Bengt Brülde).

16. Cognitive Therapy and Positive Psychology Combined: A Promising Approach to the Enhancement of Happiness (Tony Hope).

17. After Prozac (S. Matthew Liao and Rebecca Roache).

IV. Physical Enhancement.

18. Introduction: Physical Enhancement (Hidde J. Haisma).

19. Physical Enhancement – The State of the Art (Andy Miah).

20. Enhanced Bodies (Claudio Tamburriniand Torbjörn Tännsjö).

21. Physical Enhancement: What Baseline, Whose Judgement? (SørenHolm and Mike McNamee).

22. Le Tour and Failure of Zero Tolerance: Time to Relax Doping Controls (Julian Savulescu and Bennett Foddy).

23. Enhancing Skill (Bennett Foddy).

24. Can a Ban on Doping in Sport be Morally Justified? (Sigmund Loland).

V. Life Extension.

25. Introduction: Looking for the Fountain of Youth: Scientific, Ethical and Social Issues in the Extension of Human Lifespan (Gaia Barazzetti).

26. Is Living Longer Living Better? (Larry Temkin).

27. Life Extension versus Replacement (Gustaf Arrhenius).

28. Life Span Extension: Metaphysical Basis and Ethical Outcomes (Christine Overall).

29. Lifespan Extension and Personal Identity (Gaia Barazetti and Massimo Reichlin).

30. Intergenerational Justice and Lifespan Extension (Roberto Mordacci).

31. The Value of Life Extension to Persons as Conatively-Driven Processes (Steven Horrobin).

32. Enhancing Human Ageing: The Cultural and Psychosocial Context of Life-Span Extension (John Bond).

33. Policy Making for a New Generation of Interventions in Age-Related Disease and Decline (Kenneth Howse).

VI. Moral Enhancement.

34. Moral Enhancement (Tom Douglas).

35. Unfit for the Future?: Human Nature, Scientific Progress and the Need for Moral Enhancement (Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu).

VII. General Policy.

36. Of Nails and Hammers: Human Biological Enhancement and American Policy Tools (Henry T. Greely).

37. The Politics of Human Enhancement and the European Union (Christopher Coenen, Mirjam Schuijff and Martijintje Smits).

Notes on Contributors.


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Author Information

Julian Savulescu is Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics within the Faculty of Philosophy. He is also Director of the Wellcome Centre for Neuroethics, and Director of the Program on the Ethics of the New Biosciences, within the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford. He is author of over 200 publications and has given over 100 international presentations.

Ruud ter Meulen is Chair in Ethics in Medicine, and Director of the Centre for Ethics in Medicine at the University of Bristol. Previously he worked as Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Bioethics at the University of Maastricht (The Netherlands). He is author of over 130 publications and has given over 100 national and international presentations. He was co-ordinator of the ENHANCE project in which most of the chapters of this book were produced.

Guy Kahane is Deputy Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and Research Fellow at the Wellcome Centre for Neuroethics, both at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford. Kahane is also Fulford Junior Research Fellow at Somerville College Oxford, and a recipient of a Wellcome Trust University Award in Biomedical Ethics. Kahane has published extensively in applied ethics, metaethics and value theory.

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"Indeed, the book itself is a cognitive enhancer par excellence and is sure to raise the level of debate on the use of enhancements and their potential risks and benefits for individuals and society itself."  (Neuroethics, 14 December 2011)

"This volume is appropriate for all who wish to reflect seriously on the prospects for enhancing human capacities. References in the articles range widely over the literature in bioscience and philosophy. Comprehensive index included. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers." (Choice, 1 November 2011)

"This is clearly the most comprehensive and best collection on human enhancement. It provides needed clarification of both the relevant science and the ethical and policy issues--an indispensable contribution to the debates."
Dan W. Brock, PhD, Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School

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