Allen Buchanan: Beyond Humanity?
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This work seeks to redirect the debate over whether certain Homo sapiens should refashion the species by technological intervention. It warns the debate has stalled in a face-off between techno-intervention “pros-vs.-cons” which the “anti” side has created. Others in the discussion, generally more “anti-anti” than outright “pro,” ask for a fair playing-field in which all viewpoints can calmly assess options. The book asserts such techno-interventions are inevitable: “we will have [them] no matter what any ethicist says and regardless of what political decisions are taken” (p. 20). Because of this historicist inevitability, bioethicists must cease bootless “anti” talk. Accepting the inevitable is the only way to stave off what they most fear will happen. Acceptance can ease the debate into discussing what actions to undertake, specifically in structuring institutions, to diminish bad outcomes. This book aims to lay down this practical track.
Six of its eight chapters are dedicated to...