© 2009

Medical Enhancement and Posthumanity

  • Bert Gordijn
  • Ruth Chadwick
  • Presents a systematic, well-balanced and substantiated analysis of conceptual, historical, conceptual and ethical issues regarding medical enhancement and posthumanity

  • The combination of an historical, conceptual and ethical approach gives the volume a strong original aspect in comparison with other recent literature on enhancement and posthumanity

  • Accessible to a wide range of people, including graduate students, researchers, and academics teaching in the area for which the book could be a key teaching reference and resource in course design

  • The issues raised in this book are of interest to a wider reflective public concerned about science and ethics, particularly in relation to the rapid development of various technologies (such as bio-, info-, neuro- and nanotechnology), as well as to students and academics/professionals in such areas as philosophy, applied ethics, bioethics, medical ethics, health management and biomedical sciences


Part of the The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology book series (ELTE, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Medical Enhancement

  3. Posthumanity

    1. Andy Miah
      Pages 71-94
    2. Dieter Birnbacher
      Pages 95-106
    3. Nick Bostrom
      Pages 107-136
    4. Charles T. Rubin
      Pages 137-156
  4. Current Developments

    1. Mary Devereaux
      Pages 159-174
    2. Walter Glannon
      Pages 175-189
    3. Rebecca Dresser
      Pages 191-205
    4. Ellen M. McGee
      Pages 207-224
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 237-240

About this book


As we are increasingly using new technologies to change ourselves beyond therapy and in accordance with our own desires, understanding the challenges of human enhancement has become one of the most urgent topics of the current age. This volume contributes to such an understanding by critically examining the pros and cons of our growing ability to shape human nature through technological advancements. The authors undertake careful analyses of decisive questions that will confront society as enhancement interventions using bio-, info-, neuro- and nanotechnologies become widespread in the years to come. They provide the reader with the conceptual tools necessary to address such questions fruitfully. What makes the book especially attractive is the combination of conceptual, historical and ethical approaches, which makes it highly original. In addition, the well-balanced structure of the volume allows both favourable and critical views to be voiced. Moreover, the work has a crystal clear structure. As a consequence, the book is accessible to a broad academic audience. The issues raised are of interest to a wide reflective public concerned about science and ethics, as well as to students, academics and professionals in areas such as philosophy, applied ethics, bioethics, medicine and health management.


Applied Ethics Cosmetic Surgery Enhancement Ethical Issues Genetic Modification Human Enhancement Medical Enhancement Posthumanity Transhumanity bioethics ethics health therapy

Editors and affiliations

  • Bert Gordijn
    • Ruth Chadwick
      • 1
    1. 1.Cardiff Law SchoolUniversity of CardiffCardiffUK

    Bibliographic information

    • Book Title Medical Enhancement and Posthumanity
    • Editors Bert Gordijn
      Ruth Chadwick
    • Series Title The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology
    • DOI
    • Copyright Information Springer Netherlands 2009
    • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
    • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
    • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-4020-8851-3
    • Softcover ISBN 978-90-481-8005-9
    • eBook ISBN 978-1-4020-8852-0
    • Series ISSN 1875-0044
    • Edition Number 1
    • Number of Pages VI, 240
    • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
    • Topics Medicine/Public Health, general
      Philosophy of Mind
      Social Sciences, general
    • Buy this book on publisher's site
    Industry Sectors
    Health & Hospitals
    Consumer Packaged Goods


    From the reviews:

    "This set of essays by different authors addresses a variety of issues related to the alteration of humanity by means of medical technology. … The intended audience is primarily academics interested in specific philosophical issues associated with medical enhancement or broader questions related to the legitimate scope and direction of medical science." (D. Robert MacDougall, Doody’s Review Service, March, 2009)

    "It appears to be targeted primarily at the academic reader who has some familiarity with the themes addressed … . it consists of a number of papers penned by a range of international experts on the ethics of enhancement, including ‘big names’ … . It should be clear … that there is much to recommend this book. … it should definitely sit on the bookshelf of anyone working on or interested in the topics it covers." (Peter Herissone-Kelly, Metapsychology, Vol. 13 (24), June, 2009)