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Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned…
by James Hughes
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0813341981, Paperback)
A provocative work by medical ethicist James Hughes, Citizen Cyborg argues that technologies pushing the boundaries of humanness can radically improve our quality of life if they are controlled democratically. Hughes challenges both the technophobia of Leon Kass and Francis Fukuyama and the unchecked enthusiasm of others for limitless human enhancement. He argues instead for a third way, "democratic transhumanism," by asking the question destined to become a fundamental issue of the twenty-first century: How can we use new cybernetic and biomedical technologies to make life better for everyone? These technologies hold great promise, but they also pose profound challenges to our health, our culture, and our liberal democratic political system. By allowing humans to become more than human - "posthuman" or "transhuman" - the new technologies will require new answers for the enduring issues of liberty and the common good. What limits should we place on the freedom of people to control their own bodies? Who should own genes and other living things? Which technologies should be mandatory, which voluntary, and which forbidden? For answers to these challenges, Citizen Cyborg proposes a radical return to a faith in the resilience of our democratic institutions.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:56 -0400)
"A loose coalition of groups - including religious conservatives, disability rights advocates, and environmental activists - has emerged to oppose the use of genetics to enhance human beings. And with the appointment of conservative philosopher Leon Kass (an opponent of invitro fertilization, stem cell research, and life extension) to head the President's Council on Bioethics, and with the recent high-profile writings by authors like Francis Fukuyama and Bill McKibben, this stance has become more visible - and more infamous - than ever before." "In the opposite corner, a loose transhumanist coalition is mobilizing in defense of human enhancement, embracing the ideological diversity of their intellectual forebears in the democratic and humanist movements. Transhumanists argue that human beings should be guaranteed freedom to control their own bodies and brains, and to use technology to transcend human limitations." "Identifying the groups, thinkers, and arguments in each corner of this debate, bioethicist and futurist James Hughes argues for a third way, which he calls democratic transhumanism. This approach argues that we will achieve the best possible posthuman future when we ensure tech nologies are safe, make them available to everyone, and respect the right of individuals to control their own bodies." "Hughes offers fresh and controversial answers for many other pressing biopolitical issues including cloning, genetic patents, human genetic engineering, sex selection, drugs, and assisted suicide - and concludes with a concrete political agenda for protechnology progressives, including expanding and deepening human rights, reforming genetic patent laws, and providing everyone with healthcare and a basic guaranteed income."--BOOK JACKET.
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