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  1. Why Have Children?: The Ethical Debate.Christine Overall - 2012 - MIT Press.
    In contemporary Western society, people are more often called upon to justify the choice not to have children than they are to supply reasons for having them. In this book, Christine Overall maintains that the burden of proof should be reversed: that the choice to have children calls for more careful justification and reasoning than the choice not to. Arguing that the choice to have children is not just a prudential or pragmatic decision but one with ethical repercussions, Overall offers (...)
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  • Human Enhancement.Nick Bostrom & Julian Savulescu (eds.) - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    To what extent should we use technological advances to try to make better human beings? Leading philosophers debate the possibility of enhancing human cognition, mood, personality, and physical performance, and controlling aging. Would this take us beyond the bounds of human nature? These are questions that need to be answered now.
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  • Introduction: Birth.Imogen Tyler - 2009 - Feminist Review 93 (1):1-7.
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  • Narrative theory and function: Why evolution matters.Michelle Scalise Sugiyama - 2001 - Philosophy and Literature 25 (2):233-250.
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  • The Moral Obligation to Create Children with the Best Chance of the Best Life.Julian Savulescu & Guy Kahane - 2009 - Bioethics 23 (5):274-290.
    According to what we call the Principle of Procreative Beneficence, couples who decide to have a child have a significant moral reason to select the child who, given his or her genetic endowment, can be expected to enjoy the most well-being. In the first part of this paper, we introduce PB, explain its content, grounds, and implications, and defend it against various objections. In the second part, we argue that PB is superior to competing principles of procreative selection such as (...)
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  • Neuroenhancement of love and marriage: The chemicals between us. [REVIEW]Julian Savulescu & Anders Sandberg - 2008 - Neuroethics 1 (1):31-44.
    This paper reviews the evolutionary history and biology of love and marriage. It examines the current and imminent possibilities of biological manipulation of lust, attraction and attachment, so called neuroenhancement of love. We examine the arguments for and against these biological interventions to influence love. We argue that biological interventions offer an important adjunct to psychosocial interventions, especially given the biological limitations inherent in human love.
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  • How Our Ancestors Raised Children to Think as Modern Humans.Matt J. Rossano - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (2):142-153.
    This article argues that social selection pressures in recent human evolution were primarily responsible for the emergence of modern cognition. These selection pressures took three specific forms: Increased security and stability, which reduced allostatic load on developing children, facilitating expanded working memory development; increased opportunities for mother-infant joint engagement, which created positive selection for more sophisticated forms of cognition; and increased pressure on ritualized behavior associated with both mother-infant joint engagement and the construction and maintenance of an unprecedentedly complex adult (...)
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  • The Future of Human Evolution.Russell Powell - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):145-175.
    There is a tendency in both scientific and humanistic disciplines to think of biological evolution in humans as significantly impeded if not completely overwhelmed by the robust cultural and technological capabilities of the species. The aim of this article is to make sense of and evaluate this claim. In Section 2 , I flesh out the argument that humans are ‘insulated’ from ordinary evolutionary mechanisms in terms of our contemporary biological understandings of phenotypic plasticity, niche construction, and cultural transmission. In (...)
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  • Evolution, Genetic Engineering, and Human Enhancement.Russell Powell, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):439-458.
    There are many ways that biological theory can inform ethical discussions of genetic engineering and biomedical enhancement. In this essay, we highlight some of these potential contributions, and along the way provide a synthetic overview of the papers that comprise this special issue. We begin by comparing and contrasting genetic engineering with programs of selective breeding that led to the domestication of plants and animals, and we consider how genetic engineering differs from other contemporary biotechnologies such as embryo selection. We (...)
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  • Breaking Evolution's Chains: The Prospect of Deliberate Genetic Modification in Humans.Russell Powell & Allen Buchanan - 2011 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 36 (1):6-27.
    Many philosophers invoke the "wisdom of nature" in arguing for varying degrees of caution in the development and use of genetic enhancement technologies. Because they view natural selection as akin to a master engineer that creates functionally and morally optimal design, these authors tend to regard genetic intervention with suspicion. In Part II, we examine and ultimately reject the evolutionary assumptions that underlie the master engineer analogy (MEA). By highlighting the constraints on ordinary unassisted evolution, we show how intentional genetic (...)
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  • What You Can't Expect When You're Expecting'.L. A. Paul - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (2):1-23.
    It seems natural to choose whether to have a child by reflecting on what it would be like to actually have a child. I argue that this natural approach fails. If you choose to become a parent, and your choice is based on projections about what you think it would be like for you to have a child, your choice is not rational. If you choose to remain childless, and your choice is based upon projections about what you think it (...)
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  • From bricolage to BioBricks™: Synthetic biology and rational design.Tim Lewens - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4b):641-648.
    Synthetic biology is often described as a project that applies rational design methods to the organic world. Although humans have influenced organic lineages in many ways, it is nonetheless reasonable to place synthetic biology towards one end of a continuum between purely ‘blind’ processes of organic modification at one extreme, and wholly rational, design-led processes at the other. An example from evolutionary electronics illustrates some of the constraints imposed by the rational design methodology itself. These constraints reinforce the limitations of (...)
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  • Some Problems with Genetic Emotional Enhancement.Felicitas Kraemer - 2012 - Journal of Value Inquiry 46 (4):435-447.
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  • The Value of Sex in Procreative Reasons.Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (7):22-24.
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  • Contradictions from the Enlightenment Roots of Transhumanism.J. Hughes - 2010 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (6):622-640.
    Transhumanism, the belief that technology can transcend the limitations of the human body and brain, is part of the family of Enlightenment philosophies. As such, transhumanism has also inherited the internal tensions and contradictions of the broad Enlightenment tradition. First, the project of Reason is self-erosive and requires irrational validation. Second, although most transhumanists are atheist, their belief in the transcendent power of intelligence generates new theologies. Third, although most transhumanists are liberal democrats, their belief in human perfectibility and governance (...)
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  • When is diminishment a form of enhancement? : rethinking the enhancement debate in biomedical ethics.Brian D. Earp, Anders Sandberg, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu - unknown
    The enhancement debate in neuroscience and biomedical ethics tends to focus on the augmentation of certain capacities or functions: memory, learning, attention, and the like. Typically, the point of contention is whether these augmentative enhancements should be considered permissible for individuals with no particular “medical” disadvantage along any of the dimensions of interest. Less frequently addressed in the literature, however, is the fact that sometimes the _diminishment_ of a capacity or function, under the right set of circumstances, could plausibly contribute (...)
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  • The Medicalization of Love.Brian D. Earp, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu - 2015 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 24 (3):323-336.
    Pharmaceuticals or other emerging technologies could be used to enhance (or diminish) feelings of lust, attraction, and attachment in adult romantic partnerships. While such interventions could conceivably be used to promote individual (and couple) well-being, their widespread development and/or adoption might lead to “medicalization” of human love and heartache—for some, a source of serious concern. In this essay, we argue that the “medicalization of love” need not necessarily be problematic, on balance, but could plausibly be expected to have either good (...)
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  • Natural Selection, Childrearing, and the Ethics of Marriage (and Divorce): Building a Case for the Neuroenhancement of Human Relationships. [REVIEW]Brian D. Earp, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):561-587.
    We argue that the fragility of contemporary marriages—and the corresponding high rates of divorce—can be explained (in large part) by a three-part mismatch: between our relationship values, our evolved psychobiological natures, and our modern social, physical, and technological environment. “Love drugs” could help address this mismatch by boosting our psychobiologies while keeping our values and our environment intact. While individual couples should be free to use pharmacological interventions to sustain and improve their romantic connection, we suggest that they may have (...)
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  • Resisting Sparrow's Sexy Reductio : Selection Principles and the Social Good.Simon Rippon, Pablo Stafforini, Katrien Devolder, Russell Powell & Thomas Douglas - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (7):16-18.
    Principles of procreative beneficence (PPBs) hold that parents have good reasons to select the child with the best life prospects. Sparrow (2010) claims that PPBs imply that we should select only female children, unlesswe attach normative significance to “normal” human capacities. We argue that this claim fails on both empirical and logical grounds. Empirically, Sparrow’s argument for greater female wellbeing rests on a selective reading of the evidence and the incorrect assumption that an advantage for females would persist even when (...)
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  • Synthetic biology and the ethics of knowledge.T. Douglas & J. Savulescu - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (11):687-693.
    Synthetic biologists aim to generate biological organisms according to rational design principles. Their work may have many beneficial applications, but it also raises potentially serious ethical concerns. In this article, we consider what attention the discipline demands from bioethicists. We argue that the most important issue for ethicists to examine is the risk that knowledge from synthetic biology will be misused, for example, in biological terrorism or warfare. To adequately address this concern, bioethics will need to broaden its scope, contemplating (...)
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  • The mismeasure of machine: Synthetic biology and the trouble with engineering metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their func- tionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adapta- tions, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In (...)
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  • The mismeasure of machine: Synthetic biology and the trouble with engineering metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their functionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adaptations, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In particular, the (...)
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  • Ritual, emotion, and sacred symbols.Candace S. Alcorta & Richard Sosis - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (4):323-359.
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  • Religion, emotion, and symbolic ritual: The evolution of an adaptive complex.Candace S. Alcorta & Richard Sosis - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (4):323-359.
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  • The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology.Ray Kurzweil - 2005 - Viking Press.
    A controversial scientific vision predicts a time in which humans and machines will merge and create a new form of non-biological intelligence, explaining how the occurrence will solve such issues as pollution, hunger, and aging.
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  • The Paradoxical Brain.Narinder Kapur (ed.) - 2011 - Cambridge University Press.
    The Paradoxical Brain focuses on the phenomenon whereby damage to the brain can actually result in enhancement of function, questioning the traditional belief that lesions or other negative effects on the brain will result in loss of function. The book covers a wide range of topics by leading researchers, including: • Superior performance after brain lesions or sensory loss • Return to normal function after a second brain lesion in neurological conditions • Paradoxical phenomena associated with human development • Examples (...)
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  • Postgenderism: Beyond the Gender Binary.James J. Hughes & George Dvorsky - 2008 - Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
    Postgenderism is an extrapolation of ways that technology is eroding the biological, psychological and social role of gender, and an argument for why the erosion of binary gender will be liberatory. Postgenderists argue that gender is an arbitrary and unnecessary limitation on human potential, and foresee the elimination of involuntary biological and psychological gendering in the human species through the application of neurotechnology, biotechnology and reproductive technologies. Postgenderists contend that dyadic gender roles and sexual dimorphisms are generally to the detriment (...)
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  • Ethical issues in human enhancement.Nick Bostrom & Rebecca Roache - 2007 - In J. Ryberg, T. Petersen & C. Wolf (eds.), New Waves in Applied Ethics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 120--152.
    Human enhancement has emerged in recent years as a blossoming topic in applied ethics. With continuing advances in science and technology, people are beginning to realize that some of the basic parameters of the human condition might be changed in the future. One important way in which the human condition could be changed is through the enhancement of basic human capacities. If this becomes feasible within the lifespan of many people alive today, then it is important now to consider the (...)
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  • Why I want to be a posthuman when I grow up.Nick Bostrom - manuscript
    Extreme human enhancement could result in “posthuman” modes of being. After offering some definitions and conceptual clarification, I argue for two theses. First, some posthuman modes of being would be very worthwhile. Second, it could be very good for human beings to become posthuman.
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  • On the neuro-evolutionary nature of social pain, support, and empathy.Jaak Panksepp - 2005 - In Murat Aydede (ed.), Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. Cambridge Ma: Bradford Book/Mit Press.
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  • Natural selection and the elusiveness of happiness.Randolph Nesse - 2005 - In Felicia A. Huppert, Nick Baylis & Barry Keverne (eds.), The Science of Well-Being. Oxford University Press.
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  • Empathy in the Time of Technology: How Storytelling is the Key to Empathy.P. Manney - 2008 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 19 (1):51-61.
    Will the transhuman technologies that our accelerating future promises enable us to increase our empathy to others? Or will their use decrease our ability to understand ‘the other’ that exists outside our own selves, families, communities and cultures? As the world grows smaller and more connected, humans will grow ever more divergent because of their possession – or not – of a multitude of transhuman technologies, and so the role of empathy grows larger and more important than ever. In theory, (...)
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