Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

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by Francis Fukuyama
     
 

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama made his now-famous pronouncement that because "the major alternatives to liberal democracy had exhausted themselves,' history as we knew it had reached its end. Ten years later, he revised his argument: we hadn't reached the end of history, he wrote, because we hadn't yet reached the end of science. Arguing that the greatest advances… See more details below

Overview

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama made his now-famous pronouncement that because "the major alternatives to liberal democracy had exhausted themselves,' history as we knew it had reached its end. Ten years later, he revised his argument: we hadn't reached the end of history, he wrote, because we hadn't yet reached the end of science. Arguing that the greatest advances still to come will be in the life sciences, Fukuyama now asks how the ability to modify human behavior will affect liberal democracy.

To reorient contemporary debate, Fukuyama underlines man's changing understanding of human nature through history: from Plato and Aristotle's belief that man had "natural ends" to the ideals of utopians and dictators of the modern age who sought to remake mankind of ideological ends. Fukuyama persuasively argues that the ultimate prize of the biotechnology revolution-intervention in the "germ-line", the ability to manipulate the DNA of all of one person's descendants-will have profound, and potentially terrible, consequences for our political order, even if undertaken by ordinary parents seeking to "improve" their children.

In Our Posthuman Future, our greatest social philosopher begins to describe the potential effects of our exploration on the foundation of liberal democracy: the belief that human beings are equal by nature.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756795894
Publisher:
DIANE Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/28/2005
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256

Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. IPathways to the Future
1A Tale of Two Dystopias3
2Sciences of the Brain18
3Neuropharmacology and the Control of Behavior41
4The Prolongation of Life57
5Genetic Engineering72
6Why We Should Worry84
Pt. IIBeing Human
7Human Rights105
8Human Nature129
9Human Dignity148
Pt. IIIWhat to Do
10The Political Control of Biotechnology181
11How Biotechnology Is Regulated Today195
12Policies for the Future203
Notes219
Bibliography243

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