TECHNOSCIENCE AND “HUMAN ENHANCEMENT”

Publication Type:

Language:

Transliteration of original Title: 
Tekhnonauka i «uluchshenie» cheloveka
Author(s): 
Boris Yudin
Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
Issue number: 
No. 2 (Vol. 48)
Pages: 
18-27
Abstract: 

Technologies and practices aimed at improving the physical, mental, intellectual, moral and other characteristics of a person are becoming increasingly popular today. What makes all this possible is the present stage of scientific and technological development of society, often referred to as technoscience. This article discusses two general contours of what constitutes a technoscience. The author argues that, internally, technoscience is associated with establishing increasingly close and diverse links between science and technology. Externally, technoscience incorporates other components, such as business, financing the development of new technologies, a human as an individual person and, at the same time, as a mass consumer of new technologies, and society, through which the interaction between all other blocks occurs.

What is claimed to be of crucial importance is the fact that a human individual very often becomes the target of a variety of technological interventions. For a long time, such interventions have been primarily medical, therapeutic in their nature. Gradually, however, the spectrum of applications of biomedical technologies has grown wider. A significant role in this widening of the spectrum during last few decades is claimed to be played by processes of medicalization of human life.

The author considers the delineation between therapeutic interventions and those which are aimed at improving an individual. He addresses the problems of the connection between the projects of human enhancement, on the one hand, and their radical transformation, on the other.

Keywords: 
technoscience, biomedical technologies, therapeutic interventions, human “enhancement”, transhumanism
References: 

Allhoff, et al., 2009 - Allhoff, F., Lin, P., Moor, J., & Weckert, J. Ethics of human enhancement: 25 questions and  answers, U.S. National Science Foundation Report. Available at: http://ethics.calpoly.edu/NSF_report.pdf (accessed 25.02.2016)

Bensaude-Vincent, 2008 - Bensaude-Vincent, B. Technoscience and Convergence: A Tranmutation of values? Summerschool on Ethics of Converging Technologies, Dormotel Vogelsberg, Omrod / Alsfeld, Germany, Sep. 2008.

Bess M. D. Icarus 2.0: A historian’s perspective on human biological enhancement. Technology and Culture, vol. 49, no.1, pp. 114–126.

Coeckelbergh, 2011 - Coeckelbergh, M. Human development or human enhancement? A methodological reflection on capabilities and the evaluation of information technologies.  Ethics Inf Technol ,2011, no. 13, p. 89.

Fukuyama F. Our posthuman future: Consequences of the biotechnology revolution [Nashe postchelovecheskoe budushhee: Posledstvija biotehnologicheskoj revoljucii]. Moscow: OAO «Izdatel'stvo AST» - OAO «Ljuks», 2004. 349p.

Gillespie, 2006 - Gillespie, N. Who’s afraid of human enhancement? A reason debate on the promise, perils, and ethics of human biotechnology. Available at: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Who’s?afraid?of?human?enhancement%3f?A?reason?debate?on?the?promise%2c...-a0140094313 (accessed 20.01.2016)

Habermas J. The future of human nature. On the way to liberal eugenics [Die Zukunft der menschlichen Natur. Auf dem Weg zu einer liberalen Eugenik?]. Moscow: Izdatel'stvo «Ves' mir». 2002.

Hottois G. Is transhumanism a humanism? [Transgumanizm - jeto gumanizm?]. The man – Chelovek, 2014, no.6, pp. 46-53.

Hottois, 1984 - Hottois G. Le signe et la technique. La philosophie à l’épreuve de la technique. Paris: Aubier. P. 60-61.

Kaas L. Ageless bodies, happy souls [Nestarejushhie tela, schastlivye dushi]. The man – Chelovek, 2003, no.6, pp. 37-49

Kourany, 2014 - Kourany J.  Human Enhancement: Making the Debate More Productive. Erkenntnis, 2014, vol. 79, no.5. Supplement. June 2014. P. 983.

Walker, 2002 - Walker M. What is Transhumanism? Why is a Transhumanist? Available at: http://www.transhumanism.org/index.php/th/more/298/ (accessed 21.01.2016)

Yudin B.G. Science in the knowledge society [Nauka v obshhestve znanij]. Problems of philosophy - Voprosy filosofii, 2010, no.8, pp.45-57.

Full Text: