Enhancing Human Traits

cover art
272 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878407033 ()

272 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878407804 (0878407804)

October 1998
LC: 98-16197
Sales Rights: World

Hastings Center Studies in Ethics series



Enhancing Human Traits
Ethical and Social Implications
Erik Parens, Editor
In this volume, scholars from philosophy, sociology, history, theology, women's studies, and law explore the looming ethical and social implications of new biotechnologies that are rapidly making it possible to enhance an individual's mental and physical attributes in ways previously only imagined.

To clarify the issues, the contributors grapple with the central concept of "enhancement" and probe the uses and abuses of the term. Focusing in particular on the moral issues pertaining to cosmetic surgery and cosmetic psychopharmacology (a category which includes Prozac), they also examine notions of identity, authenticity, normality, and complicity. Other essays in this collection address the social ramifications of the new technologies, including the problems of access and fairness.
Erik Parens is the associate for philosophical studies at The Hastings Center.
Gregory E. Kaebnick and Daniel Callahan, Series Editors
"Are enhancement technologies a good thing? We regard self-development through education and exercise a virtue, almost a duty. Why not pursue these ends by means of enhancement technologies? . . . Enhancing Human Traits represents a landmark in the discussion of these thorny issues. . . . I predict that this book will open a debate that will play a significant role in shaping our culture in the years to come."—Nature

"Coherently organized, Enhancing Human Traits provides a useful set of perspectives for framing ethical, social, and policy questions in what will continue to be a controversial area of medicine."—Choice

"A timely and important book. . . . The essays in this volume represent cutting-edge work on an important topic for bioethics."—Bioethics

"Recommended to the increasing number of physicians who have a strong commitment to biomedical ethics."—New England Journal of Medicine