Our Posthuman Future

Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 9781847653703
Release Date: 2017-06-15
Genre: Science

Is a baby whose personality has been chosen from a gene supermarket still a human? If we choose what we create what happens to morality? Is this the end of human nature? The dramatic advances in DNA technology over the last few years are the stuff of science fiction. It is now not only possible to clone human beings it is happening. For the first time since the creation of the earth four billion years ago, or the emergence of mankind 10 million years ago, people will be able to choose their children's' sex, height, colour, personality traits and intelligence. It will even be possible to create 'superhumans' by mixing human genes with those of other animals for extra strength or longevity. But is this desirable? What are the moral and political consequences? Will it mean anything to talk about 'human nature' any more? Is this the end of human beings? Our Posthuman Future is a passionate analysis of the greatest political and moral problem ever to face the human race.

Our Posthuman Future

Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9780374706180
Release Date: 2003-05-01
Genre: Science

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 our 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 re-orient 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 for 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 descendents-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 exploration on the foundation of liberal democracy: the belief that human beings are equal by nature.

Our Posthuman Future

Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0312421710
Release Date: 2003-05-01
Genre: Science

A decade after his now-famous pronouncement of "the end of history," Francis Fukuyama argues that as a result of biomedical advances, we are facing the possibility of a future in which our humanity itself will be altered beyond recognition. Fukuyama sketches a brief history of man's changing understanding of human nature: from Plato and Aristotle to the modernity's utopians and dictators who sought to remake mankind for ideological ends. Fukuyama argues that 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 with the best of intentions. In Our Posthuman Future, one of our greatest social philosophers begins to describe the potential effects of genetic exploration on the foundation of liberal democracy: the belief that human beings are equal by nature.

Social Capital and Civil Society

Author: Mr. Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 9781452707884
Release Date: 2000-03-01
Genre: Business & Economics

Social capital is an instantiated informal norm that promotes cooperation between individuals. In the economic sphere it reduces transaction costs, and in the political sphere it promotes the kind of associational life that is necessary for the success of limited government and modern democracy. Although social capital often arises from iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma games, it also is a byproduct of religion, tradition, shared historical experience, and other types of cultural norms. Thus whereas awareness of social capital is often critical for understanding development, it is difficult to generate through public policy.

Flesh and Machines

Author: Rodney Brooks
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780375421938
Release Date: 2002-04-09
Genre: Technology & Engineering

Are we really on the brink of having robots to mop our floors, do our dishes, mow our lawns, and clean our windows? And are researchers that close to creating robots that can think, feel, repair themselves, and even reproduce? Rodney A. Brooks, director of the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory believes we are. In this lucid and accessible book, Brooks vividly depicts the history of robots and explores the ever-changing relationships between humans and their technological brethren, speculating on the growing role that robots will play in our existence. Knowing the moral battle likely to ensue, he posits a clear philosophical argument as to why we should not fear that change. What results is a fascinating book that offers a deeper understanding of who we are and how we can control what we will become. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Political Order and Political Decay

Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 9781429944328
Release Date: 2014-09-30
Genre: History

The second volume of the bestselling landmark work on the history of the modern state Writing in The Wall Street Journal, David Gress called Francis Fukuyama's Origins of Political Order "magisterial in its learning and admirably immodest in its ambition." In The New York Times Book Review, Michael Lind described the book as "a major achievement by one of the leading public intellectuals of our time." And in The Washington Post, Gerard DeGrott exclaimed "this is a book that will be remembered. Bring on volume two." Volume two is finally here, completing the most important work of political thought in at least a generation. Taking up the essential question of how societies develop strong, impersonal, and accountable political institutions, Fukuyama follows the story from the French Revolution to the so-called Arab Spring and the deep dysfunctions of contemporary American politics. He examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West. A sweeping, masterful account of the struggle to create a well-functioning modern state, Political Order and Political Decay is destined to be a classic.

Nation Building

Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 0801883342
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Business & Economics

Experts reflect on the United States experience with nation- building, from its historical underpinnings to its contemporary consequences. The contributors dissect mistakes, false starts, and lessons learned from the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq in the broader context of reconstruction efforts world-wide.

Posthuman Life

Author: David Roden
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317592327
Release Date: 2014-10-10
Genre: Philosophy

We imagine posthumans as humans made superhumanly intelligent or resilient by future advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive science. Many argue that these enhanced people might live better lives; others fear that tinkering with our nature will undermine our sense of our own humanity. Whoever is right, it is assumed that our technological successor will be an upgraded or degraded version of us: Human 2.0. Posthuman Life argues that the enhancement debate projects a human face onto an empty screen. We do not know what will happen and, not being posthuman, cannot anticipate how posthumans will assess the world. If a posthuman future will not necessarily be informed by our kind of subjectivity or morality the limits of our current knowledge must inform any ethical or political assessment of that future. Posthuman Life develops a critical metaphysics of posthuman succession and argues that only a truly speculative posthumanism can support an ethics that meets the challenge of the transformative potential of technology.

Citizen Cyborg

Author: James Hughes
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780786722914
Release Date: 2004-10-27
Genre: Science

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.

The Origins of Political Order

Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 9781847652812
Release Date: 2011-05-12
Genre: Political Science

Nations are not trapped by their pasts, but events that happened hundreds or even thousands of years ago continue to exert huge influence on present-day politics. If we are to understand the politics that we now take for granted, we need to understand its origins. Francis Fukuyama examines the paths that different societies have taken to reach their current forms of political order. This book starts with the very beginning of mankind and comes right up to the eve of the French and American revolutions, spanning such diverse disciplines as economics, anthropology and geography. The Origins of Political Order is a magisterial study on the emergence of mankind as a political animal, by one of the most eminent political thinkers writing today.

Make Way for the Superhumans

Author: Michael Bess
Publisher: Icon Books
ISBN: 9781785781025
Release Date: 2016-07-07
Genre: Science

Biomedical research is changing the both the format and the functions of human beings. Very soon the human race will be faced with a choice: do we join in with the enhancement or not? Make Way for the Superhumans looks at how far this technology has come and what aims and ambitions it has. From robotic implants that restore sight to the blind, to performance enhancing drugs that build muscles, improve concentration, and maintain erections, bio-enhancement has already made massive advances. Humans have already developed the technology to transmit thoughts and actions brain-to-brain using only a computer interface. By the time our grandchildren are born, they will be presented with the option to significantly alter and redesign their bodies. Make Way for the Superhumans is the only book that poses the questions that need answering now: suggesting real, practical ways of dealing with this technology before it reaches a point where it can no longer be controlled.

Our Common Denominator

Author: Christoph Antweiler
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781785330940
Release Date: 2016-04-30
Genre: Social Science

Since the politicization of anthropology in the 1970s, most anthropologists have been reluctant to approach the topic of universals-that is, phenomena that occur regularly in all known human societies. In this volume, Christoph Antweiler reasserts the importance of these cross-cultural commonalities for anthropological research and for life and co-existence beyond the academy. The question presented here is how anthropology can help us approach humanity in its entirety, understanding the world less as a globe, with an emphasis on differences, but as a planet, from a vantage point open to commonalities.