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.
Das atemberaubende Bild unserer Zivilisation in tausend Jahren Am Ende des nächsten Jahrtausends steht die Menschheit vor einem tiefgreifenden Umbruch. Sie hat nicht nur die Grenzen ihres Heimatplaneten hinter sich gelassen und das Sonnensystem bevölkert, sondern auch die Beschränkungen des eigenen Körpers überwunden: von Geburt an ist jeder Mensch Teil eines gigantischen virtuellen Netzes. Doch der vermeintliche Fortschritt erweist sich als äußerst brüchig, als aus den Tiefen des Alls eine Katastrophe droht, die die Zivilisation in einem Schlag vernichten könnte – wenn sie nicht den nächsten Schritt vollbringt und den letzten Rätseln des Universums auf die Spur kommt.
Das Jahr 2045 markiert einen historischen Meilenstein: Es ist das Jahr, in dem der Mensch seine biologischen Begrenzungen mithilfe der Technik überwinden wird. Diese als technologische Singularität bekannt gewordene Revolution wird die Menschheit für immer verändern. Googles Chefingenieur Ray Kurzweil, dessen wahnwitzigen Visionen in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten immer wieder genau ins Schwarze trafen, zeichnet in diesem Klassiker des Transhumanismus mit beispielloser Detailwut eine bunt schillernde Momentaufnahme der technischen Evolution und legt dar, weshalb diese so bald kein Ende finden, sondern im Gegenteil immer weiter an Dynamik gewinnen wird. Daraus ergibt sich eine ebenso faszinierende wie schockierende Vision für die Zukunft der Menschheit.
Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2006-03-01
Ever since its first publication in 1992, The End of History and the Last Man has provoked controversy and debate. Francis Fukuyama's prescient analysis of religious fundamentalism, politics, scientific progress, ethical codes, and war is as essential for a world fighting fundamentalist terrorists as it was for the end of the Cold War. Now updated with a new afterword, The End of History and the Last Man is a modern classic.
Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
Release Date: 2000-03-01
Genre: Civil society
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.
Author: Gregory E. Kaebnick
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2013-11-04
Contemporary debates over issues as wide-ranging as the protection of wildernesses and endangered species, the spread of genetically modified organisms, the emergence of synthetic biology, and the advance of human enhancement, all of which seem to spin into deeper and more baffling questions with every change in the news cycle, often circle back to the same fundamental question: should there be limits to the human alteration of the natural world? A growing number of people view the human capacity to alter natural states of affairs -- from formerly wild spaces and things around us to crops and livestock to our own human nature -- as cause for moral alarm. That reaction raises a number of perplexing philosophical questions, however: Can we identify "natural" states of affairs at all? Does the idea of being morally concerned about the human relationship to nature make any sense? Should such a concern influence public policy and politics, or should government stay strenuously neutral on such matters? Through a study of moral debates about the environment, agricultural biotechnology, synthetic biology, and human enhancement, Gregory E. Kaebnick, a research scholar at The Hastings Center and editor of the Hastings Center Report, argues that concerns about the human alteration of nature can be legitimate and serious, but also that they are complex, contestable, and of limited political force. Kaebnick defends attempts to identify "natural" states of affairs by disentangling the nature/artifact distinction from metaphysical hoariness. Drawing on David Hume, he also defends moral standards for the human relationship to nature, arguing that they, and moral standards generally, should be understood as grounded in what Hume called the "passions." Yet what counts as "natural" can be delineated only roughly, he concludes, and moral standards for interaction with nature are less a matter of obligation than of ideals. Kaebnick also concludes, drawing on an interpretation of the liberal principle of neutrality, that government may support those standards but must be careful not to enforce them. Thus Kaebnick looks for a middle way on debates that have tended toward polarization. "As differences between nature and artifact become steadily less substantial, problems about preservation run to the core of how people can make sense of themselves, of each other, and of our shared world. Kaebnick's solutions are creative and compelling, theoretically elegant and politically practical. Providing distinctive ways forward, when much academic and policy discussion seems exhausted, his book demands wide attention. In return, it inspires hope." - James Nelson, Michigan State University
Author: Arthur Kroker
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2014-03-12
Genre: Social Science
Exits to the Posthuman Future is media theory for a global digital society which thrives, and sometimes perishes, at the intersection of technologies of speed, distant ethics and a pervasive cultural anxiety. Arthur Kroker’s incisive and insightful text presents the emerging pattern of a posthuman future: life at the tip of technologies of acceleration, drift and crash. Kroker links key concepts such as “Guardian Liberalism” and Obama’s vision of the “Just War” with a striking account of “culture drift” as the essence of real world technoculture. He argues that contemporary society displays growing uncertainty about the ultimate ends of technological innovation and the intelligibility of the digital future. The posthuman future is elusive: is it a gathering storm of cynical abandonment, inertia, disappearance and substitution? Or else the development of a new form of critical consciousness - the posthuman imagination - as a means of comprehending the full complexity of life? Depending on which exit to the posthuman future we choose or, perhaps, which exit chooses us, Kroker argues that a very different posthuman future will likely ensue.
Author: Susan Schneider
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2010-06-03
A timely volume that uses science fiction as a springboard to meaningful philosophical discussions, especially at points of contact between science fiction and new scientific developments. Raises questions and examines timely themes concerning the nature of the mind, time travel, artificial intelligence, neural enhancement, free will, the nature of persons, transhumanism, virtual reality, and neuroethics Draws on a broad range of books, films and television series, including The Matrix, Star Trek, Blade Runner, Frankenstein, Brave New World, The Time Machine, and Back to the Future Considers the classic philosophical puzzles that appeal to the general reader, while also exploring new topics of interest to the more seasoned academic
Author: Kim Toffoletti
Release Date: 2007-08-29
Genre: Social Science
Bringing a lively and accessible style to a complex subject, 'Cyborgs and Barbie Dolls' explores the idea of the ‘posthuman’ and the ways in which it is represented in popular culture. Toffoletti explores images of the posthuman body from goth-rocker Marilyn Manson's digitally manipulated self-portraits to the famous TDK ‘baby’ adverts, and from the work of artist Patricia Piccinini to the curiously ‘plastic’ form of the ubiquitous Barbie doll, controversially rescued here from her negative image. Drawing on the work of thinkers including Baudrillard, Donna Haraway and Rosi Braidotti, 'Cyborgs and Barbie Dolls' explores the nature of the human - and its ambiguous gender - in an age of biotechnologies and digital worlds.
Author: Francis Fukuyama
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: 2014-09-30
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.