Eugenics, Biopolitics, and the Challenge of the Techno-Human Condition
Chapter Three: Enframed Life
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Τέχνη can merely cooperate with φύσις, can more or less expedite the cure; but as τέχνη it can never replace φύσις and in its stead become the άρχη of health as such. This could only happen if life as such were to become a technically producible artifact. However, at that very moment there would also no longer be such a thing as health, any more than there would be birth and death. Sometimes it seems as if modern humanity is rushing headlong towards this goal of producing itself technologically. If humanity achieves this, it will have exploded itself, i.e., its essence qua subjectivity, into thin air, into a region where the absolute meaningless is valued as the one and only ‘meaning’ and where preserving this value appears as the human ‘domination’ of the globe.2
Heidegger and Biotechnology
Heidegger wrote down these prophetic words as early as 1939. One must, therefore, admire his lucid appraisal of the possibilities lying dormant in the scientific project of his time, the realization of which must have seemed but the most paradigmatic case of science-fiction. It is true that considerable progress had already been made in the domain of what we today call the life-sciences, which probably allowed Heidegger to engage in these speculations about the advent of a biotechnological revolution in the first place. For example, in his essay ‘Overcoming Metaphysics’ Heidegger refers to the pioneering research of the 1938 Noble Prize winner in chemistry...
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