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The Case for Perfection

Ethics in the Age of Human Enhancement

Johann Roduit

The author critically examines what role the notion of perfection should play in the debate regarding the ethics of human enhancement. He argues that the concept of «human perfection» needs to be central when morally assessing human enhancements. This anthropological ideal provides an additional norm to evaluate enhancing interventions, extending the well-established bioethical principles of autonomy, justice, and safety.
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I am grateful first and foremost to Professor Nikola Biller-Andorno, who has welcomed me to the Institute for Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME) at the University of Zurich. It has been my privilege to work in such a stimulating environment, which allowed me the freedom to explore new ideas.

This work could not have been accomplished without the help of both my co-supervisors. I am grateful to Dr. Jan-Christoph Heilinger for always challenging my work and giving me the tools to further explore and develop my own views, and to Dr. Holger Baumann for the countless hours spent discussing ideas and refining my work. Without their help, this project would have most likely never have seen the light of day. My collaboration with both Dr. Heilinger and Dr. Baumann on various papers eventually culminated in this doctoral work.

I am also very grateful to Prof. Julian Savulescu, who hosted me for a research stay at the Uheiro Center of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. While at Oxford, I had the privilege to present my work at various events, where I was provided with valuable feedback from participants, particularly from Dr. Tom Douglas, my supervisor while in Oxford.

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