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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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Chapter 4: Rejecting problematic conceptions of perfection



Whatever ethical stance one takes in the debate regarding the ethics of human enhancement, one or more reference points are required in order to assess the morality of the practice. Some have suggested looking at the bioethical notions of safety, justice, and/or autonomy to find such reference points, while others introduce some perfectionist assumptions into the debate, arguing that these bioethical notions are limited with respect to assessing the morality of human enhancement, and have instead turned to human nature, human authenticity, or human dignity as reference points. In Chapters 4 and 5, I ask which perfectionist assumptions should be used in this debate. Chapter 4 seeks to make explicit the perfectionist assumptions found in the debate, and eliminate those that are problematic. Chapter 5 will outline a solution.


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