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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 5: Defending a particular view of perfection



After a critique of views of perfection that are problematic (Chapter 4), I take a positive approach (Chapter 5) in which I suggest some perfectionist elements based on the work of Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach that can lend guidance to the practice of human enhancement. I suggest here that the central capabilities outlined in her work can be used to define the human aspect of human enhancement and thereby allow for a moral evaluation of enhancement interventions. These central capabilities can be maximized harmoniously in order to postulate what an ideal human would look like.


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