29. Justifying Human Enhancement

The Accumulation of Biocultural Capital

  1. Max More and
  2. Natasha Vita-More
  1. Andy Miah

Published Online: 11 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118555927.ch29

The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future

The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future

How to Cite

Miah, A. (2013) Justifying Human Enhancement, in The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future (eds M. More and N. Vita-More), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118555927.ch29

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118334294

Online ISBN: 9781118555927

SEARCH

Keywords:

  • biocultural capital;
  • biopolitics;
  • human enhancements;
  • medical interventions;
  • Slippery Slope;
  • transhumanist debate

Summary

There are various aspects of the debate on human enhancements that frustrate the possibility of reaching consensus on their value, and this chapter focuses on two of the more crucial obstacles: (a) the need to rationalize medical resources and (b) the concern that such use would be the first step on a “slippery slope” to some undesirable end. It argues that these moral debates should be the immediate focus of transhumanist debate. It also argues for the similarities between the pursuit of technology for enhancement and health maintenance by presenting the concept of biocultural capital. This broadly describes how humanity ought to treat the emerging era of superhuman enhancement, while retaining a focus on utilizing technology to address fundamental human needs. To this end, access to human enhancements is experienced predominantly via the consumption of biopolitics; i.e. it is a consumption of ideas and of possibilities.