33. Is Enhancement Worthy of Being a Right?

  1. Max More and
  2. Natasha Vita-More
  1. Patrick D. Hopkins

Published Online: 11 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118555927.ch33

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

Hopkins, P. D. (2013) Is Enhancement Worthy of Being a Right?, 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.ch33

Publication History

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

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118334294

Online ISBN: 9781118555927

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Keywords:

  • appeal to autonomy;
  • appeal to interests;
  • appeal to natural law;
  • defender enhancement;
  • human rights

Summary

This chapter considers the problems that may arise if we put the question of enhancement in terms of rights. The theory of rights has significant problems, but we do live in an era where rights language dominates the moral and legal landscape and so defenders of enhancement have to deal with that language. In making the case that enhancement should be a right, then, defenders have to adopt a strategy. They have to argue that enhancement should be recognized as important enough to be protected by a right. The chapter discusses the most common strategies: appeal to autonomy, appeal to interests, and appeal to natural law. The appeal to interests is more powerful than just appealing to autonomy. An appeal to interests, which focuses on explaining the goals of enhancement as noble and worthy, also has the advantage of connecting enhancement to concerns about human nature and natural law.