Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):459-474 (2012)

Tim Lewens
Cambridge University
Abstract   The only biologically respectable notion of human nature is an extremely permissive one that names the reliable dispositions of the human species as a whole. This conception offers no ethical guidance in debates over enhancement, and indeed it has the result that alterations to human nature have been commonplace in the history of our species. Aristotelian conceptions of species natures, which are currently fashionable in meta-ethics and applied ethics, have no basis in biological fact. Moreover, because our folk psychology finds this misleading Aristotelian conception highly tempting, we are in fact better off if we refrain from mentioning human nature altogether in debates over enhancement. Content Type Journal Article Category Special Issue Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s13347-012-0063-x Authors Tim Lewens, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3RH UK Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13347-012-0063-x
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,436
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Natural Goodness.Philippa Foot - 2001 - Oxford University Press.

View all 39 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 31 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reconceptualizing Human Nature: Response to Lewens. [REVIEW]Edouard Machery - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):475-478.
Degenerate Epistemology.Luciano Floridi - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (1):1-3.
Human Nature and Enhancement.Allen Buchanan - 2009 - Bioethics 23 (3):141-150.
Information Warfare: A Response to Taddeo.Tim Stevens - 2013 - Philosophy and Technology 26 (2):221-225.
Human Nature: An Oxymoron?David Heyd - 2003 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 28 (2):151 – 169.
Should Probabilistic Design Replace Safety Factors?Neelke Doorn & Sven Ove Hansson - 2011 - Philosophy and Technology 24 (2):151-168.


Added to PP index

Total views
287 ( #37,951 of 2,519,865 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #48,353 of 2,519,865 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes