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Susan B. Levin [26]Susan Barbara Levin [1]
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Susan B. Levin
Smith College
  1.  24
    Plato’s Rivalry with Medicine: A Struggle and its Dissolution.Susan B. Levin - 2014 - New York: Oup Usa.
    Susan B. Levin argues that Plato's engagement with medicine is richer than previously recognized and that he views it as an important rival for authority on nature and flourishing. Levin shows further that Plato's work, particularly the Laws, holds significant promise for bioethics that has so far been nearly untapped.
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  2.  78
    The ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry revisited: Plato and the Greek literary tradition.Susan B. Levin - 2001 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    In this study, Levin explores Plato's engagement with the Greek literary tradition in his treatment of key linguistic issues. This investigation, conjoined with a new interpretation of the Republic's familiar critique of poets, supports the view that Plato's work represents a valuable precedent for contemporary reflections on ways in which philosophy might benefit from appeals to literature.
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  3.  32
    Moral Deficits, Moral Motivation and the Feasibility of Moral Bioenhancement.Fabrice Jotterand & Susan B. Levin - 2019 - Topoi 38 (1):63-71.
    The debate over moral bioenhancement has incrementally intensified since 2008, when Persson and Savulescu, and Douglas wrote two separate articles on the reasons why enhancing human moral capabilities and sensitivity through technological means was ethically desirable. In this article, we offer a critique of how Persson and Savulescu theorize about the possibility of moral bioenhancement, including the problem of weakness of will, which they see as a motivational challenge. First, we offer a working definition of moral bioenhancement and underscore some (...)
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  4.  39
    Antiquity’s Missive to Transhumanism.Susan B. Levin - 2017 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 42 (3):278-303.
    To reassure those concerned about wholesale discontinuity between human existence and posthumanity, transhumanists assert shared ground with antiquity on vital challenges and aspirations. Because their claims reflect key misconceptions, there is no shared vision for transhumanists to invoke. Having exposed their misuses of Prometheus, Plato, and Aristotle, I show that not only do transhumanists and antiquity crucially diverge on our relation to ideals, contrast-dependent aspiration, and worthy endeavors but that illumining this divide exposes central weaknesses in transhumanist argumentation. What is (...)
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  5.  33
    Upgrading Discussions of Cognitive Enhancement.Susan B. Levin - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (1):53-67.
    Advocates of cognitive enhancement maintain that technological advances would augment autonomy indirectly by expanding the range of options available to individuals, while, in a recent article in this journal, Schaefer, Kahane, and Savulescu propose that cognitive enhancement would improve it more directly. Here, autonomy, construed in broad procedural terms, is at the fore. In contrast, when lauding the goodness of enhancement expressly, supporters’ line of argument is utilitarian, of an ideal variety. An inherent conflict results, for, within their utilitarian frame, (...)
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  6.  19
    Posthuman Bliss?: The Failed Promise of Transhumanism.Susan B. Levin - 2020 - New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
    Transhumanists would have humanity's creation of posthumanity be our governing aim. Susan B. Levin challenges their overarching commitments regarding the mind, brain, ethics, liberal democracy, knowledge, and reality. Her critique unmasks their notion of humanity's self-transcendence via science and technology as pure, albeit seductive, fantasy.
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  7.  19
    The Less Visible Side of Transhumanism Is Dangerously Un-radical.Susan B. Levin - 2024 - Techné Research in Philosophy and Technology 28 (1):99-131.
    According to transhumanists who urge the radical enhancement of human beings, humanity’s top priority should be engineering “posthumans,” whose features would include agelessness. Increasingly, transhumanism is critiqued on foundational grounds rather than based largely on anticipated results of its implementation, such as rising social inequality. This expansion is crucial but insufficient because, despite its radical aim, transhumanism reflects beliefs and attitudes that are evident in the broader culture. With a focus on the yearning to eliminate aging, I consider four of (...)
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  8.  20
    The Future of Knowing and Values: Information Technologies and Plato's Critique of Rhetoric.Susan B. Levin - 2017 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 50 (2):153-177.
    The most contentious issue in current debates about human enhancement is whether it properly belongs to human aspiration to outstrip our human ceiling in cognition and longevity so radically that the result would not be improved human beings but instead "posthumans." Transhumanists answer strongly in the affirmative and hence vigorously support our directing available and foreseeable technologies to that end. According to Nick Bostrom, transhumanism is "an outgrowth of secular humanism and the Enlightenment." Our "ceasing to be human is [not] (...)
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  9.  88
    What’s in a Name?Susan B. Levin - 1995 - Ancient Philosophy 15 (1):91-115.
  10.  16
    A world of difference: The fundamental opposition between transhumanist “welfarism” and disability advocacy.Susan B. Levin - 2023 - Bioethics 37 (8):779-789.
    From the standpoint of disability advocacy, further exploration of the concept of well-being stands to be availing. The notion that “welfarism” about disability, which Julian Savulescu and Guy Kahane debuted, qualifies as helpful is encouraged by their claim that welfarism shares important commitments with that advocacy. As becomes clear when they apply their welfarist frame to procreative decisions, endorsing welfarism would, in fact, sharply undermine it. Savulescu and Kahane's Principle of Procreative Beneficence—which reflects transhumanism, or advocacy of radical bioenhancement—morally requires (...)
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  11.  98
    Plato on Women’s Nature.Susan B. Levin - 2000 - Ancient Philosophy 20 (1):81-97.
  12. Women's Nature and Role in the Ideal Polis.Susan B. Levin - 1996 - In Julie K. Ward (ed.), Feminism and Ancient Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 13--30.
     
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  13.  9
    Contributions of Hippocratic medicine and Plato to today’s debate over health, social determinants and the authority of biomedicine.Susan B. Levin - 2023 - Medical Humanities 49 (2):297-307.
    By exploring a competition for authority on health and human nature between Plato and Hippocratic medicine, this paper offers a fresh perspective on an overarching debate today involving health and the role of healthcare in its safeguarding. Economically and politically, healthcare continues to dominate the USA’s handling of health, construed biophysically as the absence of disease. Yet, notoriously, in major health outcomes, the USA fares worse than other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Clearly, in giving (...)
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  14.  7
    Enhancing Future Children: How It Might Happen, Whether It Should.Susan B. Levin - 2017 - In Lisa Campo-Engelstein & Paul Burcher (eds.), Reproductive Ethics: New Challenges and Conversations. Springer. pp. 27-44.
    If Savulescu and Kahane’s Principle of Procreative Beneficence were implemented regarding cognitive enhancement, the result would be highly impoverishing for future children. For, apart from being inadequate to rationality itself, advocates’ accounts of cognitive enhancement sever reason from the input to judgments and decision-making that other faculties provide. When handling desire, supporters of cognitive enhancement frame conflicts between reason and the nonrational in terms of self-governance or akratic failure, depending on which one triumphs. Further, so-called negative emotions are treated as (...)
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  15.  42
    Φιλοσοφία ἄφθονος (Plato, Symposium 210d).Justina Gregory & Susan B. Levin - 1998 - Classical Quarterly 48 (2):404-410.
    Near the climax of the ascent passage of the Symposium, Plato describes how the lover turns to gaze at the great sea of the beautiful and. While the phrase has been variously interpreted by commentators and translators, none has regarded it as particularly significant. In what follows we examine the contribution that the immediate context makes to the meaning of the phrase and take note of the link between the adjective φθονος and two subsequent uses of φθονω, both with reference (...)
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  16.  13
    Colloquium 5 Anger and Our Humanity: Transhumanists Stoke the Flames of an Ancient Conflict.Susan B. Levin - 2021 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 36 (1):131-158.
    This paper presents Stoicism as, in broad historical terms, the point of origin in Western thought of an extreme form of rational essentialism that persists today in the debate over human bioenhancement. Advocates of “radical” enhancement would have us codify extreme rational essentialism through manipulation of genes and the brain to maximize rational ability and eliminate the capacity for emotions deemed unsalutary. They, like Stoics, see anger as especially dangerous. The ancient dispute between Stoics and Aristotle over the nature and (...)
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  17.  9
    Creating a Higher Breed: Transhumanism and the Prophecy of Anglo-American Eugenics.Susan B. Levin - 2018 - In Lisa Campo-Engelstein & Paul Burcher (eds.), Reproductive Ethics Ii: New Ideas and Innovations. Springer Verlag. pp. 37-58.
    How we assess current calls for vigorous, or “radical”, enhancement through befitting procreative choices depends in part on the plausibility of supporters’ rejecting all substantive ties between their views and earlier eugenics. When denying such connections, today’s advocates of vigorous enhancement routinely emphasize that enhancement decisions would stem from individuals and families, not the state. In a multipronged critique, I show the untenability of transhumanists’ denials.
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  18.  16
    Commentary on Osborne.Susan B. Levin - 1999 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 15 (1):282-293.
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  19.  28
    Eryximachus' Tale: The Symposium's Role in Plato's Critique of Medicine.Susan B. Levin - 2009 - Apeiron 42 (4):275-308.
  20.  35
    Is Medicine a Technê?Susan B. Levin - 2007 - Philosophical Inquiry 29 (5):125-153.
  21.  22
    Politics and Medicine: Plato’s Final Word Part I: Sphilosopher-Rulers and the Laws: Thing of the Past or (Un)Expected Return?Susan B. Levin - 2010 - Polis 27 (1):1-24.
    Recently the view that Plato moves from optimism to pessimism concerning the best sociopolitical condition has come under attack. The present article concurs that this disjunction is too simplistic and finds emphasis on the regulative status of the Republic’s ideal of unity to be salutary. It diverges, however, on how to interpret it thus construed and the implications of its status as regulative for the Republic’s tie to the Laws where human governance is concerned. While unity through aretē remains the (...)
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  22.  6
    Politics and Medicine: Plato’s Final Word Part II: A Rivalry Dissolved: The Restoration of Medicine’s Technē Status in the Laws.Susan B. Levin - 2010 - Polis 27 (2):193-221.
    This article challenges the widespread assumption that Plato’s valuation of medicine remains steady across the corpus. While Plato’s opposition to poetry and sophistry/rhetoric endures, in the Laws he no longer views medicine as a rival concerning phusis and eudaimonia. Why is this dispute laid to rest, even as the others continue? This article argues that the Laws’ developments with a bearing onmedicine stem ultimately from the philosopher-ruler’s disappearance. The deeper appreciation of good medical practice that ensues, combined with an array (...)
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  23.  47
    Why Organ Conscription Should Be off the Table: Extrapolation from Heidegger’s Being and Time.Susan B. Levin - 2019 - Sophia 58 (2):153-174.
    The question, what measures to address the shortage of transplantable organs are ethically permissible? requires careful attention because, apart from its impact on medical practice, the stance we espouse here reflects our interpretations of human freedom and mortality. To raise the number of available organs, on utilitarian grounds, bioethicists and medical professionals increasingly support mandatory procurement. This view is at odds with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, according to which ‘[o]rgan donation after death is a noble and meritorious act’ (...)
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  24.  48
    The Art of Plato: Ten Essays in Platonic Interpretation by R. B. Rutherford. [REVIEW]Susan B. Levin - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (3):467-470.
    As Rutherford acknowledges, there remains much disagreement on basic methodologies for the study of Plato. Briefly put, the dominant view has been that the dialogues present and argue for a range of doctrines, that is, offer us extensive and reliable evidence regarding theories espoused by Plato. Although there are numerous versions of what commentators have labeled the "doctrinal" approach, most generally put they emphasize either development or overall unity. While a second group of interpreters grants that Plato embraced theories, it (...)
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  25.  26
    Poetic Justice: Rereading Plato’s Republic by Jill Frank. [REVIEW]Susan B. Levin - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (4):748-749.
    According to Frank, Plato's dialogues offer divergent approaches to literacy: while one method is rigidly top-down, the other promotes learners' independence. She argues that Plato endorses the latter view and that this lens on becoming literate is also the one he favors for our acquisition of knowledge, as well as for ethics and politics. Dismissing the idea that Plato's thought developed, Frank moves without comment from the Republic to works usually deemed to belong to different phases of Plato's writing, both (...)
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  26.  28
    Plato's "Symposium" (review). [REVIEW]Susan B. Levin - 2006 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (3):467-468.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.3 (2006) 467-468 [Access article in PDF] Richard Hunter. Plato's "Symposium". New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Pp. xiii + 150. Cloth, $40.00. Paper, $14.95. The editors of the series in which Plato's "Symposium" appears state that its constituent texts are to be "essays in criticism and interpretation that will do justice to the subtlety and complexity of the works under discussion" (vi). (...)
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