Philosophie de la biologie et de la médecine

Visions and scenarios of human enhancement

French
Responsable (s)
GAYON Jean

The field of human enhancement generates not only practices but also projects and prospects for the future. Indeed, enhancement refers to a wide spectrum of practices, from plastic surgery and performance enhancing drugs to the writing of science fiction anticipation scenarios. This composite set of practices, taken together, shape a patchwork vision of human and social life.

Disability, ability, overcapacity (superhuman performance)

French
Responsable (s)
GAYON Jean

« A handicap [...] is any limitation of activity or restriction of social life endured by a person in his/her environment because of a substantial long-term or a definitive alteration of one or several physical, sensory, mental, cognitive or psychological function [...] » (Loi 2005-102 du 12 février 2005). This reminder from French law points to two essential concepts: disability (alteration of capability) and handicap (repercussion of this disability in a social context). What is being referred to in this law is the possibility of leading a "normal" life.

Improving animals, improving humans: transpositions and comparisons

French
Responsable (s)
GAYON Jean

n the past, domestic animals were improved by identifying those animals bearing desired traits and judicious breeding of these specimens. Today, controlled reproduction and biotechnology allow breeders to plan and direct reproductive development, to disseminate desired traits and accelerate genetic improvement. Moreover, in addition to changes in hereditary traits, there are multiple treatment techniques which stimulate performance, whether it be in horse racing or animal production. What are the repercussions of these methods?

Measures and criteria of enhancement

French
Responsable (s)
GAYON Jean

Can enhancement be measured? According to what criteria? Are the measurements and criteria used to evaluate non invasive practices (such as those that make it possible to maintain a juvenile appearance) the same as those used for more invasive procedures (such as taking hormones to increase height or to run more quickly, taking psychostimulants to stay awake and to increase intellectual performance)?

L’amélioration de l’humain : enquête interdisciplinaire

Responsable: 

Ce programme se développera sur la période 2008-2010. Resp. S. Bateman, Un. Paris Descartes-CERSES, et J. Gayon (Un. Paris 1-IHPST). Montant : 25.000 euros. Ce projet prend acte de l’inflation de la thématique de « l’amélioration » (enhancement) de l’homme dans de nombreux domaines (par ex. médecine et santé publique, management, sport). L’idée-pivot de ces discours et pratiques est toujours d’accroître le spectre des « capacités » des individus, en modifiant d’une manière ou d’une autre des qualités traditionnellement jugées comme naturellement contraintes.

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