Patrick Lin, Fritz Allhoff
Nanotechnology Perceptions 2 (2006): 47-52
Publication year: 2006

Patrick Lin and Fritz Allhoff, “Nanoethics and Human Enhancement: A Critical Evaluation of Recent Arguments”, Nanotechnology Perceptions 2 (2006): 47-52.

Abstract: Human enhancement—our ability to use technology to enhance our bodies and minds, as opposed to its application for therapeutic purposes—is a critical issue facing nanotechnology. It will be involved in some of the near- term applications of nanotechnology, and it is a core issue related to far-term predictions in nanotechnology, such as longevity, nanomedicine, artificial intelligence and other issues. The implications of nanotechnology as related to human enhancement are perhaps some of the most personal and therefore passionate issues in the emerging field of nanethics, forcing us to rethink what it means to be human or, essentially, our own identity. For some, nanotechnology hold the promise of making us superhuman; for others, it offers a darker path toward becoming Frankenstien’s monster. Without advocating any particular side of the debate, this essay will look at a growing chorus of calls for human enhancement, especially in the context of emerging technologies, to be embraced and unrestricted. We will critically examine recent “pro-enhancement” arguments—articulated in More Than Human by Ramez Naam, as one of the most visible works on the subject today—and conclude that they ultimately need to be repaired, if they are to be convincing.