Jean Gayon: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Enhancement

Tue., Nov. 26, 2013, 4:45pm

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Human Enhancement
Jean Gayon, Director of the Institute for History and Philosophy of Science at University of Paris 1
Wednesday, November 27 5pm
Buchanan A103

Dr. Gayon will unpack the semantic content of the term, "human enhancement," then address the three meanings that are normally ascribed, namely the improvement of human capacities, the improvement of human nature, and self-improvement. The lecture will also distinguish between novel and traditional forms of improvement, with a focus on breeding, the Enlightenment appeals to human progress, and the more classical controversy in ethics regarding self-improvement and the attainment of the perfect life. Professor Gayon will imbed his analysis in the history of biology, both evolutionary theory and eugenics. In the course of the lecture, he will address conceptual issues that pertain to biology, and draw connections to philosophy of science.