2010-2011 University Catalog 
    
    Jun 28, 2022  
2010-2011 University Catalog archived

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PHIL 330 - Human Nature and the Human Sciences


FDR: HU
Credits: 4
Planned Offering: Spring 2011 and alternate years

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy (other than PHIL 106), computer science, neuroscience, or psychology, or permission of instructor. What does it mean to be human? Must we stay that way? We address these questions by looking critically at the technological enhancement of human capabilities. We have the means—prosthetic, pharmaceutical, electronic, informational, and genetic—to alter and enhance our biological endowments. We can increase our lifespan, improve our physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities like never before. What is currently possible? What will be possible in the short, medium, and long term? Could we change ourselves to such an extent that we are no longer human (becoming posthuman or transhuman)? If we can, should we? What are the dangers and moral/ethical considerations, and how are we to adjudicate them? We read authors ranging from essentialist bioconservatives to radical transhumanists. We also consider enhancements as mundane as caffeine and as far out as life extension and extreme body modification.Gregory.





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