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Amplio, Ergo Sum

Lookup NU author(s): David Lawrence


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© 2018 Cambridge University Press. This article aims to explore the idea that enhancement technologies have been and will continue to be an essential element of what we might call the human continuum, and are indeed key to our existence and evolution into persons. Whereas conservative commentators argue that enhancement is likely to cause us to lose our humanity and become something other, it is argued here that the very opposite is true: that enhancement is the core of what and who we are. Using evidence from paleoanthropology to examine the nature of our predecessor species, and their proclivities for tool use, we can see that there is good reason to assume that the development of Homo sapiens is a direct result of the use of enhancement technologies. A case is also made for broad understandings of the scope of enhancement, based on the significant evolutionary results of acts that are usually dismissed as unremarkable. Furthermore, the use of enhancement by modern humans is no different than these prehistoric applications, and is likely to ultimately have similar results. There is no good reason to assume that whatever we may become will not also consider itself human.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lawrence DR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics

Year: 2018

Volume: 27

Issue: 4

Pages: 686-697

Print publication date: 01/10/2018

Online publication date: 10/09/2018

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

ISSN (print): 0963-1801

ISSN (electronic): 1469-2147

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0963180118000178


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