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Balkan Journal of Philosophy

Volume 12, Issue 1, 2020
Human Nature in the Age of Radical Biotechnological Advances

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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents


1. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
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2. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Dan Goodley Challenging Transhumanism: Clutching at Straws and Assistive Technologies
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This paper cautiously ponders the offerings of transhumanism. We begin the paper by introducing the transhumanist movement and related transdisciplinary thinking before giving space to the emergence of critical disability studies. We argue that the latter field has the potential to ground a critical and reflexive analysis of transhumanism– not least through a consideration of the contributions of posthuman and green disability studies. Drawing on these two perspectives, two specific areas of transhuman contemplation are offered. First, we consider (in the section titled, ‘The Ban on Straws: Disability prosthetics and the complication of eco-politics’) the relationship between disability advocacy politics and the potential ableism present in popular eco-political discourse. Second, we explore mainstreaming assistive technologies and e-waste collateral. These analytical thematics highlight the complexities of a critical transhuman disability studies, not least, in relation to the clash of disability and green politics. We conclude the paper with some considerations for future theory and research that trouble an uncritical acceptance of transhumanism in the area of critical disability studies.
3. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Antonio Maturo, Margaret Shea The Quantified Self or the Marketized Self?: How Data and the Drive to Optimize Lead to Neoliberal Performance Culture
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We show how interest in “human enhancement” and "optimization” is rooted in a broader social phenomenon – the medicalization of life – and argue that the push to enhance and optimize human beings has a distinctively neoliberal character. Indeed, human enhancement and optimization practices reflect a growing tendency to apply market concepts and logic to individuals, who increasingly conceive of themselves as performative subjects. The Quantified Self is, we suggest, the Marketized Self. Moreover, the Quantified Self is not merely a symptom of the marketization of individuals but serves also to perpetuate that marketization: the Quantified Self threatens to become that concept which defines who the individual “really” is. We argue that this metaphysically weighty idea affects how we think about what is good for human beings.
4. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Sorin Hostiuc Procreative Autonomy Versus Beneficence in Assisted Reproductive Technologies
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Since its beginning, healthcare has focused its attention on helping patients become healthier and live longer. One of the areas in which medical technology has made impressive strides is assisted reproductive technologies. Some bioethical issues are common to most or all of these newer reproductive technologies. The uncertainty of long-term risks posed by reproductive technologies generate potential challenges to the values of beneficence and non-maleficence and strain the already divisive dichotomy between procreative autonomy and procreative beneficence. Procreative autonomy and procreative beneficence are both important values that physicians and prospective parents ought to evaluate when considering the use of assisted reproductive technologies. However, the moral prescriptives associated with each value may diverge and conflict with one another; when this occurs, minute arguments may shift the balance between them. For physicians, prioritizing the value of procreative autonomy or procreative beneficence mainly influences the way in which they choose to present information–that is, whether they are directive or non-directive when consulted about family-planning options. Assisted reproductive technologies have dramatically increased the range of choices available to prospective parents, and this breadth of choice may lead to potential ethical conflicts between the competing values of procreative autonomy and procreative beneficence. In the following article, we will address this friction, focusing our attention on normative considerations related to medical risk management and the telos of the prospective child.
5. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Vassil Vidinsky (Post)phenomenological Approach to Homo Sapiens Technicus
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In this paper I use a (post)phenomenological approach to clarify the objective cultural expansion of our technology. Thus, I establish a conceptual analogy between two different philosophical analyses of human–machine relations – one historical and one phenomenological. I develop the analogy between them and their corresponding concepts in several steps. (1) First, I present the Homo sapiens technicus tendency and then the phenomenological differentiation between body schema and body image. All of these elucidate our involvement with machines. (2) Then, I conceptualize the term ‘context’, coupling its structural stability with the idea of distextaulity in order to achieve a better empirical understanding of our technological contradictions. (3) I continue to develop and enrich the analogy by illuminating the functional similarities – fluid boundary, automation, complexity – between contextual structures on the one hand and body schemata on the other. (4) Finally, I explore a deeper causal and narrative connection between those strands, shedding light on an interesting twofold circularity: a circular causation and a double narrative within Homo sapiens technicus.
6. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
George Gherjikov Transhumanism and the Western Monotheistic Traditions
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The article offers an overview of the (dis)continuities between the major Abrahamic religions (especially Christianity) and transhumanism, as well as some possibilities envisioned by scholars for their ongoing dialogue. Important points that come up along the way include: ecology vs. space exploration; the neglect of injustices suffered by past generations; the importance of bodily and mental imperfections for the development of culture; and our all-too human expectations for what posthumans may desire.Also presented is a review of various possible criticisms against wildly ambitious projects, such as Frank Tipler’s attempt to fuse transhumanism with Christian eschatology. It is argued that process theology and James Gardner’s “Biocosm hypothesis” offer a more intriguing view: a salvation which is not predestined but merely possible, and whose details are being negotiated through specific historic events and even through our day-to-day decisions and deliberations. Such a view overcomes Nietzsche’s notion of eternal recurrence by stressing the importance of rethinking, redaction, and creating variations of what already exists.
7. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Ruslan Klymenko Artificial Evolution in Transhumanism
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Transhumanism is a contemporary philosophy based on the belief that human nature is evolving over time not only because of Darwin's natural evolution, but also because of the impact of social movements and technical innovations. The philosophy has been shaped by many historical forerunners, for example, Nietzsche's famous idea that the human being is a mere rope tied between animal and posthuman (i.e. Übermensch), or Fedorov's reflections on the possibility of immortality.In this article, the author will show that – from a current technological perspective – in the not-so-distant future humans will be able to choose their own personal way to evolve, “upgrading” themselves with electronic or organic devices that will modify, improve, or simply introduce new forms of sensation and experience to their being . Included in the analysis of this potential are the historical preconditions of such revolutionary social and technological change.
discussion
8. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Milenko Bodin Multiculturalism and (Neo)liberalism
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Questions related to the politics and practice of multiculturalism remain hotly debated, even though it is unclear what generally is meant by the term “multiculturalism” and how multiculturalism fits into the politics of liberalism. To many proponents of identity politics movements, ‘normative multiculturalism’ represents an unquestioned good, and collective identities are seen as a primary subject of democratic deliberation and national policy. Liberal activists, however, may be justifiably concerned that this interpretation of multiculturalism impinges on the foundations of liberalism itself, including the core value of perfect equality between autonomous rights-bearing subjects.We respond to these concerns by interrogating the philosophical nature of liberalism and multiculturalism, respectively, and fleshing out the complex relationship that exists between these concepts. Using discourse analysis we find that the discourse of normative multiculturalism corresponds to the broader concept of liberalism – neoliberalism. We argue that the discourse of neoliberalism integrates the model and empirical sense of the classical concept of liberalism and that the goal – normative neutrality towards cultural and other identities – is more efficiently achieved..