L'avenir de la nature humaine : Vers un eugénisme libéral ? by Jürgen Habermas

By Jürgen Habermas

Face aux progrès des biosciences, au développement des biotechnologies, au déchiffrement du génome, le philosophe ne peut plus se contenter des déplorations sur l'homme dominé par l. a. process. Les réalités sont là, qui exigent de lui qu'il les pense à bras-le-corps. Désormais, los angeles réponse que l'éthique occidentale apportait à los angeles vieille query "Quelle vie faut-il mener ?" : "pouvoir être soi-même", est remise en reason. Ce qui était jusqu'ici "donné" comme nature organique par los angeles replica sexuée et pouvait être éventuellement "cultivé" par l'individu au cours de son life est, en effet, l'objet potentiel de programmation et de manipulation intentionnelles de l. a. half d'autres personnes. Cette possibilité, nouvelle à tous les plans : ontologique, anthropologique, philosophique, politique, qui nous est donnée d'intervenir sur le génome humain, voulons-nous l. a. considérer comme un accroissement de liberté qui requiert d'être réglementé, ou comme une autorisation que l'on s'octroie de procéder à des differences préférentielles qui n'exigent aucune autolimitation ?Trancher cette query fondamentale en l. a. seule faveur de los angeles première resolution permet alors de débattre des limites dans lesquelles contenir un eugénisme négatif, visant sans ambiguïté à épargner le développement de certaines malformations graves. Et de préserver par là même l. a. compréhension moderne de l. a. liberté.

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This is not to say that Plato has all the answers, far from it. No philosopher has all the answers and like all philosophers Plato has been much criticized. But he asks all the right questions, questions that set the philosophical ball rolling in highly productive and thought provoking directions. Plato’s influence is so huge that he is often referred to as ‘The father of western philosophy’. The twentiethcentury philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead, even describes the whole of philosophy as ‘a series of footnotes to Plato’ (Process and Reality, p.

Nobody changes their mind about anything, that would be a humiliating defeat, and everyone leaves with the same half-baked prejudices with which they arrived. Philosophers try to do a bit better than this. It is the same practical ethical issues as the mob that they are interested in, but they try to look at them objectively and dispassionately, with an open mind, without feeling that they have to take one side or the other, at least until they reach the end of balanced deliberations that have given a 46 How to Be a Philosopher fair hearing to both sides.

What is Philosophy? 21 not worth dignifying this silly, defensive exclamation with a response. If you say, ‘I’m not calling you a liar,’ the person will simply assume you have conceded that what he said was not actually inconsistent after all! The more of a philosopher you become the more you will notice the almost total lack of logic and reason with which many people speak and act. And the more you notice it, especially if you can’t resist pointing it out, the more of a smart-arsed know-all some people will think you are.

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