Our Posthuman Future by Francis Fukuyama
Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

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Synopsis

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama made his now-famous pronouncement that because "the major alternatives to liberal democracy had exhausted themselves," history as we knew it had reached its end. Ten years later, he revised his argument: we hadn't reached the end of history, he wrote, because we hadn't yet reached the end of science. Arguing that our greatest advances still to come will be in the life sciences, Fukuyama now asks how the ability to modify human behavior will affect liberal democracy.

To re-orient contemporary debate, Fukuyama underlines man's changing understanding of human nature through history: from Plato and Aristotle's belief that man had "natural ends," to the ideals of utopians and dictators of the modern age who sought to remake mankind for ideological ends. Fukuyama persuasively argues that the ultimate prize of the biotechnology revolution-intervention in the "germ-line," the ability to manipulate the DNA of all of one person's descendents-will have profound, and potentially terrible, consequences for our political order, even if undertaken by ordinary parents seeking to "improve" their children.

In Our Posthuman Future, our greatest social philosopher begins to describe the potential effects of exploration on the foundation of liberal democracy: the belief that human beings are equal by nature.

 

About Francis Fukuyama

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Francis Fukuyama is the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He has previously taught at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University and at the George Mason University School of Public Policy. He was a researcher at the RAND Corporation and served as the deputy director in the State Department's policy planning staff. He is the author of The End of History and the Last Man, Trust, and America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy. He lives with his wife in California.
 
Published May 1, 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 289 pages
Genres: Computers & Technology, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Our Posthuman Future

Kirkus Reviews

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Fukuyama argues the need to restore notions of human rights, human nature, human dignity.

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The New York Times

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Fukuyama defines human nature in these words: ''human nature is the sum of the behavior and characteristics that are typical of the human species, arising from genetic rather than environmental factors.'' Later he homes in on what he calls our ''emotional gamut'' and suggests that this is what is...

May 05 2002 | Read Full Review of Our Posthuman Future: Consequ...

The Guardian

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Our Posthuman Future Francis Fukuyama Profile £17.99, pp400 A little, for Francis Fukuyama, has gone a long way.

May 12 2002 | Read Full Review of Our Posthuman Future: Consequ...

The Guardian

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Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution By Francis Fukuyama 256pp Profile, £17.99 Francis Fukuyama achieved fame - or notoriety - when, 10 years ago, he published The End of History .

Jun 01 2002 | Read Full Review of Our Posthuman Future: Consequ...

Publishers Weekly

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His claim is that a substantive human nature exists, that basic ethical principles and political rights such as equality are based on judgments about that nature, and therefore that human dignity itself could be lost if human nature is altered.

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Reason Magazine

keep the South's trading partners - especially Great Britain - out.

May 22 2002 | Read Full Review of Our Posthuman Future: Consequ...

Curtis Brown

Our Posthuman Future Actors Books ...

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