Category Archives: Human Enhancement

Vylepšování/ Enhancement/ Augmentation

Hribek2An introduction to the debate “Should Humans Be Enhanced?” by Tomáš Hříbek (Filosofický ústav AV ČR)

In the last few years, more and more philosophers have concerned themselves with a set of questions that are suggested by the new possibilities of biomedicine and technology. So far we have been able to treat, more or less successfully, people whose natural capacities were disturbed or impaired by a disease or handicap. However, it seems that the new era is coming when we shall be able not only to treat people, i.e. either to renew the natural functioning of their capacities, or to enable them to do things they had not been capable of, but which are natural to most of the others. The contemporary medicine and other disciplines promise to enhance people, i.e. to provide them with capacities that no human being has possessed so far. Genetic manipulations, cloning, billions of nanobots flowing through an organism and repairing its failures, a fusion of the human and machine intelligence – some of these things still sound like science-fiction; yet we can already at least in principle imagine how they could work. But crucially, their availability could in time lead to an emergence of beings who would not be quite human anymore. They would be much stronger, faster, incomparably smarter, immeasurably longeval – perhaps, for all practical purposes, immortal. People speak in this regard about transhumanism, as a practical movement as well as a philosophy that aim at such an enhancement of humankind. Some authors speak even of posthumanism, by which they mean that radically enhanced beings will advance so much over ordinary mortals that these posthumans will not be members of our species anymore.

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Emil Višňovský

visnovsky_841fa5c649Emil Višňovský is a specialist of Anglo-American philosophy (among others, John Dewey), and works on the philosophy of mind. He has published several books and articles on the pragmatist trend (his latest, in 2014, entitled Nové štúdie o pragmatizme & neopragmatizme). He is currently engaged in a research project in Slovakia on the Analysis of Philosophical and Ethical Dimesions with Respect to Human Enhancement. He is the vice-president of the Social sciences and humanities of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.



Josef Fulka

FulkaJosef Fulka explores the link between French theory and psychoanalysis (Psychoanalýza a francouzské myšlení, 2008), and is also famous for his many translations of 20th century French philosophy (Derrida, Foucault, Barthes, Balibar). His last book deals for instance with Barthes’s thought (Roland Barthes: od ideologie k fantasmatu, 2010). He teaches philosophy at the Faculty of Humanities (Charles University, Prague) and works as a researcher at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. His interests cover the philosophy of 18th and 20th century, literary theory, psychoanalysis and sign language linguistics.

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Jean-Michel Besnier

BesnierFamous for his critical stance on the transhumanist utopia (Demain les posthumains : Le futur a-t-il encore besoin de nous ? in 2009 or L’Homme simplifié : Le syndrome de la touche étoile in 2012), Jean-Michel Besnier focuses his work on the philosophical and ethical impact of sciences and technologies on social representations. A member of the Ethics Committee of French National Research Center as well as of the UNESCO commission on ‘Sciences for Society’, he teaches philosophy at the Paris-Sorbonne university. His last book deals with neuro-sciences (Un cerveau très prometteur : Conversation autour des neurosciences, with Francis Brunelle and Florence Gazeau, 2015).

See his latest articles on Human Enhancement

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Human Enhancement

Faculty of Arts – room 200

Language Otherwise: Deafness as a Philosophical Problem
Who: Josef Fulka
What: Short Lecture
When: 9:15 PM
Language: Czech

Humanism, Post-Humanism, Trans-Humanism
Who: Emil Višňovský
What: Short Lecture
When: 9:45 PM
Language: Slovak

The Improved Body
Who: Claire Marin
What: Short Lecture
When: 10:15 PM
Language: French with simultaneous Czech translation

Human Enhancement: A Deadly Ambition
Who: Jean-Michel Besnier
What: Short Lecture
When: 10:45 PM
Language: French with simultaneous Czech translation

Trade Fair Palace – Studio Hridnů

Should Humans Be Enhanced?
Who: Jean-Michel Besnier, Emil Višňovský and Jan Hubík
What: Debate
When: 00:30-1:45 AM
Language: Czech and French, with simultaneous translation