The goal of this course is to offer a critical reflection on the purposes of biotechnology. We will begin with a discussion of the phenomenon of life and the related notion of natural teleology. We will then present some of the main features of the technological ontology of modernity. In a subsequent step, we will analyze in more detail some of the specific promises of biotechnology: better children, ageless bodies, higher performance, and happy souls. A central thesis of the course is that among the dangers of biotechnology is the temptation to replace moral action (praxis) with technical “making” (techne), self-possession with self-manipulation.