[FL2807]  Biotechnology and Human Destiny (3rd yr Bacc) – 23.24

Semester II
wednesday 16:30 - 18:15

Course Information

Professor: KAMPOWSKI, Stephan Martin
Email: [email protected]
Language: English

Semester II
wednesday 16:30 - 18:15


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.


M. BAGGOT - A. GARCÍA GÓMEZ - A. CARRARA - J. THAM, eds., Enhancement Fit for Humanity Perspectives on Emerging Technologies, London 2022. J. HABERMAS, The Future of Human Nature, Cambridge 2003. H. JONAS, The Phenomenon of Life: Toward a Philosophical Biology, Evanston 2001. S. KAMPOWSKI, A Greater Freedom: Biotechnology, Love, and Human Destiny. Oregon 2013. L. KASS, Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity. The Challenge for Bioethics, San Francisco 2002. THE PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL ON BIOETHICS, Beyond Therapy. Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness, New York 2003.