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Thesis Abstract

If it were still considered, taking up the expression of the philosopher Hans Jonas, that “The entity of 'man' and his basic condition is […] constant in essence and not itself an object of reshaping techn” (H. Jonas, the Imperative of Responsibility), it is time to prepare for the amazing development of the biomedical sciences and technology of the last fifty years, where the man himself has entered the realm of technical mastering, where the human body can be manipulated, transformed, maybe even improved (drug use, psycho stimulation, self-, allo- and soon xeno-grafts, transgenesis and interventions on the genetic inheritance,…). This “anthropotechnical” practice, in the purely etymological sense of the term, can at the same time prove to be superficial (cosmetic surgery), but can just as well modify a man thoroughly (genetic engineering, psychopharmacological treatments, neurosurgical implants…); which can lead to raising the question of its very humanity.

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