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Interdisciplinary experts reflect in the journal Cuadernos de Bioética on the scope and repercussions of the application of technology for the improvement of human beings.

The last issue of the magazine includes articles by José Ignacio Murillo (ICS, Philosophy y Letras), Fran Güell (ICS), Miguel García Valdecasas (ICS, Philosophy y Letras) and Luis Echarte (ICS, School de Medicina).

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24/02/15 13:38 Isabel Solana

Four researchers of the group Mind-Brain at Institute for Culture and Society (ICS) reflect in the journal Cuadernos de Bioética on the scope and repercussions of the application of technology for the improvement of the human being. José Ignacio Murillo (ICS, Philosophy and Letters), Fran Güell (ICS), Miguel García Valdecasas (ICS, Philosophy and Letters) and Luis Echarte (ICS, School of Medicine) are the authors of two open access articles. It should be recalled that group 'Mente-cerebro' receives funding from the Obra Social "La Caixa"..

The topic of study that is the focus of this issue publication is posthumanism, which has been the subject of discussion in the international bioethics community for some years now. This issue "consists of the application of technologies to man in order to achieve not only his improvement, but also to form a different man or create new conscious entities", as explained by the editors of issue, Vittoradolfo Tambone (high school of Philosophy of the internship Scientific and Technological Campus Biomedical of Rome) and Luis Miguel Pastor (School of Medicine, University of Murcia).

The thinkers who defend it," they add, "intend that society should gradually accept the introduction of these new technologies that transform man. For them, this position derives from a technological imperative that implies human rights over oneself and an obligation to the future of humanity".

According to these specialists, agreement , this thinking should be evaluated because it "affects the possible limits of the use of various technologies that are currently emerging in different areas of medicine, informatics, robotics, nanotechnology or biomedical engineering". It should also be examined because "it implies an approach that can modify the human essence in that it can alter the identity of the human being by affecting the most intimate part of the human being".

The articles by the researchers at group 'Mind-brain' are as follows:

ABSTRACT: The posthumanism of our time usually takes two forms. One is related to postmodern thought and its critique of enlightened ideals, while the other, often referred to as transhumanism, claims to be heir to the optimism in technological progress of modernity.

Both appear as two new forms of the struggle between an individualist version of individualist liberalism and its critics. As ethical proposals, they can be blamed for the vagueness of the objectives they propose, since their moral proposal seems to be reduced to advocating, each in its own way, emancipation and the elimination of barriers that may hinder the increase of power for human beings. But this defect is not independent of their rejection of the notion of nature. As opposed to them, classical ethics focuses not so much on power or emancipation as on the nature of the end and of true human growth, and only from there is it concerned with the means to achieve it.

ABSTRACT: The principle of procreative beneficence (PPB), proposed by Julian Savulescu, states that parents have a moral obligation to use the available techniques of manipulation Genetics and assisted human reproduction to create children who have the best chance of enjoying the best possible life. The goal of this work is to analyze, on the one hand, to what extent the manipulation Genetics for obtaining specific traits take into consideration the current paradigm of science and, on the other hand, whether the techniques involved in the proposed embryo selection comply with the goal pursued by the PPB. In addition, this exhibition intends to show the importance of involving academic community in the discussion on enhancement. Taking into account the scientific knowledge on the genetic and epigenetic processes of development and the risks associated with assisted reproduction techniques, we find sufficient reasons to make the decision not to subject children to the current techniques of embryo manipulation and embryo selection.

ABSTRACT: The development of neuroprosthetic technology is generating important theoretical and practical problems related to identity staff. In this context, Extended Mind Theory (EMT) is a theory that provides an answer to these problems by pointing out that the mind is coextensive with the world, and that as such, the mind and the world intermingle to form a single entity. EMT also presupposes that physical states determine the nature of mental states.

In this article, we propose a non-deterministic and even less locative version of mental states than that of the EMT, which we will call iEMT. We argue, first, that the co-extension of mind and world does not justify the dissolution of mind, and as a consequence, of human identity in the medium; second, that it is not justified to think that neuro-implants constitute mere replacement parts in the context of an identity that we call weak; and third, that there is no compelling reason to believe, and to that extent, to fear, that the use of neuroprosthetic technology can alter identity staff.

About the magazine

Bioethics Notebooksan official organ of the association Española de Bioética y Ética Médica, publishes quarterly articles and bibliographic reviews on all areas of bioethics: fundamentals, ethics of research, clinical bioethics, biolegal bioethics, etc.

These come from those accepted in the review supervised by the editors of the journal as well as from others requested by committee publishing house to their authors.