Thesis ID: CBB001567449

La société de l'amélioration: Le renversement de la perfectibilité humaine, de l'humanisme des Lumiéres à l'humain augmenté (2013)


Le Devedec, Nicolas (Author)

Université de Montréal (Canada)
Lafontaine, Celine
Larrère, Catherine
Hamel, Jacques
Larrère, Catherine
Baudouin, Jean
Hamel, Jacques

Publication Date: 2013
Edition Details: Advisor: Lafontaine, Céline, Baudouin, Jean; Committee Members: Hamel, Jacques, Larrére, Catherine.
Physical Details: 364 pp.
Language: French

Whether we speak of doping in sport, the use of psychoactive drugs to improve man's intellectual performance or better check his emotions, new reproductive technologies allowing more efficient birth control, or anti-aging medicine to erase the effects of time, there is no denying that enhancing humans through the use of technoscientific and biomedical means has grown more pervasive in our contemporary societies. This study questions today's quest for human enhancement under the light of the humanist and political ideal of perfectibility defined by 18th century Enlightenment philosophers, particularly in the work and thought of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In contrast to the humanist and political model of perfectibility, which promotes the improvement of the human condition by and through society, at the core of the democratic ideal, today's enhancement society seems to champion a depoliticized model of perfectibility focused on human technoscientific adaptability and the transformation of life itself. Offering a journey through the history of social thought, the objective of this study is to understand how such a reversal and depoliticization of the concept of perfectibility may have been possible. From Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Karl Marx, Auguste Comte and Francis Galton, from postmodern thinkers to the transhumanist movement, this thesis presents a synthetic genealogy of the enhancement society we are entering, which allows for a critical analysis of social and technoscientific transformations that have too often been presented behind the mask of ineluctability. Keywords: Human perfectibility, human enhancement, posthuman, humanism, technosciences, biotechnologies, history of ideas, sociology, political philosophy.


Description Cited in Dissertation Abstracts International-A 76/01(E), Jul 2015. Proquest Document ID: 1591001655. On the “quest for human enhancement under the light of the humanist and political ideal of perfectibility defined by 18th century Enlightenment philosophers, particularly ... Jean-Jacques Rousseau.”

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Authors & Contributors
López Piñero, José María
Mitchell, Robert Cameron
Thurtle, Phillip
Squier, Susan Merrill
Stahnisch, Frank W.
Steger, Florian
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Science as Culture
British Journal for the History of Science
Fundación Bancaja
Duke University Press
Franz Steiner Verlag
University of Toronto Press
Human body
Definition of human; human nature
Galton, Francis
Pearson, Karl
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques
Darwin, Charles Robert
Loeb, Jacques
Köstlin, Carl Heinrich
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
17th century
21st century
16th century
Great Britain
United States
Naples (Italy)
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Biologie, Berlin
Stazione Zoologica di Napoli
Institut für Sozialforschung, Frankfurt am Main
Royal Society of London

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