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Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution
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Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  653 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
In 1989, Francis Fukuyama made his now-famous pronouncement that because "the major alternatives to liberal democracy had exhausted themselves," history as we knew it had reached its end. Ten years later, he revised his argument: we hadn't reached the end of history, he wrote, because we hadn't yet reached the end of science. Arguing that our greatest advances still to com ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published January 1st 2002)
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Reading this book made me think of a line from the movie version of Jurassic Park: “Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.” This book is an investigation of what we can do with biotechnology now, what we might be able to do in the future, and what we should or should not do. It is broken down into three sections: scientific, philosophical, and legislative.

1) the technology itself: A look at trends in neuropharmacolo
Feb 15, 2010 Alan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
George Ace, a crusty old dairy farmer I once knew, had an expression: "The big print gives it all to you. The fine print takes it all away." That's rather much the way it is with Francis Fukuyama.

Fukuyama, a Johns Hopkins University professor and philosophical gadfly, lays on us provocative titles like, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, or, The End of History, his earlier book, and then starts chiseling away at definitions so as to say, in effect, "Oh, I didn't
Minh Nhật
cuốn này vô nhà sách cầm lên mấy lần rồi, bỏ vô giỏ hàng tiki mấy lần rồi mà cuối cùng bỏ ra. Vừa rồi anh Reading Circle làm về cuốn này nên cũng vô thư viện mượn đọc coi sao.

Nguyên nhân mình không mua nó là vì ác cảm với Francis Fukuyama, lão này có cuốn The End of History and the Last Man nói về sự kết thúc của biên chứng lịch sử( Francis Fukuyama dùng lại khái niệm của Hegel) nghĩa là không con đấu tranh giai cấp nữa mà trật tự dân chủ-tư do sẽ là trật tự thống trị thế giới. Cuốn này nổi như
Tara Brabazon
May 29, 2011 Tara Brabazon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is absolutely shockingly bad. It is rare for me to be simply horrified at a book. I can normally find an idea or phrase or concept to think about even if I disagree with it. But this book is so basic, it is almost pseudo-academic. It takes an array of 'research' into biology and biochemical interventions such as ritalin and then raises supposedly grand arguments about ethics and 'human dignity.' Causal connections are forged where nothing except casual links may exist.

This is the wors
Oct 24, 2008 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really great book if you can get past the first chapter or so, which is pretty dense. Fukuyama provides an in depth and well rounded look at the philosophical, social, and evolutionary implications of bioengineering. He takes some rather interesting and controversial positions, but they are well thought out and supported with hard facts and straight forward logic. Took me a while to read it, but I'm glad I did.
Aug 14, 2010 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my god, this guy is such a shithead. He came up with one idiotic theory 900 years ago (completely discredited now, of course) and people still think he's smart. Get a fucking job, neocon!
When a book starts out talking about where we’re at in society, and you note that it makes two central points, and both are hopelessly wrong, it makes you think that maybe either the author is confused, or timeliness of the book might have already passed us by.

In this case, I think it was a timeliness issue. It was funny though. The first thing I noticed was when the author said something along the lines of, ‘Deregulation of the financial industry has led to a golden age of wealth acquisition.’

Robert Strupp
Nov 05, 2012 Robert Strupp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to ascend to the cutting edge of the coming human genetic modification surge.
When the epigraph (the quote shown after the dedication and before the contents page) referenced an endnote of 12 sentences, the reader should be immediately forewarned of some difficult text ahead. Speaking of the superscript text-noted endnotes, this book has twenty-one pages of them.

Thankfully many endnotes list only source notes, however they have the added feature that the endnote pages, rather than simply showing the number of the chapter they refer to, instead display the actual name of
Oct 28, 2014 Peter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A deeply confused book that tries to map the potential political implications of the biotechnological revolution. It may be satisfactory for self-indulging snobs who want to invoke Plato and Kant in favor of very simple ideological points, but it falls short in establishing a coherent liberal framework in which these innovations make sense. The aim of this book is to inform policy makers about the necessity of building institutions to remedy potential negative results of biotechnological innovat ...more
Bryan Kibbe
Sep 19, 2011 Bryan Kibbe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having encountered numerous references to this book in other discussions of contemporary bio-technologies, I felt it was time to actually read the book. And I am glad I did. The book is broken up into three distinct sections, the first acting as a survey of recent bioetech trends, the second as a philosophical treatment of the ideas of human rights and human nature, and lastly a proposal for future regulations. Of the three sections, I most enjoyed the philosophical maneuvering of the second sec ...more
Alex McManus
Ever since I read The Future Doesn't Need Us in 1999 from Wired magazine, I have been following GNR (Genetics, Nano Technology, and Robotics). This may be one of the reasons why "postmodernism" didn't become an obsession with me. I knew the world was becoming post-human. That seemed way more significant.

In Our Postman Future, Fukuyama takes a look at the ethical issues related to human enhancement.

This shelf is dedicated to some of the books that have influenced me as I wrote Makers of Fire. Som
Sep 29, 2010 Aisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Review 1.0

My father bought me this book. Perhaps it was the second English book he ever bought me. I am also sure that he only picked this book because it was placed on the front self, looked cool and all. So I had this book which I would never ever buy in the first place and.... enjoyed it.

Maybe I had to review it again in the future. But in the mind of a barely highschool student at that time, I was impressed by the book. The whole vision of the future, when 'cloning' was quite a new subject
Nov 14, 2010 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fukuyama has a lot of interesting ideas, but his lack of scientific evidence and extreme predictions are disconcerting to the reader and personally make me doubt his opinion. If you like biotechnology, his perspective is interesting and will keep you curious.
Daniel Toker
Jul 05, 2015 Daniel Toker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, technology
If nothing else, the breadth of knowledge that Fukuyama brings to bear on the ethics of biotechnology is remarkable: he is as comfortable talking about ethology as he is Kantian ethics or international regulatory frameworks, and he does a great job discussing all of these. His prose is clear and persuasive, and his argument relatively straightforward.

His argument can be boiled down to this: ethics are based on human nature, biotechnology can alter human nature, if biotechnology isn't properly re
Steve Kettmann
May 02, 2010 Steve Kettmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating book, as I write in my 2002 review for the San Francisco Chronicle:

Francis Fukuyama argues that biotechnology could lead to the end of humankind as we know it
Reviewed by Steve Kettmann

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Our Posthuman Future

Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

By Francis Fukuyama


Reviewers try not to go overboard, but here's a hu
Babak Fakhamzadeh
Overall, the book seems to be an extensive mea culpa on the part of the author for his much criticized 1989 book "The end of history and the last man". In short, in the first book, Fukuyama argued that, after liberal democracy had shown itself to be the only viable political model, civilization would enter an era of everlasting bliss.

In this book from 2002, Fukuyama focusses on the widespread critique on his earlier book stating that there can not be an end to history as long as there is no end
Antonio Nunez
Jul 12, 2013 Antonio Nunez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...When Fukuyama, in his latest book, published a few months ago, takes to task large segments of the scientifical and bioethical community, we should pay attention, for he is rarely misinformed and never less than cogent in his analyses. The author's main point is that human nature, and the social and political institutions built on it (such as democracy, the rule of law and the capitalist market), is at risk from changes in biotechnology, such as neuropharmacology (drugs capable of altering hu ...more
Geoffrey Benn
This book covered some of the philosophical and ethical issues related to biotechnology and biomedical sciences. The book started with technologies that are affecting our society now (10% of people are on Prozac – what does that mean for democracy?) and then moved progressively further out into the future, discussing technologies like genetic screens, cloning, and genetic engineering. Throughout the book runs a theme warning that without proper regulation, a world like Huxley’s “Brave New World” ...more
Oct 10, 2013 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bioethics, philosophy
Although written over 10 years ago, it is even more important today to consider the things that Fukuyama writes about as science and technology continues to barrel forward into the future with seemingly little or no barriers. What is most important to ponder is what happens to the idea of what it means to be human and upon what do you base these ideas. Fukuyama makes a good non-religious case that there is something special about being human that we may lose as transhumanist and posthumanist phi ...more
Tabark Khaled
Jul 11, 2014 Tabark Khaled rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
وجدته كتاب رديء
واكملته لكونه يتكلم على البايوتكنلوجي ولكونني طالبة علوم تخصص بايوتكنلوجي
اخذالكاتب جانب واحد من البايوتكنلوجي (تقانة حيوية) ونسي كم هذا العلم له اسهامات كبيرة في التخلص من الاورام الخبيثة و في الجنائيات وتحضير الاحياء المجهرية والمساهمات الكبيرة التي ابداها هذا العلم في الامراض الوراثية والزراعة النسيجية وغيرها كثير
فلا تستطيع ان تحكم على دراسة كاملة وعلم من خلال بعض الجوانب السلبية فبأمكانني ان اتهجم على الفيزياء لو رأيتها من جانب الطاقة النوويةوالاشعاعات المضرة او الكيمياء من خلا
Andreea Pausan
Feb 24, 2014 Andreea Pausan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is interesting to think that changes in biotechnology, namely human cloning, DNA recombination and other could have political consequences. And how do we regulate the advance of science? at an individual or state level? Is a natural aristocracy of over intelligent, over beautiful people going to emerge? How to we keep our humanity, that undefinable factor X that makes us call ourselves humans? Like any good book, this one leaves us will all the questions open, and a warning: whatever road we ...more
Muhammad al-Khwarizmi
Still don't really agree but at least somewhat better argued than The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering in relying more on utilitarian considerations than some essentialist bullshit.
Kristina Jean Lareau
This 2001 book offers very practical and utilitarian approach to biotechnology and what it means to be human in regards to human nature and human dignity. Fukuyama brings in information from philosophers, scientists, Darwinists and a host of arguments that suggest we are in a posthuman age, trying to define who we are, yet unable to reach a true consensus. A fascinating read.
Simon Bostock
May 16, 2011 Simon Bostock is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Was fairly expecting to hate this, to be honest. But there's a lot of thought-provoking stuff here.

The book's not afraid of controversial stuff and there are some uncomfortable passages, I suppose. This is one of its strengths.

Summary, so far: the biotechnological revolution will test our intuition and our institutions regarding the question of what it means to be human.
Nov 30, 2015 João rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Editado em Portugal pela Quetzal Editores. Uma tomada de posição e um alerta, em jeito de ensaio, muito interessante sobre um dos temas mais importantes - e menos discutidos na praça público - do mundo contemporâneo. A biotecnologia e o seu impacto na liberdade, na democracia e na natureza humana. Ainda não cheguei a meio, mas é o suficiente para aconselhar a leitura.
Craig Fiebig
Apr 13, 2013 Craig Fiebig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great basis for thinking through the policy implications of questions like: how will the regime of parental rights shift in a world of cloned embryos? Given the failure of Non-Proliferation Treaty for nuclear arms methinks Dr. Fukuyama lends a little too much credence to regulatory regimes as a vehicle for creating policy and managing risk.
Conclusive proof that the Flying Spaghetti Monster doesn't exist, and we can quit worshipping Him.

In a nutshell: evolution has transcended the biological substrate (meatspace) and entered into the mental.

It all fits in nicely with the theory of exponential acceleration of knowledge into the coming singularity.
Krzysztof Solarewicz
12 years and still criticized in most human enhancement texts I encounter - like it or not, the cornerstone text for the whole debate, regardless of its impreciseness
Ethar Mahmoud
نهاية الإنسان
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Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (born 27 October 1952) is an American philosopher, political economist, and author.

Francis Fukuyama was born in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. His father, Yoshio Fukuyama, a second-generation Japanese-American, was trained as a minister in the Congregational Church and received a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago. His mother, Toshiko Kawata Fu
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