Francis Fukuyama - Our Posthuman Future

from the publisher:
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 the greatest advances still to come will be in the life sciences, Fukuyama now asks how the ability to modify human behavior will affect liberal democracy.

To reorient contemporary debate, Fukuyama underlines man's changing understanding of human nature through history: from Plato and Aristotle's belief that man had "natural ends" to the ideals of utopians and dictators of the modern age who sought to remake mankind for ideological ends: Fukuyama persuasively argues that the ultimate prize of the biotechnology revolution -- intervention in the "germ line," the ability to manipulate the DNA of all of one person's descendants -- will have profound, and potentially terrible, consequences for our political order, even if undertaken by ordinary parents seeking to "improve" their children.

In Our Posthuman Future, our greatest social philosopher describes the potential effects of our exploration on the foundation of liberal democracy: the belief that human beings are equal by nature.

"Our Posthuman Future is a profound and important book that warns how today's Ritalin for boisterous boys could be tomorrow's 'abolition' of human nature as we know it. Tinkering with biology threatens to diminish human dignity. Francis Fukuyama's answer to the ethical dilemmas of our biotechnical age is a morality grounded in the needs and potentials of our species" --Frans de Waal, author of Bonobo

"One of the ways we learn about dramatic social change . . . is that Francis Fukuyama show up to tell us it happening . . . He asks large questions; he generates coherent answers; and he changes the agenda of public debate." --Alan Ehrenhalt, The Wall Street Journal

"Francis Fukuyama is an analyst who does not, intellectually speaking, get out of bed for anything less than the all-encompassing grand sweep of history." --Anthony Gottlieb, The New York Times Book Review

"Fukuyama is one of the few American intellectuals . . . capable of training a knowledge of world history and a grasp of social theory on topics of undeniable contemporary significance." --Michael Kazin, The Washington Post Book World

Francis Fukuyama is Bernard Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. In 2002, he was appointed to the President's Council on Bioethics. He is the author of The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, and The End of History and The Last Man, among other works. He lives in McLean, Virginia.