A Body on Demand. Between Human Enhancement and Achievement

Variant title

Il corpo conteso. La questione di senso tra human enhancement e achievement 


The aim of this paper is to try to highlight the ethical and philosophical value of the body. Our body is not only an obstacle for our desires and not even a passive object at our disposal. The body plays an active role and has its own specific value within the narrative unity that we design for our life. The centrality of body in the interpre- tation of human life meaning enjoys a long tradition within Western culture, from Plato to Christ, from the Greek agonale man to Abraham. Since the last century and thanks to enormous developments in scientific research, human ambitions have had new impetus, and the body has returned to be seen primarily as an obstacle to our desires. Hence, the great success of human enhancement logic, according to which the body is an adjustable and available device, to become more and more competi- tive. The achievement culture, by referring to virtue ethics, tries to counteract the human enhancement perspective promoting the human flourishing starting from a personal active commitment, a solidarity background and not ignoring the common human condition of caducity.