The modification of the human body: controversies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter provides an overview of the academic debate about whether or not we should limit peoples’ ability to pursue bodily modification and relates this to important results from the Technolife project. It identifies four major controversies in the debate: (1) Is freedom the Master Value of society? (2) Is there a valid distinction between treatment and enhancement? (3) Is enhancing only the rich unjust? (4) Are there any limits at all? For each of these controversies the major arguments on each side are outlined and evaluated. It is concluded that society does have a role to play in determining limits to bodily modification, but that that role is only legitimate if there is public engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTechnoscience and citizenship
Subtitle of host publicationethics and governance in the digital society
EditorsAna Delgado
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9783319324142
ISBN (Print)9783319324128
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameInternational Library of Ethics, Law and Technology
ISSN (Print)1875-0044
ISSN (Electronic)1875-0036


  • Body modification
  • Enhancement
  • Justice
  • Liberalism
  • Natural law
  • Nature
  • Therapy
  • Transhumanism

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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