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Being Human: Core Reading in the Humanitiesby Leon Kass
Synopses & Reviews
The Norton Edition of this widely praised collection brings the best writings in the humanities to a college audience. Each chapter presents a question or topic central to the human experience, among them "The Search for Perfection," "Are We Our Bodies?," "Vulnerability and Suffering," and "Human Dignity." To guide students as they read these influential works, every selection is prefaced by a concise headnote and thoughtful discussion questions. How shall we promote and protect human flourishing in a world of ever-emerging technologies? At what point should we limit our quest for physical and mental perfection? Drawing on the insights of great thinkers throughout the ages, in the Humanities can help give readers a solid understanding of what it means to be human, both in the past and into the future. College courses, from Humanities to Bioethics to Freshman Composition, will benefit from this important collection.
Book News Annotation:
In 2003 and 2004, the President's Council on Bioethics (created by George W. Bush) developed this literary anthology as a contribution to a richer understanding and deeper appreciation of humanity in a biotechnological age. In his preface and introduction, the chairman of the Council, Leon R. Kass (American Enterprise Institute), points out that the editors (from the fields of law, ethics, medicine, public policy, psychology, and philosophy) chose to avoid today's hot topics (e.g. stem-cell research, cloning, right-to-die issues); instead, the 95 readings--a diverse selection of literature--were chosen to set those topics in the context of fundamental issues. The college edition is intended for use in such undergraduate courses as humanities, bioethics, and composition; and each selection is introduced with a summary and discussion of relevant themes. There is no index.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
is the first humanities reader that focuses on humanity in the literal sense--what it's like to be human.
About the Author
Leon R. Kass, M.D., Ph.D., is the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought and the College at the University of Chicago (on leave of absence) and Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Institute. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Kass chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics. His widely reprinted essays in biomedical ethics have dealt with issues raised by in vitro fertilization, cloning, genetic screening and genetic technology, organ transplantation, aging research, euthanasia and assisted suicide, and the moral nature of the medical profession.
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