David Lewin: Education, Enhancement and the Pursuit of the Good

Date(s) - March 5, 2021
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

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Being human in our technological age requires not merely technical skills but—more importantly—intellectual capacity to navigate a rapidly changing philosophical milieu. Join us this winter for our online lecture series, Human Flourishing in a Technological Age, to learn from leading scholars about key aspects of what it means to be human in a technological age: personhood, embodied cognition, leisure, transhumanism and more.

Please join us on Friday, March 5 as we welcome Dr. David Lewin who will give the lecture “Education, Enhancement, and the Pursuit of the Good.”

Dr. Lewin will examine the intersection between education, technology and religion by considering what kinds of human improvement are ethically justified, and how they are justified. Dr. Lewin observes that within discussions of technological human enhancement, ethical questions can’t be restricted to the ends of human improvement, as though the means to those ends are neutral. Rather, there is an ethical demand for both a vision of what it means to be human, and how that vision should be realised. General notions of improvement or enhancement suggest an ethical discontinuity between acceptable and unacceptable means of improvement: conventional forms of human enhancement, specifically through education are considered ethically acceptable, even demanded, while unconventional means of human enhancement, for instance, drugs, gene therapies or neural implants, are often considered ethically problematic or unacceptable. Dr. Lewin will explore the ethical continuities and discontinuities between conventional and unconventional forms of enhancement asking how, in the end, we can make a distinction between what we regard as conventional or unconventional in the field of enhancement, and whether the means of enhancement could ever be regarded as neutrally serving ethical ends. The implication that means of enhancement carry with them ethical demands is elaborated in relation to human flourishing through educational formation. Thus, Dr. Lewin will show that our educational traditions offer important insights into how human flourishing can be realised.

Dr. David Lewin is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Education at Strathclyde University. His research focuses on the intersections between philosophy of education, philosophy of religion and philosophy of technology. He is author of Technology and the Philosophy of Religion (Cambridge Scholars 2011) and has co-edited (with Todd Mei) From Ricoeur to Action: the Socio-Political Significance of Ricoeur’s Thinking (Continuum 2012) and (with Alexandre Guilherme and Morgan White) New Perspectives in Philosophy of Education (Bloomsbury 2014) as well as numerous articles and chapters. He has recently published Educational Philosophy for a Post-secular Age (Routledge 2016) and co-edited (with Simon Podmore and Duane Williams) Mystical Theology and Continental Philosophy: Interchange in the Wake of God(Routledge 2017).

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