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Tom Shakespeare

Professor of Disability Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Tom Shakespeare is a social scientist and bioethicist. He is professor of disability research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he co-directs the International Centre for Evidence on Disability. His books include Openings to the Infinite Ocean: A Friendly Offering of Hope (2020) and Disability: The Basics (2017). He lives in London.

Written by Tom Shakespeare



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We are all frail

Tom Shakespeare

Thank you for your comments on my article, your thoughts are helpful. First, I have spent time with ethologists (for example, Patrick Bateson FRS) trying to think what happens to animals with disabilities. By no means do they all die in some social darwinist survival of the fittest. Indeed, evolution depends on mutation. That’s how we progress. Second, my argument here is absolutely against transhumanism, because it is not a philosophy that I accept. With Jackie Leach Scully (UNSW), I think we need tweaks of our being, not transformations. I think the people who have tried to change human nature and eliminate weakness end up being authoritarians (Hitler, Stalin being the worse examples, b...

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