1 February 1967|
|Ethics · Bioethics · Political philosophy|
|Human enhancement · Voluntary moral bioenhancement · Interpretation of moral foundations of Kantian cosmopolitanism|
Vojin B. Rakic (1967 in Belgrade, Serbia) is a philosopher and political scientist. He publishes in English, but also in Serbian. He has a PhD in political science from Rutgers University in the United States. His publications on bioethics (human enhancement in particular), Kant, and cosmopolitan justice are considered as influential writings in the international academic arena.
Justice and Kant
Rakić is the author of a variety of books and articles from the domain of philosophy and political science. They include A Theory of the Normative Will, History and Future of Justice and Hegemony, Culture and Human Resources in Politics. In History and Future of Justice Rakić analyzes the teleological thesis that history in the long run is marked by a gradual development of morality and justice, and that humanity will achieve a condition of “perfect justice” at the end of its historical development– provided that history will last sufficiently long. A topical book influenced by History and Future of Justice is The Evolution of God, published in 2009 by Robert Wright.
In a number of his writings Rakić shows that the essence of Kant’s understanding of the concept of justice in international relations is to be found in “Religion Within the Boundaries of Mere Reason”, a book that has mostly escaped the attention of scholars dealing with this aspect of Kant’s thought.
During the previous years Rakić has been devoted to bioethics, developing the concept of voluntary moral bioenhancement, a recent field of interest of scientists dealing with human enhancement. Rakić favors moral enhancement with the help of medicines and other substances (e.g., oxytocin, some SSRIs, dopamine, propranalol), provided that their use is voluntary. Rakić has polemicized on the one hand with John Harris (who believes that cognitive bio-enhancement is sufficient for our moral improvement) and, on the other hand, with Julian Savulescu and Ingmar Persson (who used to defend the idea of making moral bio-enhancement compulsory). These two authors and Rakić have polemicized with each other during 2013 in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Rakić opened the debate in February 2013 and Persson and Savulescu responded in March. During 2014 Rakić, Robert Sparrow and Harris Wiseman polemicized in the American Journal of Bioethics on the same problem, as well as on other issues related to enhancement.
In 2012 Rakić founded the Center for the Study of Bioethics, a research institute based in Belgrade, Serbia. CSB has internal and associate members. They include Peter Singer, John Harris, Don Marquis, Nicholas Agar, Ingmar Persson, James J. Hughes and Stefan Lorenz Sorgner. In May 2013 CSB attracted widespread attention by organizing a conference in Belgrade at which John Harris and Julian Savulescu confronted their differing positions on human enhancement and freedom. Their debate continued for several days in Belgrade, not only at the conference (with Peter Singer as a discussant of their positions), but also in front of TV cameras. The Oxford Centre for Neuroethics co-organized the congress. In October 2015 CSB organized another highly acclaimed bioethics conference in Belgrade, this time in collaboration with The Hastings Center.The keynote speakers were John Harris and Erik Parens. Reports on the event have appeared in dozens of media.
Rakić’s role has not been limited to science and academia. In 2002 he became a special adviser of the United Nations to the Government of Serbia. During his work as a government adviser Rakic worked closely with Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, who was assassinated in 2003 by rogue elements of the Serbian secret police that were still loyal to ousted President Slobodan Milosevic.
Before his commitments in the United Nations and the Government of Serbia, Rakić was a senior research fellow at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) of Twente University in the Netherlands.
- Rakić, V. (2015). "We Must Create Beings with Moral standing Superior to Our Own". Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics 24(1):58-65
- Rakić, V and Hughes J. (2015). "Reflections on Moral Enhancement: Can We? Should We?". Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics 24(1):3-6
- Rakić, V. (2014). “Voluntary Moral Bioenhancement Is a Solution to Sparrow's Concerns”. American Journal of Bioethics 14(4): 37-38
- Rakić, V. (2014). “We Can Make Room for SSRIs”. American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience 5(3): 34-35
- Rakić, V. (2014). "Voluntary moral enhancement and the survival-at-any-cost bias". Journal of Medical Ethics 40(4): 246-250.
- Rakić, V. (2013). "Philosophy for Public Good". Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics 22(3): 271-276.
- Rakić, V. (2013). "Kant's Semantics of World (State) Making". In: Semantics of Statebulding: Language, Meanings and Sovereignty, eds Nicolas Lemay-Hebert, Nicholas Greenwood Onuf, Vojin Rakic and Petar Bojanic. London: Routledge.
- Rakić, V. (2013). "Introduction: Disputing Weberian Semantics" (co-author with Nicolas Lemay-Hebert and Nicholas Onuf). In: Semantics of Statebulding: Language, Meanings and Sovereignty, eds Nicolas Lemay-Hebert, Nicholas Greenwood Onuf, Vojin Rakic and Petar Bojanic. London: Routledge.
- Rakic, V. (2012). "The Moral Identity of Europe: From Warfare and Civil Strife to 'In Varietate Concordia'". International Journal for the Semiotics of Law 25 (2): 249-261.
- Rakic, V. (2012). "From Cognitive to Moral Enhancement: A Possible Reconciliation of Religious Outlooks and the Biotechnological Creation of a Better Human". Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 11 (31): 113-128.
- Rakić, V. (2012). "Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Political Aspects". In: Bioethik ‒ Medizin ‒ Politik / Bioethics ‒ Medicine ‒ Poltitics, ed. Walter Schweidler, pp 121–26. Eichstatt: Sankt Augustin.
- Rakic V, Bojanic, P. (2011). "Bioethics in Serbia: Institutions in Need of Philosophical Debate". Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20 (3): 440-448. (on-line first version: doi: 10.1017/S0963180111000120)
- Rakic, V. (2011). "The Moral Identity of Europe: From Warfare and Civil Strife to ‘In Varietate Concordia’". International Journal for the Semiotics of Law . doi:10.1007/s11196-011-9218-9 on-line first.
- Rakić, V. (2003). "The Issue of Human Resources in the Project ‘Strengthening Central Support Functions in Serbian Ministries’". South East Europe Review, 2003. (01+02), pp. 179-186.
- Rakić, V. (2002). "Regional Implications of a Transition: The Case of Serbia". In: Southeast European Security: Threats, Responses, Challenges, ed. Albreacht Schnabel. Huntington, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
- Rakić, V. (2001). "Converge or not Converge: The European Union and Higher Education Policies in the Netherlands, Belgium/Flanders and Germany". Higher Education Policy 14 (3): 225-240.
- Rakić, Vojin (Autumn 2000). "The Serbian transition: an explosive cocktail of politics and culture". Acta Politica. 35: 322–339.
- Rakić, V. (1998). "Theories of Nation Formation and Case Selection: The Meaning of an Alternative Model". Nationalities Papers 26 (4): 599-614
- Rakić, V. (2013). Semantics of Statebulding: Language, Meanings and Sovereignty (co-editor with Nicolas Lemay-Hebert and Nicholas Greenwood Onuf and Petar Bojanić). London: Routledge.
- Rakić, V. (2010). A Theory of the Normative Will. Belgrade: Faculty of Economics and Political Science.
- Rakić, V. (2004). History and Future of Justice. Belgrade: Faculty of Organizational Sciences and VVMZ.
- Rakić, V. (2003). Hegemony, Culture and Human Resources in Politics. Belgrade: United Nations Development Program and the Faculty of Organizational Sciences.
- Rakić, V. (2006). Liberalizovanje Srbije: Politička elita koje nema i socijalna psihologija autodestrukcije. Beograd: Centar za razvoj liberalizma i Fakultet za menadžment.
- Rakić, V. (2004). Kraj istorije i liberalizacija srpske ideje. Beograd: Fakultet za menadžment.
- "Vojin Rakić : Srpska duša i nove biotehnologije" (in Croatian). Glas Javnosti. 19 December 2001. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
- http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415817295/ Vojin Rakić et al.(eds), 2013, The Semantics of State Building, Routledge
- http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2013/02/13/medethics-2012-100700.full Vojin Rakić, 2013, Voluntary Moral Enhancement and the Survival-at-any-cost Bias, Journal of Medical Ethics
- http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2013/03/21/medethics-2013-101423.full Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu, 2013, Should Moral Bioenhancement be Compulsory? Reply to Vojin Rakić, Journal of Medical Ethics
- http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8924840 Vojin Rakić, 2013, Philosophy for Public Good, Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics, vol. 22, issue 3, pp 271-276
- http://www.csb.eu.com/index_en.html Center for the study of bioethics