John Basl Northeastern University

  • Faculty, Northeastern University
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2011.

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About me
I'm an assistant professor at Northeastern University. You can find me online at
My works
9 items found.
  1. Ronald L. Sandler & John Basl (eds.) (2015). Designer Biology: The Ethics of Intensively Engineering Biological and Ecological Systems. Lexington Books.
    This book consists of thirteen chapters that address the ethical issues raised by technological intervention and design across a broad range of biological and ecological systems. Among the technologies addressed are geoengineering, human enhancement, sex selection, genetic modification, and synthetic biology.
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    John Basl (2014). Machines as Moral Patients We Shouldn't Care About (Yet): The Interests and Welfare of Current Machines. Philosophy and Technology 27 (1):79-96.
    In order to determine whether current (or future) machines have a welfare that we as agents ought to take into account in our moral deliberations, we must determine which capacities give rise to interests and whether current machines have those capacities. After developing an account of moral patiency, I argue that current machines should be treated as mere machines. That is, current machines should be treated as if they lack those capacities that would give rise to psychological interests. Therefore, they (...)
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    John Basl, Ronald Sandler, Rory Smead & Patrick Forber (2014). A Bargaining Game Analysis of International Climate Negotiations. Nature Climate Change 4:442-445.
    Climate negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change have so far failed to achieve a robust international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Game theory has been used to investigate possible climate negotiation solutions and strategies for accomplishing them. Negotiations have been primarily modelled as public goods games such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, though coordination games or games of conflict have also been used. Many of these models have solutions, in the form of equilibria, corresponding to possible (...)
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    John Basl (2013). The Ethics of Creating Artificial Consciousness. APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 13 (1):23-29.
  5.  17
    John Basl & Ronald Sandler (2013). The Good of Non-Sentient Entities: Organisms, Artifacts, and Synthetic Biology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):697-705.
    Synthetic organisms are at the same time organisms and artifacts. In this paper we aim to determine whether such entities have a good of their own, and so are candidates for being directly morally considerable. We argue that the good of non-sentient organisms is grounded in an etiological account of teleology, on which non-sentient organisms can come to be teleologically organized on the basis of their natural selection etiology. After defending this account of teleology, we argue that there are no (...)
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    John Basl (2012). Nothing Good Will Come From Giving Up on Aetiological Accounts of Teleology. Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):543-546.
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  7. John Basl (2010). Restitutive Restoration. Environmental Ethics 32 (2):135-147.
    Our environmental wrongdoings result in a moral debt that requires restitution. One component of restitution is reparative and another is remediative. The remediative component requires that we remediate our characters in ways that alter or eliminate the character traits that tend to lead, in their expression, to environmental wrongdoing. Restitutive restoration is a way of engaging in ecological restoration that helps to meet the remediative requirement that accompanies environmental wrongdoing. This account of restoration provides a new motivation and justification for (...)
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    John Basl (2010). State Neutrality and the Ethics of Human Enhancement Technologies. AJOB 1 (2):41-48.
    Robust technological enhancement of core cognitive capacities is now a realistic possibility. From the perspective of neutralism, the view that justifications for public policy should be neutral between reasonable conceptions of the good, only members of a subset of the ethical concerns serve as legitimate justifications for public policy regarding robust technological enhancement. This paper provides a framework for the legitimate use of ethical concerns in justifying public policy decisions regarding these enhancement technologies by evaluating the ethical concerns that arise (...)
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  9.  62
    John Basl & Ronald Sandler (2010). Transhumanism, Human Dignity, and Moral Status. American Journal of Bioethics 10 (7):63-66.
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