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Profile: Brian D. Earp (Oxford University)
  1. Brian D. Earp, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu (forthcoming). The Medicalization of Love. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics:1-19.
    Pharmaceuticals or other emerging technologies could be used to enhance (or diminish) feelings of lust, attraction, and attachment in adult romantic partnerships. While such interventions could conceivably be used to promote individual (and couple) well-being, their widespread development and/or adoption might lead to “medicalization” of human love and heartache—for some, a source of serious concern. In this essay, we argue that the “medicalization of love” need not necessarily be problematic, on balance, but could plausibly be expected to have either good (...)
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  2. Brian D. Earp (2015). Sex and Circumcision. American Journal of Bioethics 15 (2):43-45.
    What are the effects of circumcision on sexual function and experience? And what does sex—in the sense related to gender—have to do with the ethics of circumcision? Jacobs and Arora (2015) give short shrift to the first of these questions; and they do not seem to have considered the second. In this commentary, I explore the relationship between sex (in both senses) and infant male circumcision, and draw some conclusions about the ongoing debate regarding this controversial practice.
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  3. Guy Kahane, Jim A. C. Everett, Brian D. Earp, Miguel Farias & Julian Savulescu (2015). 'Utilitarian' Judgments in Sacrificial Moral Dilemmas Do Not Reflect Impartial Concern for the Greater Good. Cognition 134:193-209.
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  4. Brian D. Earp, Anders Sandberg, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu, When is Diminishment a Form of Enhancement? : Rethinking the Enhancement Debate in Biomedical Ethics.
    The enhancement debate in neuroscience and biomedical ethics tends to focus on the augmentation of certain capacities or functions: memory, learning, attention, and the like. Typically, the point of contention is whether these augmentative enhancements should be considered permissible for individuals with no particular “medical” disadvantage along any of the dimensions of interest. Less frequently addressed in the literature, however, is the fact that sometimes the diminishment of a capacity or function, under the right set of circumstances, could plausibly contribute (...)
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  5. Brian D. Earp (2013). Criticising Religious Practices. The Philosophers' Magazine 63:15-17.
    In 2012, a German court ruled that religious circumcision of male minors constitutes criminal bodily assault. Muslim and Jewish groups responded with outrage, with some commentators pegging the ruling to Islamophobic and anti-Semitic motivations. In doing so, these commentators failed to engage with any of the legal and ethical arguments actually given by the court in its landmark decision. In this brief commentary, I argue that a firm distinction must be drawn between criticisms of religious practices that stem from irrational (...)
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  6. Brian D. Earp (2013). The Ethics of Infant Male Circumcision. Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (7):418-420.
    INTRODUCTIONIs the non-therapeutic circumcision of infant males morally permissible? The most recent major development in this long-simmering debate was the 2012 release of a policy statement and technical report on circumcision by the American Academy of Pediatrics . In these documents, the US paediatricians’ organisation claimed that the potential health benefits of infant circumcision now outweigh the risks and costs. They went on to suggest that their analysis could be taken to justify the decision of parents to choose circumcision for (...)
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  7. Brian D. Earp, Olga A. Wudarczyk, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu (2013). If I Could Just Stop Loving You: Anti-Love Biotechnology and the Ethics of a Chemical Breakup. American Journal of Bioethics 13 (11):3-17.
    ?Love hurts??as the saying goes?and a certain amount of pain and difficulty in intimate relationships is unavoidable. Sometimes it may even be beneficial, since adversity can lead to personal growth, self-discovery, and a range of other components of a life well-lived. But other times, love can be downright dangerous. It may bind a spouse to her domestic abuser, draw an unscrupulous adult toward sexual involvement with a child, put someone under the insidious spell of a cult leader, and even inspire (...)
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  8. Brian D. Earp (2012). Love and Other Drugs. Philosophy Now 91:14-17.
  9. Brian D. Earp (2012). The Extinction of Masculine Generics. Journal for Communication and Culture 2 (1):4-19.
    In English, as in many other languages, male-gendered pronouns are sometimes used to refer not only to men, but to individuals whose gender is unknown or unspecified, to human beings in general (as in ―mankind‖) and sometimes even to females (as when the casual ―Hey guys‖ is spoken to a group of women). These so-called he/man or masculine generics have come under fire in recent decades for being sexist, even archaic, and positively harmful to women and girls; and advocates of (...)
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  10. Brian D. Earp, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu (2012). Natural Selection, Childrearing, and the Ethics of Marriage (and Divorce): Building a Case for the Neuroenhancement of Human Relationships. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):561-587.
    We argue that the fragility of contemporary marriages—and the corresponding high rates of divorce—can be explained (in large part) by a three-part mismatch: between our relationship values, our evolved psychobiological natures, and our modern social, physical, and technological environment. “Love drugs” could help address this mismatch by boosting our psychobiologies while keeping our values and our environment intact. While individual couples should be free to use pharmacological interventions to sustain and improve their romantic connection, we suggest that they may have (...)
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  11. Hannah Maslen, Brian D. Earp, Roi Cohen Kadosh & Julian Savulescu, Brain Stimulation for Treatment and Enhancement in Children : An Ethical Analysis.
    Davis called for “extreme caution” in the use of non-invasive brain stimulation to treat neurological disorders in children, due to gaps in scientific knowledge. We are sympathetic to his position. However, we must also address the ethical implications of applying this technology to minors. Compensatory trade-offs associated with NIBS present a challenge to its use in children, insofar as these trade-offs have the effect of limiting the child’s future options. The distinction between treatment and enhancement has some normative force here. (...)
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