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  1. The Implausibility of Appeals to Human Dignity: An Investigation Into the Efficacy of Notions of Human Dignity in the Transhumanism Debate.Andrea C. Palk - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):39-54.
    In recent decades, recourse to notions of human dignity has increased extensively within the field of bioethics. In particular, the notion has been utilised in arguments that seek to constrain a variety of biotechnological endeavours, examples of which include human cloning and transhumanism. In this regard, transhumanism is frequently described as an affront to human dignity in a manner that appears to be aimed at halting the possibility of further debate. The efficacy of the concept of human dignity has itself, (...)
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  • Moral Enhancement, Self-Governance, and Resistance.Pei-Hua Huang - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):547-567.
    John Harris recently argues that the moral bioenhancement proposed by Persson and Savulescu can damage moral agency by depriving the recipients of their freedom to fall (freedom to make wrongful choices) and therefore should not be pursued. The link Harris makes between moral agency and the freedom to fall, however, implies that all forms of moral enhancement, including moral education, that aim to make the enhancement recipients less likely to “fall” are detrimental to moral agency. In this paper, I present (...)
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  • Adding Lithium to Drinking Water for Suicide Prevention—The Ethics.Jared Ng, Manne Sjöstrand & Nir Eyal - forthcoming - Public Health Ethics.
    Recent observations associate naturally occurring trace levels of Lithium in ground water with significantly lower suicide rates. It has been suggested that adding trace Lithium to drinking water could be a safe and effective way to reduce suicide. This article discusses the many ethical implications of such population-wide Lithium medication. It compares this policy to more targeted solutions that introduce trace amounts of Lithium to groups at higher risk of suicide or lower risk of adverse effects. The question of mass (...)
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  • The Quantified Relationship.John Danaher, Sven Nyholm & Brian D. Earp - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (2):3-19.
    The growth of self-tracking and personal surveillance has given rise to the Quantified Self movement. Members of this movement seek to enhance their personal well-being, productivity, and self-actualization through the tracking and gamification of personal data. The technologies that make this possible can also track and gamify aspects of our interpersonal, romantic relationships. Several authors have begun to challenge the ethical and normative implications of this development. In this article, we build upon this work to provide a detailed ethical analysis (...)
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  • Queerin' the PGD Clinic.Robert Sparrow - 2013 - Journal of Medical Humanities 34 (2):177-196.
    Disability activists influenced by queer theory and advocates of “human enhancement” have each disputed the idea that what is “normal” is normatively significant, which currently plays a key role in the regulation of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Previously, I have argued that the only way to avoid the implication that parents have strong reasons to select children of one sex (most plausibly, female) over the other is to affirm the moral significance of sexually dimorphic human biological norms. After outlining the (...)
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  • Life in Overabundance: Agar on Life-Extension and the Fear of Death.Aveek Bhattacharya & Robert Mark Simpson - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):223-236.
    In Humanity’s End: Why We Should Reject Radical Enhancement, Nicholas Agar presents a novel argument against the prospect of radical life-extension. Agar’s argument hinges on the claim that extended lifespans will result in people’s lives being dominated by the fear of death. Here we examine this claim and the surrounding issues in Agar’s discussion. We argue, firstly, that Agar’s view rests on empirically dubious assumptions about human rationality and attitudes to risk, and secondly, that even if those assumptions are granted, (...)
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  • Our Intuitions About the Experience Machine.Richard Rowland - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1):110-117.
    This article responds to a recent empirical study by De Brigard and Weijers on intuitions about the experience machine and what it tells us about hedonism.
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  • The Problem with Reproductive Freedom. Procreation Beyond Procreators’ Interests.Giulia Cavaliere - forthcoming - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy.
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  • Quality of Life Assessments, Cognitive Reliability, and Procreative Responsibility.Jason Marsh - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):436-466.
    Recent work in the psychology of happiness has led some to conclude that we are unreliable assessors of our lives and that skepticism about whether we are happy is a genuine possibility worth taking very seriously. I argue that such claims, if true, have worrisome implications for procreation. In particular, they show that skepticism about whether many if not most people are well positioned to create persons is a genuine possibility worth taking very seriously. This skeptical worry should not be (...)
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  • Could There Ever Be an App for That? Consent Apps and the Problem of Sexual Assault.Danaher John - 2018 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 12 (1):143-165.
    Rape and sexual assault are major problems. In the majority of sexual assault cases consent is the central issue. Consent is, to borrow a phrase, the ‘moral magic’ that converts an impermissible act into a permissible one. In recent years, a handful of companies have tried to launch consent apps which aim to educate young people about the nature of sexual consent and allow them to record signals of consent for future verification. Although ostensibly aimed at addressing the problems of (...)
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  • The Moral Psychology of Value Sensitive Design: The Methodological Issues of Moral Intuitions for Responsible Innovation.Steven Umbrello - 2018 - Journal of Responsible Innovation 5 (2):186-200.
    This paper argues that although moral intuitions are insufficient for making judgments on new technological innovations, they maintain great utility for informing responsible innovation. To do this, this paper employs the Value Sensitive Design (VSD) methodology as an illustrative example of how stakeholder values can be better distilled to inform responsible innovation. Further, it is argued that moral intuitions are necessary for determining stakeholder values required for the design of responsible technologies. This argument is supported by the claim that the (...)
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  • Opt-Out Organ Donation Without Presumptions.B. Saunders - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (2):69-72.
    This paper defends an ‘opt-out’ scheme for organ procurement, by distinguishing this system from ‘presumed consent’ (which the author regards as an erroneous justification of it). It, first, stresses the moral importance of increasing the supply of organs and argues that making donation easier need not conflict with altruism. It then goes on to explore one way that donation can be increased, namely by adopting an opt-out system, in which cadaveric organs are used unless the deceased (or their family) registered (...)
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  • Editing the Genome of Human Beings: CRISPR-Cas9 and the Ethics of Genetic Enhancement.Marcelo de Araujo - 2017 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 27 (1):24-42.
    In 2015 a team of scientists used a new gene-editing technique called CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the genome of 86 non-viable human embryos. The experiment sparked a global debate on the ethics of gene editing. In this paper; I first review the key ethical issues that have been addressed in this debate. Although there is an emerging consensus now that research on the editing of human somatic cells for therapeutic purpose should be pursued further; the prospect of using gene-editing techniques for (...)
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  • Intuitive Biases in Judgements About Thought Experiments: The Experience Machine Revisited.Dan Weijers - 2013 - Philosophical Writings 41 (1):17-31.
    This paper is a warning that objections based on thought experiments can be misleading because they may elicit judgments that, unbeknownst to the judger, have been seriously skewed by psychological biases. The fact that most people choose not to plug in to the Experience Machine in Nozick’s (1974) famous thought experiment has long been used as a knock-down objection to hedonism because it is widely thought to show that real experiences are more important to us than pleasurable experiences. This paper (...)
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  • Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios and Related Hazards.Nick Bostrom - unknown
    Because of accelerating technological progress, humankind may be rapidly approaching a critical phase in its career. In addition to well-known threats such as nuclear holocaust, the propects of radically transforming technologies like nanotech systems and machine intelligence present us with unprecedented opportunities and risks. Our future, and whether we will have a future at all, may well be determined by how we deal with these challenges. In the case of radically transforming technologies, a better understanding of the transition dynamics from (...)
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  • Cognitive Biases Can Affect Moral Intuitions About Cognitive Enhancement.Lucius Caviola, Adriano Mannino, Julian Savulescu & Nadira Faber - unknown
    Research into cognitive biases that impair human judgment has mostly been applied to the area of economic decision-making. Ethical decision-making has been comparatively neglected. Since ethical decisions often involve very high individual as well as collective stakes, analyzing how cognitive biases affect them can be expected to yield important results. In this theoretical article, we consider the ethical debate about cognitive enhancement and suggest a number of cognitive biases that are likely to affect moral intuitions and judgments about CE: status (...)
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  • Enhancing Equality.Alberto Giubilini & Francesca Minerva - 2019 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 44 (3):335-354.
    The range of opportunities people enjoy in life largely depends on social, biological, and genetic factors for which individuals are not responsible. Philosophical debates about equality of opportunities have focussed mainly on addressing social determinants of inequalities. However, the introduction of human bioenhancement should make us reconsider what our commitment to equality entails. We propose a way of improving morally relevant equality that is centred on what we consider a fair distribution of bioenhancements. In the first part, we identify three (...)
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  • Why is Cognitive Enhancement Deemed Unacceptable? The Role of Fairness, Deservingness, and Hollow Achievements.Nadira S. Faber, Julian Savulescu & Thomas Douglas - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
    We ask why pharmacological cognitive enhancement (PCE) is generally deemed morally unacceptable by lay people. Our approach to this question has two core elements. First, we employ an interdisciplinary perspective, using philosophical rationales as base for generating psychological models. Second, by testing these models we investigate how different normative judgments on PCE are related to each other. Based on an analysis of the relevant philosophical literature, we derive two psychological models that can potentially explain the judgment that PCE is unacceptable: (...)
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  • The Harms of Enhancement and the Conclusive Reasons View.Thomas Douglas - 2015 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 24 (1):23-36.
    Many critics of bioenhancement go to considerable lengths to establish the existence of reasons against pursuing bioenhancements but do little to establish the absence of reasons in favor. This suggests that they accept what Allen Buchanan has called the conclusive reasons view . According to this view, our reasons against bioenhancement are obviously decisive, so there is no need to balance them against countervailing reasons. Buchanan criticizes the CRV by showing that the reasons most commonly adduced against bioenhancement are not (...)
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  • Withdrawing and Withholding Treatment: What Do Medical Professionals Owe Their Patients?Andreas T. Schmidt - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics 19 (3):31-33.
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  • Withdrawal Aversion and the Equivalence Test.Julian Savulescu, Ella Butcherine & Dominic Wilkinson - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics 19 (3):21-28.
    If a doctor is trying to decide whether or not to provide a medical treatment, does it matter ethically whether that treatment has already been started? Health professionals sometimes find it harder to stop a treatment than to refrain from starting the treatment. But does that feeling correspond to an ethical difference? In this article, we defend equivalence—the view that withholding and withdrawal of treatment are ethically equivalent when all other factors are equal. We argue that preference for withholding over (...)
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  • Autonomy and Enhancement.G. Owen Schaefer, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (2):123-136.
    Some have objected to human enhancement on the grounds that it violates the autonomy of the enhanced. These objections, however, overlook the interesting possibility that autonomy itself could be enhanced. How, exactly, to enhance autonomy is a difficult problem due to the numerous and diverse accounts of autonomy in the literature. Existing accounts of autonomy enhancement rely on narrow and controversial conceptions of autonomy. However, we identify one feature of autonomy common to many mainstream accounts: reasoning ability. Autonomy can then (...)
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  • Cognitive Enhancement: Methods, Ethics, Regulatory Challenges. [REVIEW]Nick Bostrom - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):311-341.
    Cognitive enhancement takes many and diverse forms. Various methods of cognitive enhancement have implications for the near future. At the same time, these technologies raise a range of ethical issues. For example, they interact with notions of authenticity, the good life, and the role of medicine in our lives. Present and anticipated methods for cognitive enhancement also create challenges for public policy and regulation.
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  • Limits to human enhancement: nature, disease, therapy or betterment?Bjørn Hofmann - 2017 - BMC Medical Ethics 18 (1):56.
    New technologies facilitate the enhancement of a wide range of human dispositions, capacities, or abilities. While it is argued that we need to set limits to human enhancement, it is unclear where we should find resources to set such limits. Traditional routes for setting limits, such as referring to nature, the therapy-enhancement distinction, and the health-disease distinction, turn out to have some shortcomings. However, upon closer scrutiny the concept of enhancement is based on vague conceptions of what is to be (...)
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  • An Empirically Informed Critique of Habermas’ Argument From Human Nature.Nicolae Morar - 2014 - Science and Engineering Ethics 21 (1):95-113.
    In a near-future world of bionics and biotechnology, the main ethical and political issue will be the definition of who we are. Could biomedical enhancements transform us to such an extent that we would be other than human? Habermas argues that any genetic enhancement intervention that could potentially alter ‘human nature’ should be morally prohibited since it alters the child’s nature or the very essence that makes the child who he is. This practice also commits the child to a specific (...)
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  • Upgrading Discussions of Cognitive Enhancement.Susan B. Levin - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (1):53-67.
    Advocates of cognitive enhancement maintain that technological advances would augment autonomy indirectly by expanding the range of options available to individuals, while, in a recent article in this journal, Schaefer, Kahane, and Savulescu propose that cognitive enhancement would improve it more directly. Here, autonomy, construed in broad procedural terms, is at the fore. In contrast, when lauding the goodness of enhancement expressly, supporters’ line of argument is utilitarian, of an ideal variety. An inherent conflict results, for, within their utilitarian frame, (...)
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  • Personal Identity, Direction of Change, and Neuroethics.Kevin Patrick Tobia - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (1):37-43.
    The personal identity relation is of great interest to philosophers, who often consider fictional scenarios to test what features seem to make persons persist through time. But often real examples of neuroscientific interest also provide important tests of personal identity. One such example is the case of Phineas Gage – or at least the story often told about Phineas Gage. Many cite Gage’s story as example of severed personal identity; Phineas underwent such a tremendous change that Gage “survived as a (...)
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  • Withdrawing Versus Withholding Freedoms: Nudging and the Case of Tobacco Control.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (7):3-14.
    Is it a stronger interference with people's freedom to withdraw options they currently have than to withhold similar options they do not have? Drawing on recent theorizing about sociopolitical freedom, this article identifies considerations that often make this the case for public policy. However, when applied to tobacco control, these considerations are shown to give us at best only very weak freedom-based reason to prioritize the status quo. This supports a popular argument for so-called “endgame” tobacco control measures: If we (...)
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  • The Reversal Test, Status Quo Bias, and Opposition to Human Cognitive Enhancement.Steve Clarke - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):369-386.
    Bostrom and Ord’s reversal test has been appealed to by many philosophers to substantiate the charge that preferences for status quo options are motivated by status quo bias. I argue that their characterization of the reversal test needs to be modified, and that their description of the burden of proof it imposes needs to be clarified. I then argue that there is a way to meet that burden of proof which Bostrom and Ord fail to recognize. I also argue that (...)
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  • The Disvalue of Genetic Diversity, Or: How to Treat a Sandelian Ethos on Steroids.Russell Powell - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (6):29-32.
  • Genetic Technology to Prevent Disabilities: How Popular Culture Informs Our Understanding of the Use of Genetics to Define and Prevent Undesirable Traits.Sara Weinberger & Dov Greenbaum - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (6):32-34.
  • Imposing Genetic Diversity.Robert Sparrow - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (6):2-10.
    The idea that a world in which everyone was born “perfect” would be a world in which something valuable was missing often comes up in debates about the ethics of technologies of prenatal testing and preimplantation genetic diagnosis . This thought plays an important role in the “disability critique” of prenatal testing. However, the idea that human genetic variation is an important good with significant benefits for society at large is also embraced by a wide range of figures writing in (...)
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  • Is Disability Conservationism Rooted in Status Quo Bias?Stephen M. Campbell & Lance Wahlert - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (6):20-22.
  • Human Engineering and Climate Change.S. Matthew Liao, Anders Sandberg & Rebecca Roache - 2012 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 15 (2):206 - 221.
    Anthropogenic climate change is arguably one of the biggest problems that confront us today. There is ample evidence that climate change is likely to affect adversely many aspects of life for all people around the world, and that existing solutions such as geoengineering might be too risky and ordinary behavioural and market solutions might not be sufficient to mitigate climate change. In this paper, we consider a new kind of solution to climate change, what we call human engineering, which involves (...)
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  • The Case for Perfection.W. Miller Brown - 2009 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 36 (2):127-139.
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  • It's Not So Simple: A More Complex Behavioral and Psychological Perspective on Genetic Enhancement (and Diminishment).Frances Degen Horowitz - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (4):76-78.
  • Relativistic Perspectives of Genetic Enhancement: A Challenge to Future Progress.Benjamin Schanker - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (4):74-76.
  • Public Attitudes Toward Cognitive Enhancement.Nicholas S. Fitz, Roland Nadler, Praveena Manogaran, Eugene W. J. Chong & Peter B. Reiner - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (2):173-188.
    Vigorous debate over the moral propriety of cognitive enhancement exists, but the views of the public have been largely absent from the discussion. To address this gap in our knowledge, four experiments were carried out with contrastive vignettes in order to obtain quantitative data on public attitudes towards cognitive enhancement. The data collected suggest that the public is sensitive to and capable of understanding the four cardinal concerns identified by neuroethicists, and tend to cautiously accept cognitive enhancement even as they (...)
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  • The Ethics of Sweatshops and the Limits of Choice.Michael Kates - 2015 - Business Ethics Quarterly 25 (2):191-212.
    This article examines the “Choice Argument” for sweatshops, i.e., the claim that it is morally wrong or impermissible for third parties to interfere with the choice of sweatshop workers to work in sweatshops. The Choice Argument seeks, in other words, to shift the burden of proof onto those who wish to regulate sweatshop labor. It does so by forcing critics of sweatshops to specify the conditions under which it is morally permissible to interfere with sweatshop workers’ choice. My aim in (...)
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  • Human Enhancement: Enhancing Health or Harnessing Happiness?Bjørn Hofmann - 2019 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 16 (1):87-98.
    Human enhancement is ontologically, epistemologically, and ethically challenging and has stirred a wide range of scholarly and public debates. This article focuses on some conceptual issues with HE that have important ethical implications. In particular it scrutinizes how the concept of human enhancement relates to and challenges the concept of health. In order to do so, it addresses three specific questions: Q1. What do conceptions of HE say about health? Q2. Does HE challenge traditional conceptions of health? Q3. Do concepts (...)
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  • Complexity and Information Technologies: An Ethical Inquiry Into Human Autonomous Action.José Artur Quilici-Gonzalez, Mariana Claudia Broens, Maria Eunice Quilici-Gonzalez & Guiou Kobayashi - 2014 - Scientiae Studia 12 (SPE):161-179.
    In this article, we discuss, from a complex systems perspective, possible implications of the rising dependency between autonomous human social/individual action, ubiquitous computing, and artificial intelligent systems. Investigation is made of ethical and political issues related to the application of ubiquitous computing resources to autonomous decision-making processes and to the enhancement of human cognition and action. We claim that without the feedback of fellow humans, which teaches us the consequences of our actions in real everyday life, the indiscriminate use of (...)
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  • Categorical Mistakes and Moral Biases in the Withholding-Versus-Withdrawal Debate.Bjørn Hofmann - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics 19 (3):29-31.
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  • Challenging the Status Quo.Dominic Wilkinson - 2009 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (2):235-237.
    Harold Jaffe argues that we should adopt opt-out testing for HIV. There are paternalistic and utilitarian arguments for such an approach. In this commentary I draw attention to some similarities between his arguments and debates about opt-out systems of organ donation. I argue that the status quo bias provides both part of the reason that opt-out approaches work, and an explanation for why such approaches are sometimes resisted.
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  • Reasons for Comfort and Discomfort with Pharmacological Enhancement of Cognitive, Affective, and Social Domains.Laura Y. Cabrera, Nicholas S. Fitz & Peter B. Reiner - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (2):93-106.
    The debate over the propriety of cognitive enhancement evokes both enthusiasm and worry. To gain further insight into the reasons that people may have for endorsing or eschewing pharmacological enhancement, we used empirical tools to explore public attitudes towards PE of twelve cognitive, affective, and social domains. Participants from Canada and the United States were recruited using Mechanical Turk and were randomly assigned to read one vignette that described an individual who uses a pill to enhance a single domain. After (...)
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  • If and Then: A Critique of Speculative Nanoethics. [REVIEW]Alfred Nordmann - 2007 - NanoEthics 1 (1):31-46.
    Most known technology serves to ingeniously adapt the world to the physical and mental limitations of human beings. Humankind has acquired awesome power with its rather limited means. Nanotechnological capabilities further this power. On some accounts, however, nanotechnological research will contribute to a rather different kind of technological development, namely one that changes human beings so as to remove or reduce their physical and mental limitations. The prospect of this technological development has inspired a fair amount of ethical debate. Here, (...)
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  • Genetic Modification of Characteristic Masculine Traits: Enhancement or Deformity?Jeff McMahan - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (12):736-740.
    Some philosophers, most notably Julian Savulescu, have argued that potential parents have a moral reason to do what they can to have a child with the highest expected level of well-being.1 This is not just a reason to do what will make a particular child better off than he or she would otherwise be but also a reason to choose, from among different possible children, the one that has the highest expected well-being. The claim that potential parents have such a (...)
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  • Developments in the Debate on Nanoethics: Traditional Approaches and the Need for New Kinds of Analysis. [REVIEW]Arianna Ferrari - 2010 - NanoEthics 4 (1):27-52.
    This paper aims to review different discourses within the emerging field of ethical reflection on nanotechnology. I will start by analysing the early stages of this debate, showing how it has been focused on searching for legitimacy for this sphere of moral inquiry. I will then characterise an ethical approach, common to many authors, which frames ethical issues in terms of risks and benefits. This approach identifies normative issues where there are conflicts of interest or where challenges to the fundamental (...)
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  • In Genes We Trust: Germline Engineering, Eugenics, and the Future of the Human Genome.Russell Powell - 2015 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (6):669-695.
    Liberal proponents of genetic engineering maintain that developing human germline modification technologies is morally desirable because it will result in a net improvement in human health and well-being. Skeptics of germline modification, in contrast, fear evolutionary harms that could flow from intervening in the human germline, and worry that such programs, even if well intentioned, could lead to a recapitulation of the scientifically and morally discredited projects of the old eugenics. Some bioconservatives have appealed as well to the value of (...)
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  • The Ethics of Human Enhancement.Alberto Giubilini & Sagar Sanyal - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (4):233-243.
    Ethical debate surrounding human enhancement, especially by biotechnological means, has burgeoned since the turn of the century. Issues discussed include whether specific types of enhancement are permissible or even obligatory, whether they are likely to produce a net good for individuals and for society, and whether there is something intrinsically wrong in playing God with human nature. We characterize the main camps on the issue, identifying three main positions: permissive, restrictive and conservative positions. We present the major sub-debates and lines (...)
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  • If You Like It, Does It Matter If It's Real?Felipe De Brigard - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):43-57.
    Most people's intuitive reaction after considering Nozick's experience machine thought-experiment seems to be just like his: we feel very little inclination to plug in to a virtual reality machine capable of providing us with pleasurable experiences. Many philosophers take this empirical fact as sufficient reason to believe that, more than pleasurable experiences, people care about “living in contact with reality.” Such claim, however, assumes that people's reaction to the experience machine thought-experiment is due to the fact that they value reality (...)
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