Still afraid of needy post-persons

Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (2):81-83 (2013)
I want to thank all of those who have commented on my article in the Journal of Medical Ethics.1 The commentaries address a wide cross-section of the issues raised in my article. I have organised my responses thematically.The state of playAllen Buchanan's scepticism2 about moral statuses higher than personhood derives, in part, from our apparent inability to describe them. We seem to have little difficulty in imagining what it might be to have scientific understanding far beyond that of any human scientist. By contrast, it is exceedingly difficult to describe moral statuses superior to that of any person. Boosting cognitive capacities seems to result in cognitively superior persons—not post-persons . I offer an explanation of our moral myopia.2 We are necessarily clueless in respect of moral statuses superior to our own. If mice understood practical reasons sufficiently well to truly understand why persons have a moral status superior to their own then they would be capable of the feats of practical reason constitutive of personhood—they would be persons. Our cluelessness about post-persons is compatible both with their possible existence and with their necessary non-existence. I propose an inductive argument for the existence of statuses superior to personhood. The observed existence of many moral statuses up to and including persons provides moderately strong inductive support for the possibility of post-persons.Who do we trust to make decisions about higher moral statuses?What precisely does the inductive argument predict? If my diagnosis of our moral myopia about post-personhood is correct, then mere persons cannot really understand what properties of post-persons give them a superior status. They will be able to infer their existence indirectly by an appeal to the predicted judgments of beings who lack our cognitive limitations. Wasserman3 questions my suggestion that we should defer to the sincere moral judgments of ….
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2012-101095
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

16 ( #281,379 of 1,924,986 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #124,764 of 1,924,986 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.