The Misfortunes of Moral Enhancement

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (5):461-479 (2016)

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Abstract
In Unfit for the Future, Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu present a sophisticated argument in defense of the imperative of moral enhancement. They claim that without moral enhancement, the future of humanity is seriously compromised. The possibility of ultimate harm, caused by a dreadful terrorist attack or by a final unpreventable escalation of the present environmental crisis aggravated by the availability of cognitive enhancement, makes moral enhancement a top priority. It may be considered optimistic to think that our present moral capabilities can be successfully improved by means of moral education, moral persuasion, and fear of punishment. So, without moral enhancement, drastic restrictions on human freedom would become the only alternative to prevent those dramatic potential outcomes. In this article, I will try to show that we still have reason to be less pessimistic and that Persson & Savulescu’s arguments are fortunately unconvincing.
Keywords Moral Enhancement  Enhancement
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhw016
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Enhancement and Freedom.John Harris - 2011 - Bioethics 25 (2):102-111.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2004 - Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Moral Enhancement.Thomas Douglas - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.

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Citations of this work BETA

Bioethics and Moral Agency: On Autonomy and Moral Responsibility.John Skalko & Mark J. Cherry - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 41 (5):435-443.
Lone Wolf Terrorists and the Impotence of Moral Enhancement.Valerie Gray Hardcastle - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 83:271-291.
An Obligation to Enhance?Anton Vedder - 2019 - Topoi 38 (1):49-52.

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