Bioethics 29 (4):233-240 (2015)

Authors
Birgit Beck
Technische Universität Berlin
Abstract
Recently, the debate on human enhancement has shifted from familiar topics like cognitive enhancement and mood enhancement to a new and – to no one's surprise – controversial subject, namely moral enhancement. Some proponents from the transhumanist camp allude to the ‘urgent need’ of improving the moral conduct of humankind in the face of ever growing technological progress and the substantial dangers entailed in this enterprise. Other thinkers express more sceptical views about this proposal. As the debate has revealed so far, there is no shared opinion among philosophers about the meaning, prospects, and ethical evaluation of moral enhancement. In this article I will address several conceptual and practical problems of this issue, in order to encourage discussion about the prospects of moral enhancement in the future. My assumption is that for the short term, there is little chance of arriving at an agreement on the proper understanding of morality and the appropriateness of one single ethical theory; apart from this, there are further philosophical puzzles loosely referred to in the debate which add to theoretical confusion; and even if these conceptual problems could be solved, there are still practical problems to be smoothed out if moral enhancement is ever to gain relevance apart from merely theoretical interest. My tentative conclusion, therefore, will be that moral enhancement is not very likely to be made sense of – let alone realized – in the medium-term future
Keywords biomedical enhancement  moral theory  moral enhancement
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12090
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Virtue Theory for Moral Enhancement.Joao Fabiano - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 12 (2-3):89-102.
The Ethics of Human Enhancement.Alberto Giubilini & Sagar Sanyal - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (4):233-243.
Oxytocin, Empathy and Human Enhancement.Francisco Lara - 2017 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 32 (3):367.

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