Reshaping Human Intelligence: The Debate about Genetic Enhancement of Cognitive Functions

Given the technical feasibility, not only scientists but also moral philosophers approve of an intervention in the genetic basis of our intellectual dispositions. Among the features not related to illnesses, intelligence seems to be an especially promising candidate for genetic enhancement, for intelligence is valued in every culture. The paper presents some of the arguments for and against genetic enhancement of intelligence. The author analyses what kind of good increased intelligence is: an instrumental good for the wellbeing of mankind, a positional good for a given society or an individual, or something that is appreciated by the individual subject because of the positive experience the subject has by making use of it. Since such experiences are not bad in themselves the means of genetic enhancement have to be assessed and compared with accepted practices like education. The author comes to the conclusion that there are morally significant differences between genetic enhancement and accepted practices to enhance intelligence
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DOI 10.1558/hrge.v16i2.165
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