Animal Disenhancement and the Non-Identity Problem: A Response to Thompson

NanoEthics 5 (1):43-48 (2011)

Authors
Clare Alexandra Palmer
Texas A&M University
Abstract
In his paper The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem (Nanoethics 2:305–316, 2008) Paul Thompson argues that the possibility of disenhancing animals in order to improve animal welfare poses a philosophical conundrum. Although many people intuitively think such disenhancement would be morally impermissible, it’s difficult to find good arguments to support such intuitions. In this brief response to Thompson, I accept that there’s a conundrum here. But I argue that if we seriously consider whether creating beings can harm or benefit them, and introduce the non-identity problem to discussions of animal disehancement, the conundrum is even deeper than Thompson suggests
Keywords Paul Thompson  Ethics  Animals  Livestock  Animal rights  Nanotechnology  Biotechnology  Non-identity problem
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DOI 10.1007/s11569-011-0115-1
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Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Case for Animal Rights.Tom Regan - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Noûs. Oxford University Press. pp. 425-434.
Can We Harm and Benefit in Creating?Elizabeth Harman - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):89–113.

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