Cohen’s Conservatism and Human Enhancement

The Journal of Ethics 17 (4):331-354 (2013)
Authors
Guy Kahane
Oxford University
Jonathan Pugh
Oxford University
Julian Savulescu
Oxford University
Abstract
In an intriguing essay, G. A. Cohen has defended a conservative bias in favour of existing value. In this paper, we consider whether Cohen’s conservatism raises a new challenge to the use of human enhancement technologies. We develop some of Cohen’s suggestive remarks into a new line of argument against human enhancement that, we believe, is in several ways superior to existing objections. However, we shall argue that on closer inspection, Cohen’s conservatism fails to offer grounds for a strong sweeping objection to enhancement, and may even offer positive support for forms of enhancement that preserve valuable features of human beings. Nevertheless, we concede that Cohen’s arguments may suggest some plausible and important constraints on the modality of legitimate and desirable enhancements
Keywords G. A. Cohen  Conservatism  Enhancement  Value
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10892-013-9151-0
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

A Theory of Justice.John Rawls - 1971 - Harvard University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1977 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):187-201.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Enhancement and the Conservative Bias.Ben Davies - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (3):339-356.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Moral Enhancement.Thomas Douglas - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.
Enhancement Technologies and Human Identity.David Degrazia - 2005 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 30 (3):261 – 283.
Germ-Line Enhancement of Humans and Nonhumans.J. Robert Loftis - 2005 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15 (1):57-76.
Is Human Enhancement Also a Personal Matter?Vincent Menuz, Thierry Hurlimann & Béatrice Godard - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (1):161-177.
Is There a Problem with Enhancement?Frances M. Kamm - 2005 - American Journal of Bioethics 5 (3):5 – 14.
Genetic Enhancement: Plan Now to Act Later.Maxwell J. Mehlman - 2005 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15 (1):77-82.
Thinking Across Species—a Critical Bioethics Approach to Enhancement.Richard Twine - 2007 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (6):509-523.
Can Human Genetic Enhancement Be Prohibited?William Gardner - 1995 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (1):65-84.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-10-25

Total downloads
90 ( #74,384 of 2,309,030 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
19 ( #26,495 of 2,309,030 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature