Topoi 38 (1):73-86 (2019)

Authors
Jonathan Pugh
Oxford University
Abstract
A prominent objection to non-cognitive moral bio-enhancements is that they would compromise the recipient’s ‘freedom to fall’. I begin by discussing some ambiguities in this objection, before outlining an Aristotelian reading of it. I suggest that this reading may help to forestall Persson and Savulescu’s ‘God-Machine’ criticism; however, I suggest that the objection still faces the problem of explaining why the value of moral conformity is insufficient to outweigh the value of the freedom to fall itself. I also question whether the objection is compatible with Neil Levy’s parity principle. Accordingly, I go on to consider an alternative relational freedom-based objection to NCMBEs that aims to explain the fundamental moral importance of the freedom that NCMBEs would violate. I argue that although this strategy might allow the critic of NCMBEs to bypass a powerful criticism of Harris’ objection, it also weakens the freedom-based objection’s compatibility with the parity principle.
Keywords Moral Enhancement  Freedom  Neuroethics  The God Machine
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DOI 10.1007/s11245-017-9482-8
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.

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Citations of this work BETA

Autonomy, Rationality, and Contemporary Bioethics.Jonathan Pugh - 2020 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Three Rationales for a Legal Right to Mental Integrity.Thomas Douglas & Lisa Forsberg - 2021 - In S. Ligthart, D. van Toor, T. Kooijmans, T. Douglas & G. Meynen (eds.), Neurolaw: Advances in Neuroscience, Justice and Security. Palgrave Macmillan.
Moral Enhancement, Self-Governance, and Resistance.Pei-Hua Huang - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):547-567.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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