Eugenics Offended

Monash Bioethics Review 39 (2):169-176 (2021)
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Abstract

This commentary continues an exchange on eugenics in Monash Bioethics Review between Anomaly (2018), Wilson (2019), and Veit, Anomaly, Agar, Singer, Fleischman, and Minerva (2021). The eponymous question, “Can ‘Eugenics’ be Defended?”, is multiply ambiguous and does not receive a clear answer from Veit et al.. Despite their stated desire to move beyond mere semantics to matters of substance, Veit et al. concentrate on several uses of the term “eugenics” that pull in opposite directions. I argue, first, that Veit et al. (2021) makes much the same error as does Anomaly (2018) in characterizing eugenics; second, that the paper misunderstands the relationship between eugenics and enhancement; and third, that it distorts the views expressed in my “Eugenics Undefended”.

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Robert A. Wilson
University of Western Australia

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