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Thomas Douglas
Oxford University
  1. Moral Enhancement.Thomas Douglas - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.
    Opponents of biomedical enhancement often claim that, even if such enhancement would benefit the enhanced, it would harm others. But this objection looks unpersuasive when the enhancement in question is a moral enhancement — an enhancement that will expectably leave the enhanced person with morally better motives than she had previously. In this article I (1) describe one type of psychological alteration that would plausibly qualify as a moral enhancement, (2) argue that we will, in the medium-term future, probably be (...)
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  2. Moral Enhancement Via Direct Emotion Modulation: A Reply to John Harris.Thomas Douglas - 2013 - Bioethics 27 (3):160-168.
    Some argue that humans should enhance their moral capacities by adopting institutions that facilitate morally good motives and behaviour. I have defended a parallel claim: that we could permissibly use biomedical technologies to enhance our moral capacities, for example by attenuating certain counter-moral emotions. John Harris has recently responded to my argument by raising three concerns about the direct modulation of emotions as a means to moral enhancement. He argues that such means will be relatively ineffective in bringing about moral (...)
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  3. Nonconsensual Neurocorrectives and Bodily Integrity: A Reply to Shaw and Barn.Thomas Douglas - 2019 - Neuroethics 12 (1):107-118.
    In this issue, Elizabeth Shaw and Gulzaar Barn offer a number of replies to my arguments in ‘Criminal Rehabilitation Through Medical Intervention: Moral Liability and the Right to Bodily Integrity’, Journal of Ethics. In this article I respond to some of their criticisms.
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  4. Criminal Rehabilitation Through Medical Intervention: Moral Liability and the Right to Bodily Integrity.Thomas Douglas - 2014 - The Journal of Ethics 18 (2):101-122.
    Criminal offenders are sometimes required, by the institutions of criminal justice, to undergo medical interventions intended to promote rehabilitation. Ethical debate regarding this practice has largely proceeded on the assumption that medical interventions may only permissibly be administered to criminal offenders with their consent. In this article I challenge this assumption by suggesting that committing a crime might render one morally liable to certain forms of medical intervention. I then consider whether it is possible to respond persuasively to this challenge (...)
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  5. Compulsory Medical Intervention Versus External Constraint in Pandemic Control.Thomas Douglas, Lisa Forsberg & Jonathan Pugh - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics (12).
    Would compulsory treatment or vaccination for Covid-19 be justified? In England, there would be significant legal barriers to it. However, we offer a conditional ethical argument in favour of allowing compulsory treatment and vaccination, drawing on an ethical comparison with external constraints—such as quarantine, isolation and ‘lockdown’—that have already been authorised to control the pandemic. We argue that, if the permissive English approach to external constraints for Covid-19 has been justified, then there is a case for a similarly permissive approach (...)
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  6.  63
    Quarantine, Isolation and the Duty of Easy Rescue in Public Health.Alberto Giubilini, Thomas Douglas, Hannah Maslen & Julian Savulescu - 2018 - Developing World Bioethics 18 (2):182-189.
    We address the issue of whether, why and under what conditions, quarantine and isolation are morally justified, with a particular focus on measures implemented in the developing world. We argue that the benefits of quarantine and isolation justify some level of coercion or compulsion by the state, but that the state should be able to provide the strongest justification possible for implementing such measures. While a constrained form of consequentialism might provide a justification for such public health interventions, we argue (...)
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  7. The Moral Imperative to Continue Gene Editing Research on Human Embryos.Julian Savulescu, Jonathan Pugh, Thomas Douglas & Chris Gyngell - 2015 - Protein Cell 6 (7):476–479.
    The publication of the first study to use gene editing techniques in human embryos (Liang et al., 2015) has drawn outrage from many in the scientific community. The prestigious scientific journals Nature and Science have published commentaries which call for this research to be strongly discouraged or halted all together (Lanphier et al., 2015; Baltimore et al., 2015). We believe this should be questioned. There is a moral imperative to continue this research.
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  8.  62
    The Moral Obligation to Be Vaccinated: Utilitarianism, Contractualism, and Collective Easy Rescue.Alberto Giubilini, Thomas Douglas & Julian Savulescu - 2018 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 21 (4):547-560.
    We argue that individuals who have access to vaccines and for whom vaccination is not medically contraindicated have a moral obligation to contribute to the realisation of herd immunity by being vaccinated. Contrary to what some have claimed, we argue that this individual moral obligation exists in spite of the fact that each individual vaccination does not significantly affect vaccination coverage rates and therefore does not significantly contribute to herd immunity. Establishing the existence of a moral obligation to be vaccinated (...)
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  9. Enhancing Moral Conformity and Enhancing Moral Worth.Thomas Douglas - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (1):75-91.
    It is plausible that we have moral reasons to become better at conforming to our moral reasons. However, it is not always clear what means to greater moral conformity we should adopt. John Harris has recently argued that we have reason to adopt traditional, deliberative means in preference to means that alter our affective or conative states directly—that is, without engaging our deliberative faculties. One of Harris’ concerns about direct means is that they would produce only a superficial kind of (...)
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  10. Moral Neuroenhancement.Brian D. Earp, Thomas Douglas & Julian Savulescu - 2017 - In L. Syd M. Johnson & Karen S. Rommelfanger (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. Routledge.
    In this chapter, we introduce the notion of “moral neuroenhancement,” offering a novel definition as well as spelling out three conditions under which we expect that such neuroenhancement would be most likely to be permissible (or even desirable). Furthermore, we draw a distinction between first-order moral capacities, which we suggest are less promising targets for neurointervention, and second-order moral capacities, which we suggest are more promising. We conclude by discussing concerns that moral neuroenhancement might restrict freedom or otherwise “misfire,” and (...)
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  11. A Conception of Genetic Parenthood.Thomas Douglas & Katrien Devolder - 2019 - Bioethics 33 (1):54-59.
    We seek to develop a plausible conception of genetic parenthood, taking a recent discussion by Heidi Mertes as our point of departure. Mertes considers two conceptions of genetic parenthood—one invoking genetic resemblance, and the other genetic inheritance—and presents counter-examples to both conceptions. We revise Mertes’ second conception so as to avoid these and related counter-examples.
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  12.  18
    Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice.David Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Traditional means of crime prevention, such as incarceration and psychological rehabilitation, are frequently ineffective. This collection considers how crime preventing neurointerventions could present a more humane alternative but, on the other hand, how neuroscientific developments and interventions may threaten fundamental human values.
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  13. Are You Morally Modified?: The Moral Effects of Widely Used Pharmaceuticals.Neil Levy, Thomas Douglas, Guy Kahane, Sylvia Terbeck, Philip J. Cowen, Miles Hewstone & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 21 (2):111-125.
    A number of concerns have been raised about the possible future use of pharmaceuticals designed to enhance cognitive, affective, and motivational processes, particularly where the aim is to produce morally better decisions or behavior. In this article, we draw attention to what is arguably a more worrying possibility: that pharmaceuticals currently in widespread therapeutic use are already having unintended effects on these processes, and thus on moral decision making and morally significant behavior. We review current evidence on the moral effects (...)
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  14. Selecting Against Disability: The Liberal Eugenic Challenge and the Argument From Cognitive Diversity.Christopher Gyngell & Thomas Douglas - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (2):319-340.
    Selection against embryos that are predisposed to develop disabilities is one of the less controversial uses of embryo selection technologies. Many bio-conservatives argue that while the use of ESTs to select for non-disease-related traits, such as height and eye-colour, should be banned, their use to avoid disease and disability should be permitted. Nevertheless, there remains significant opposition, particularly from the disability rights movement, to the use of ESTs to select against disability. In this article we examine whether and why the (...)
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  15. Synthetic Biology and the Ethics of Knowledge.T. Douglas & J. Savulescu - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (11):687-693.
    Synthetic biologists aim to generate biological organisms according to rational design principles. Their work may have many beneficial applications, but it also raises potentially serious ethical concerns. In this article, we consider what attention the discipline demands from bioethicists. We argue that the most important issue for ethicists to examine is the risk that knowledge from synthetic biology will be misused, for example, in biological terrorism or warfare. To adequately address this concern, bioethics will need to broaden its scope, contemplating (...)
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  16. Biological Interventions for Crime Prevention.Christopher Chew, Thomas Douglas & Nadira Faber - forthcoming - In David Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.), Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter sets the scene for the subsequent philosophical discussions by surveying a number of biological interventions that have been used, or might in the future be used, for the purposes of crime prevention. These interventions are pharmaceutical interventions intended to suppress libido, treat substance abuse or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or modulate serotonin activity; nutritional interventions; and electrical and magnetic brain stimulation. Where applicable, we briefly comment on the historical use of these interventions, and in each case we discuss (...)
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  17.  18
    Enhancement and Desert.Thomas Douglas - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (1):3-22.
    It is sometimes claimed that those who succeed with the aid of enhancement technologies deserve the rewards associated with their success less, other things being equal, than those who succeed without the aid of such technologies. This claim captures some widely held intuitions, has been implicitly endorsed by participants in social–psychological research and helps to undergird some otherwise puzzling philosophical objections to the use of enhancement technologies. I consider whether it can be provided with a rational basis. I examine three (...)
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  18.  35
    Why is Cognitive Enhancement Deemed Unacceptable? The Role of Fairness, Deservingness, and Hollow Achievements.Nadira S. Faber, Julian Savulescu & Thomas Douglas - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
    We ask why pharmacological cognitive enhancement (PCE) is generally deemed morally unacceptable by lay people. Our approach to this question has two core elements. First, we employ an interdisciplinary perspective, using philosophical rationales as base for generating psychological models. Second, by testing these models we investigate how different normative judgments on PCE are related to each other. Based on an analysis of the relevant philosophical literature, we derive two psychological models that can potentially explain the judgment that PCE is unacceptable: (...)
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  19.  92
    Stocking the Genetic Supermarket: Reproductive Genetic Technologies and Collective Action Problems.Chris Gyngell & Thomas Douglas - 2015 - Bioethics 29 (4):241-250.
    Reproductive genetic technologies allow parents to decide whether their future children will have or lack certain genetic predispositions. A popular model that has been proposed for regulating access to RGTs is the ‘genetic supermarket’. In the genetic supermarket, parents are free to make decisions about which genes to select for their children with little state interference. One possible consequence of the genetic supermarket is that collective action problems will arise: if rational individuals use the genetic supermarket in isolation from one (...)
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  20. Neuro-Interventions as Criminal Rehabilitation: An Ethical Review.Jonathan Pugh & Thomas Douglas - 2017 - In Jonathan D. Jacobs & Jonathan Jackson (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics. London: Routledge.
    According to a number of influential views in penal theory, 1 one of the primary goals of the criminal justice system is to rehabilitate offenders. Rehabilitativemeasures are commonly included as a part of a criminal sentence. For example, in some jurisdictions judges may order violent offenders to attend anger management classes or to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy as a part of their sentences. In a limited number of cases, neurointerventions — interventions that exert a direct biological effect on the brain (...)
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  21.  39
    Influenza Vaccination Strategies Should Target Children.Ben Bambery, Thomas Douglas, Michael J. Selgelid, Hannah Maslen, Alberto Giubilini, Andrew J. Pollard & Julian Savulescu - 2018 - Public Health Ethics 11 (2):221-234.
    Strategies to increase influenza vaccination rates have typically targeted healthcare professionals and individuals in various high-risk groups such as the elderly. We argue that they should focus on increasing vaccination rates in children. Because children suffer higher influenza incidence rates than any other demographic group, and are major drivers of seasonal influenza epidemics, we argue that influenza vaccination strategies that serve to increase uptake rates in children are likely to be more effective in reducing influenza-related morbidity and mortality than those (...)
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  22.  79
    Coercion, Incarceration, and Chemical Castration: An Argument From Autonomy.Thomas Douglas, Pieter Bonte, Farah Focquaert, Katrien Devolder & Sigrid Sterckx - 2013 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (3):393-405.
    In several jurisdictions, sex offenders may be offered chemical castration as an alternative to further incarceration. In some, agreement to chemical castration may be made a formal condition of parole or release. In others, refusal to undergo chemical castration can increase the likelihood of further incarceration though no formal link is made between the two. Offering chemical castration as an alternative to further incarceration is often said to be partially coercive, thus rendering the offender’s consent invalid. The dominant response to (...)
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  23. The Morality of Moral Neuroenhancement.Thomas Douglas - forthcoming - In Clausen Jens & Levy Neil (eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics. Springer.
    This chapter reviews recent philosophical and neuroethical literature on the morality of moral neuroenhancements. It first briefly outlines the main moral arguments that have been made concerning moral status neuroenhancements. These are neurointerventions that would augment the moral status of human persons. It then surveys recent debate regarding moral desirability neuroenhancements: neurointerventions that augment that the moral desirability of human character traits, motives or conduct. This debate has contested, among other claims (i) Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu’s contention that there (...)
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  24. Justifications for Non-­Consensual Medical Intervention: From Infectious Disease Control to Criminal Rehabilitation.Jonathan Pugh & Thomas Douglas - 2016 - Criminal Justice Ethics 35 (3):205-229.
    A central tenet of medical ethics holds that it is permissible to perform a medical intervention on a competent individual only if that individual has given informed consent to the intervention. However, in some circumstances it is tempting to say that the moral reason to obtain informed consent prior to administering a medical intervention is outweighed. For example, if an individual’s refusal to undergo a medical intervention would lead to the transmission of a dangerous infectious disease to other members of (...)
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  25. Impartiality and Infectious Disease: Prioritizing Individuals Versus the Collective in Antibiotic Prescription.Bernadine Dao, Thomas Douglas, Alberto Giubilini, Julian Savulescu, Michael Selgelid & Nadira S. Faber - 2019 - AJOB Empirical Bioethics 10 (1):63-69.
    Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health disaster driven largely by antibiotic use in human health care. Doctors considering whether to prescribe antibiotics face an ethical conflict between upholding individual patient health and advancing public health aims. Existing literature mainly examines whether patients awaiting consultations desire or expect to receive antibiotic prescriptions, but does not report views of the wider public regarding conditions under which doctors should prescribe antibiotics. It also does not explore the ethical significance of public views (...)
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  26. Enhancement and Civic Virtue.Will Jefferson, Thomas Douglas, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Social Theory and Practice 40 (3):499-527.
    Opponents of biomedical enhancement frequently adopt what Allen Buchanan has called the “Personal Goods Assumption.” On this assumption, the benefits of biomedical enhancement will accrue primarily to those individuals who undergo enhancements, not to wider society. Buchanan has argued that biomedical enhancements might in fact have substantial social benefits by increasing productivity. We outline another way in which enhancements might benefit wider society: by augmenting civic virtue and thus improving the functioning of our political communities. We thus directly confront critics (...)
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  27.  39
    The Regulation of Cognitive Enhancement Devices : Extending the Medical Model.Hannah Maslen, Thomas Douglas, Roi Cohen Kadosh, Neil Levy & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Journal of Law and the Biosciences 1 (1):68-93.
    This article presents a model for regulating cognitive enhancement devices. Recently, it has become very easy for individuals to purchase devices which directly modulate brain function. For example, transcranial direct current stimulators are increasingly being produced and marketed online as devices for cognitive enhancement. Despite posing risks in a similar way to medical devices, devices that do not make any therapeutic claims do not have to meet anything more than basic product safety standards. We present the case for extending existing (...)
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  28.  38
    Procreative Altruism: Beyond Individualism in Reproductive Selection.Thomas Douglas & Katrien Devolder - 2013 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 38 (4):400-419.
    Existing debate on procreative selection focuses on the well-being of the future child. However, selection decisions can also have significant effects on the well-being of others. Moreover, these effects may run in opposing directions; some traits conducive to the well-being of the selected child may be harmful to others, whereas other traits that limit the child’s well-being may preserve or increase that of others. Prominent selection principles defended to date instruct parents to select a child, of the possible children they (...)
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  29. Risk Assessment Tools in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychiatry: The Need for Better Data.Thomas Douglas, Jonathan Pugh, Illina Singh, Julian Savulescu & Seena Fazel - 2017 - European Psychiatry 42:134-137.
    Violence risk assessment tools are increasingly used within criminal justice and forensic psychiatry, however there is little relevant, reliable and unbiased data regarding their predictive accuracy. We argue that such data are needed to (i) prevent excessive reliance on risk assessment scores, (ii) allow matching of different risk assessment tools to different contexts of application, (iii) protect against problematic forms of discrimination and stigmatisation, and (iv) ensure that contentious demographic variables are not prematurely removed from risk assessment tools.
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  30.  97
    Forensic Brain-Reading and Mental Privacy in European Human Rights Law: Foundations and Challenges.Sjors Ligthart, Thomas Douglas, Christoph Bublitz, Tijs Kooijmans & Gerben Meynen - 2020 - Neuroethics (2):1-13.
    A central question in the current neurolegal and neuroethical literature is how brain-reading technologies could contribute to criminal justice. Some of these technologies have already been deployed within different criminal justice systems in Europe, including Slovenia, Italy, England and Wales, and the Netherlands, typically to determine guilt, legal responsibility, or recidivism risk. In this regard, the question arises whether brain-reading could permissibly be used against the person's will. To provide adequate legal protection from such non-consensual brain-reading in the European legal (...)
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  31. Enhancement, Biomedical.Thomas Douglas - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Biomedical technologies can increasingly be used not only to combat disease, but also to augment the capacities or traits of normal, healthy people – a practice commonly referred to as biomedical enhancement. Perhaps the best‐established examples of biomedical enhancement are cosmetic surgery and doping in sports. But most recent scientific attention and ethical debate focuses on extending lifespan, lifting mood, and augmenting cognitive capacities.
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  32. Human Enhancement and Supra-Personal Moral Status.Thomas Douglas - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):473-497.
    Several authors have speculated that (1) the pharmaceutical, genetic or other technological enhancement of human mental capacities could result in the creation of beings with greater moral status than persons, and (2) the creation of such beings would harm ordinary, unenhanced humans, perhaps by reducing their immunity to permissible harm. These claims have been taken to ground moral objections to the unrestrained pursuit of human enhancement. In recent work, Allen Buchanan responds to these objections by questioning both (1) and (2). (...)
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  33.  15
    Gene Editing, Identity and Benefit.Thomas Douglas & Katrien Devolder - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 1:pqab029.
    Some suggest that gene editing human embryos to prevent genetic disorders will be in one respect morally preferable to using genetic selection for the same purpose: gene editing will benefit particular future persons, while genetic selection would merely replace them. We first construct the most plausible defence of this suggestion—the benefit argument—and defend it against a possible objection. We then advance another objection: the benefit argument succeeds only when restricted to cases in which the gene-edited child would have been brought (...)
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  34.  67
    Is the Creation of Artificial Life Morally Significant?Thomas Douglas, Russell Powell & Julian Savulescu - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4b):688-696.
    In 2010, the Venter lab announced that it had created the first bacterium with an entirely synthetic genome. This was reported to be the first instance of ‘artificial life,’ and in the ethical and policy discussions that followed it was widely assumed that the creation of artificial life is in itself morally significant. We cast doubt on this assumption. First we offer an account of the creation of artificial life that distinguishes this from the derivation of organisms from existing life (...)
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  35.  43
    Taxing Meat: Taking Responsibility for One’s Contribution to Antibiotic Resistance.Hannah Maslen, Julian Savulescu, Thomas Douglas, Patrick Birkl & Alberto Giubilini - 2017 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 30 (2):179-198.
    Antibiotic use in animal farming is one of the main drivers of antibiotic resistance both in animals and in humans. In this paper we propose that one feasible and fair way to address this problem is to tax animal products obtained with the use of antibiotics. We argue that such tax is supported both by deontological arguments, which are based on the duty individuals have to compensate society for the antibiotic resistance to which they are contributing through consumption of animal (...)
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  36. Autonomy and the Ethics of Biological Behaviour Modification.Julian Savulescu, Thomas Douglas & Ingmar Persson - 2014 - In Akira Akabayashi (ed.), The Future of Bioethics: International Dialogues. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Much disease and disability is the result of lifestyle behaviours. For example, the contribution of imprudence in the form of smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and drug and alcohol abuse to ill-health is now well established. More importantly, some of the greatest challenges facing humanity as a whole – climate change, terrorism, global poverty, depletion of resources, abuse of children, overpopulation – are the result of human behaviour. In this chapter, we will explore the possibility of using advances in the (...)
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  37. Is Preventive Detention Morally Worse Than Quarantine?Thomas Douglas - 2019 - In Jan W. De Keijser, Julian Roberts & Jesper Ryberg (eds.), Predictive Sentencing: Normative and Empirical Perspectives. London: Hart Publishing.
    In some jurisdictions, the institutions of criminal justice may subject individuals who have committed crimes to preventive detention. By this, I mean detention of criminal offenders (i) who have already been punished to (or beyond) the point that no further punishment can be justified on general deterrent, retributive, restitutory, communicative or other backwardlooking grounds, (ii) for preventive purposes—that is, for the purposes of preventing the detained individual from engaging in further criminal or otherwise socially costly conduct. Preventive detention, thus understood, (...)
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  38.  51
    Genome Editing Technologies and Human Germline Genetic Modification: The Hinxton Group Consensus Statement.Sarah Chan, Peter J. Donovan, Thomas Douglas, Chris Gyngell, John Harris, Robin Lovell-Badge, Debra J. H. Mathews & Alan Regenberg - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (12):42-47.
    The prospect of using genome technologies to modify the human germline has raised profound moral disagreement but also emphasizes the need for wide-ranging discussion and a well-informed policy response. The Hinxton Group brought together scientists, ethicists, policymakers, and journal editors for an international, interdisciplinary meeting on this subject. This consensus statement formulated by the group calls for support of genome editing research and the development of a scientific roadmap for safety and efficacy; recognizes the ethical challenges involved in clinical reproductive (...)
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  39. Enhancement in Sport, and Enhancement Outside Sport.Thomas Douglas - 2007 - Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 1 (1).
    Sport is one of the first areas in which enhancement has become commonplace. It is also one of the first areas in which the use of enhancement technologies has been heavily regulated. Some have thus seen sport as a testing ground for arguments about whether to permit enhancement. However, I argue that there are fairness-based objections to enhancement in sport that do not apply as strongly in some other areas of human activity. Thus, I claim that there will often be (...)
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  40.  39
    Philosophical Medical Ethics: More Necessary Than Ever.Julian Savulescu, Thomas Douglas & Dominic Wilkinson - 2018 - Journal of Medical Ethics 44 (7):434-435.
    When we applied for the editorship of the JME 7 years ago, we said that we considered the JME to be the most important journal in medicine. The most profound questions that health professionals face are not scientific or technical, but ethical. Our enormous scientific and medical progress already outstrips our capability to provide treatment. Life can be prolonged at enormous cost, sometimes far beyond the point that the individual appears to be gaining a net benefit from that life. Science (...)
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  41. The Future of Neuroethics and the Relevance of the Law.Sjors Ligthart, Thomas Douglas, Christoph Bublitz & Gerben Meynen - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 10 (3):120-121.
    Open Peer Commentary, referring to "Neuroethics at 15: The Current and Future Environment for Neuroethics".
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  42. The Harms of Status Enhancement Could Be Compensated or Outweighed: A Response to Agar.Thomas Douglas - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (2):75-76.
    Nicholas Agar argues, that enhancement technologies could be used to create post-persons—beings of higher moral status than ordinary persons—and that it would be wrong to create such beings.1 I am sympathetic to the first claim. However, I wish to take issue with the second.Agar's second claim is grounded on the prediction that the creation of post-persons would, with at least moderate probability, harm those who remain mere persons. The harm that Agar has in mind here is a kind of meta-harm: (...)
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  43.  31
    Procreative Beneficence and in Vitro Gametogenesis.Hannah Bourne, Thomas Douglas & Julian Savulescu - 2012 - Monash Bioethics Review 30 (2):29-48.
    The Principle of Procreative Beneficence (PB) holds that when a couple plans to have a child, they have significant moral reason to select, of the possible children they could have, the child who is most likely to experience the greatest wellbeing – that is, the most advantaged child, the child with the best chance at the best life.1 PB captures the common sense intuitions of many about reproductive decisions. PB does not posit an absolute moral obligation – it does not (...)
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  44.  50
    Do-It-Yourself Brain Stimulation: A Regulatory Model.Hannah Maslen, Tom Douglas, Roi Cohen Kadosh, Neil Levy & Julian Savulescu - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (5):413-414.
  45.  74
    The Relationship Between Effort and Moral Worth: Three Amendments to Sorensen’s Model.Thomas Douglas - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):325-334.
    Kelly Sorensen defends a model of the relationship between effort and moral worth in which the effort exerted in performing a morally desirable action contributes positively to the action’s moral worth, but the effort required to perform the action detracts from its moral worth. I argue that Sorensen’s model, though on the right track, is mistaken in three ways. First, it fails to capture the relevance of counterfactual effort to moral worth. Second, it wrongly implies that exerting unnecessary effort confers (...)
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  46.  55
    The Unilateralist’s Curse and the Case for a Principle of Conformity.Nick Bostrom, Thomas Douglas & Anders Sandberg - 2016 - Social Epistemology 30 (4):350-371.
    In some situations a number of agents each have the ability to undertake an initiative that would have significant effects on the others. Suppose that each of these agents is purely motivated by an altruistic concern for the common good. We show that if each agent acts on her own personal judgment as to whether the initiative should be undertaken, then the initiative will be undertaken more often than is optimal. We suggest that this phenomenon, which we call the unilateralist’s (...)
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  47.  4
    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.
    Many states recognize a legal right to bodily integrity, understood as a right against significant, nonconsensual interference with one’s body. Recently, some have called for the recognition of an analogous legal right to mental integrity: a right against significant, nonconsensual interference with one’s mind. In this chapter, we describe and distinguish three different rationales for recognizing such a right. The first appeals to case-based intuitions to establish a distinctive duty not to interfere with others’ minds; the second holds that, if (...)
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  48.  11
    Cognitive Enhancement and Motivation Enhancement: An Empirical Comparison of Intuitive Judgments.Nadira S. Faber, Thomas Douglas, Felix Heise & Miles Hewstone - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 6 (1):18-20.
    In an empirical study, we compared how lay people judge motivation enhancement as opposed to cognitive enhancement. We found alienation is not seen as a danger associated with either form of enhancement. Cognitive enhancement is seen as more morally wrong than motivation enhancement, and users of cognitive enhancement tend to be judged as less deserving of praise and success than users of motivation enhancement. These more negative judgments of cognitive enhancement may be driven by differences in perceived fairness rather than (...)
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    The Harms of Enhancement and the Conclusive Reasons View.Thomas Douglas - 2015 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 24 (1):23-36.
    Many critics of bioenhancement go to considerable lengths to establish the existence of reasons against pursuing bioenhancements but do little to establish the absence of reasons in favor. This suggests that they accept what Allen Buchanan has called the conclusive reasons view . According to this view, our reasons against bioenhancement are obviously decisive, so there is no need to balance them against countervailing reasons. Buchanan criticizes the CRV by showing that the reasons most commonly adduced against bioenhancement are not (...)
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    Disease, Normality, and Current Pharmacological Moral Modification.Neil Levy, Thomas Douglas, Guy Kahane, Sylvia Terbeck, Philip J. Cowen, Miles Hewstone & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 21 (2):135-137.
    Response to commentary. We are grateful to Crockett and Craigie for their interesting remarks on our paper. We accept Crockett’s claim that there is a need for caution in drawing inferences about patient groups from work on healthy volunteers in the laboratory. However, we believe that the evidence we cited established a strong presumption that many of the patients who are routinely taking a medication, including many people properly prescribed the medication for a medical condition, have morally significant aspects of (...)
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