Laura Palazzani

Moral Bioenhancement: Arguments for a Critical Evaluation

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Enhancement; Technological Shortcut; Achievement; Moral Freedom; Justice.

The article focuses on moral enhancement, starting with a description of the main arguments in favour of it (protection from global catastrophes, therapy/enhancement equivalence, enhancing evolution, technological shortcut). The author critically argues that there is a lack of scientific plausibility of moral enhancement (no evidence of safety and efficacy, experimentation problems, reductionism unacceptability) and non-plausibility, on the philosophical level, due to anthropological complexity of moral feelings and thoughts (above all empathy), interaction between physical, mental aspects and the environment, the impossibility to program moral character and virtue, the opposition between enhancement and achievement, the risks of pharmaco-centrism, the restriction of liberty and the challenges to justice. The objections to moral enhancement do not mean the legitimacy of using pharmaceuticals and technologies, also experimental, in exceptional conditions, to treat mental illness for therapeutic purposes. A critical discussion on moral enhancement needs public engagement.

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