Moral Enhancement, Self-Governance, and Resistance

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):547-567 (2018)
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John Harris recently argues that the moral bioenhancement proposed by Persson and Savulescu can damage moral agency by depriving the recipients of their freedom to fall (freedom to make wrongful choices) and therefore should not be pursued. The link Harris makes between moral agency and the freedom to fall, however, implies that all forms of moral enhancement, including moral education, that aim to make the enhancement recipients less likely to “fall” are detrimental to moral agency. In this paper, I present a new moral agency-based critique against the moral bioenhancement program envisaged by Persson and Savulescu. I argue that the irresistible influences exerted by the bioenhancement program harms our capabilities for conducting accurate self-reflection and forming decisions that truly express our will, which subsequently undermine our moral agency.


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Pei-Hua Huang
University of Adelaide

Citations of this work

Self-identity in emotion enhancement.Duoyi Fei - 2023 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):1-22.
The Moral Imperative to Morally Enhance.Ysabel Johnston, Jeffrey P. Bishop & Griffin Trotter - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):485-489.

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References found in this work

Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Thomas E. Hill & Arnulf Zweig.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829-839.

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