Review of John Harris, How to Be Good: The Possibility of Moral Enhancement, Oxford University Press, 2016 [Book Review]

Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2018 (2018)
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Abstract

John Harris's influential work on human enhancement has advocated the development, use, and exchange of human enhancement technologies. The types of enhancements that are of interest are biomedical interventions that are used to improve human capacities beyond what is necessary to achieve or maintain health or "normal functioning". This new book is unique in Harris's body of work in that it takes a more cautious stance regarding moral enhancements than he has taken toward other forms of human enhancement, such as cognitive enhancements. I examine and evaluate Harris's main arguments for this cautious stance. Two of the main issues that are discussed are: (1) whether it would be unethical for someone to use biomedical technologies to become less racist and (2) whether it would be unethical for someone to use biomedical technologies to reduce impulsive violent aggression.

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Daniel Moseley
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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