Supplementing Virtue: The Case for a Limited Theological Transhumanism

Theology and Science 15 (2):177-187 (2017)
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This paper considers the prospect of moral transhumanism from the perspective of theological virtue ethics. I argue that the pursuit of goodness inherent to moral transhumanism means that there is a compelling prima facie case for moral enhancement. However, I also show that the proposed enhancements would not by themselves allow us to achieve a life of virtue, as they appear unable to create or enhance prudence, the situational judgement essential for acting in accordance with virtue. I therefore argue that moral enhancement technologies should take a limited or supporting role in moral development, which I call ‘moral supplementation’.

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Author's Profile

Adam M. Willows
University of Winchester

References found in this work

Summa Theologiae (1265-1273).Thomas Aquinas - 1911 - Edited by John Mortensen & Enrique Alarcón.
Moral enhancement.Thomas Douglas - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.
A history of transhumanist thought.Nick Bostrom - 2005 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 14 (1):1-25.
In defense of posthuman dignity.Nick Bostrom - 2005 - Bioethics 19 (3):202–214.

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