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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Moral enhancement and the good life

Hazem Zohny
Med Health Care and Philos (2018).
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11019-018-9868-4

Abstract

One approach to defining enhancement is in the form of bodily or mental changes that tend to improve a person’s well-being. Such a “welfarist account”, however, seems to conflict with moral enhancement: consider an intervention that improves someone’s moral motives but which ultimately diminishes their well-being. According to the welfarist account, this would not be an instance of enhancement—in fact, as I argue, it would count as a disability. This seems to pose a serious limitation for the account. Here, I elaborate on this limitation and argue that, despite it, there is a crucial role for such a welfarist account to play in our practical deliberations about moral enhancement. I do this by exploring four scenarios where a person’s motives are improved at the cost of their well-being. A framework emerges from these scenarios which can clarify disagreements about moral enhancement and help sharpen arguments for and against it.

The article is here.
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