Moral Enhancement as a Possible Way Out

Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu

in Unfit for the Future

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199653645
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742033 | DOI:
Moral Enhancement as a Possible Way Out

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To enable liberal democracies to stop human induced climatic and environmental deterioriation it is then necessary to morally enhance their citizens, to make them appropriately concerned about the interests of future generations and of people world-wide. Since traditional methods of moral enhancement hitherto have been insufficient, this chapter suggests that we should also explore biomedical means of moral enhancement. It is argued that the central moral dispositions of altruism and a sense of justice have biological bases that are sensitive to drugs such as oxytocin. It is also argued that moral enhancement by biomedical means undercuts neither human freedom and responsibility, nor the influence of moral reasoning. However, it is admitted that research into biomedical agents of moral enhancement is still in its infancy and that it is too early to judge its fruitfulness. There is also the general difficulty that means of moral enhancement have to be administered by morally imperfect people.

Keywords: altruism; biomedical means,freedom; justice; moral enhancement; moral reasoning; responsibility; oxytocin

Chapter.  15104 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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