Cognitive Enhancement and Network Effects: How Individual Prosperity Depends on Group Traits

Philosophia 48:1753-1768 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A central debate in bioethics is whether parents should try to influence the genetic basis of their children’s traits. We argue that the case for using mate selection, embryo selection, and other interventions to enhance heritable traits like intelligence is strengthened by the fact that they seem to have positive network effects. These network effects include increased cooperation in collective action problems, which contributes to social trust and prosperity. We begin with an overview of evidence for these claims, and then argue that if individual welfare is largely a function of group traits, parents should try to preserve or enhance cognitive traits that have positive network effects.

Author's Profile

Jonathan Anomaly
Duke University


Added to PP

457 (#22,135)

6 months
65 (#24,300)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?