Engendering moral post‐persons: A novel self‐help strategy

Bioethics 34 (7):679-686 (2020)
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Humans are morally deficient in a variety of ways. Some of these deficiencies threaten the continued existence of our species. For example, we appear to be incapable of responding to climate change in ways that are likely to prevent the consequent suffering. Some people are morally better than others, but we could all be better. The price of not becoming morally better is that when those events that threaten us occur, we will suffer from them. If we can prevent this suffering from occurring, then we ought to do so. That we ought to make ourselves morally better in order to prevent very bad things from happening justifies, according to some, the development and administration of moral enhancement. I address in this paper the idea that moral enhancement could give rise to moral transhumans, or moral post-persons. Contrary to recent arguments that we shouldn’t engender moral post-persons, I argue that we should. Roughly, the reasons for this conclusion are that we can expect moral post-persons to resemble the morally best of us, our moral exemplars. Since moral exemplars promote their interests by promoting the interests of others (or they promote others’ interests at the expense of their own) we can expect moral post-persons to pursue our interests. Since we should also pursue our own interests, we should bring about moral post-persons.

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Parker Crutchfield
Western Michigan University School Of Medicine


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