The Epistemology of Moral Bioenhancement

Bioethics 30 (5):389-396 (2016)
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Moral bioenhancement is the potential practice of manipulating individuals’ moral behaviors by biological means in order to help resolve pressing moral issues such as climate change and terrorism. This practice has obvious ethical implications, and these implications have been and continue to be discussed in the bioethics literature. What have not been discussed are the epistemological implications of moral bioenhancement. This article details some of these implications of engaging in moral bioenhancement. The argument begins by making the distinction between moral bioenhancement that manipulates the contents of mental states and that which manipulates other, non-representational states. Either way, I argue, the enhanced moral psychology will fail to conform to epistemic norms, and the only way to resolve this failure and allow the moral bioenhancement to be effective in addressing the targeted moral issues is to make the moral bioenhancement covert.

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Parker Crutchfield
Western Michigan University School Of Medicine


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