Moral Enhancement, Self-Governance, and Resistance

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (5):547-567 (2018)
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John Harris recently argues that the moral bioenhancement proposed by Persson and Savulescu can damage moral agency by depriving the recipients of their freedom to fall (freedom to make wrongful choices) and therefore should not be pursued. The link Harris makes between moral agency and the freedom to fall, however, implies that all forms of moral enhancement, including moral education, that aim to make the enhancement recipients less likely to “fall” are detrimental to moral agency. In this paper, I present a new moral agency-based critique against the moral bioenhancement program envisaged by Persson and Savulescu. I argue that the irresistible influences exerted by the bioenhancement program harms our capabilities for conducting accurate self-reflection and forming decisions that truly express our will, which subsequently undermine our moral agency.
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