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Brian D. Earp [29]Brian Earp [3]
  1. Racial Justice Requires Ending the War on Drugs.Brian D. Earp, Jonathan Lewis, Carl L. Hart & Walter Veit - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (4):4-19.
    Historically, laws and policies to criminalize drug use or possession were rooted in explicit racism, and they continue to wreak havoc on certain racialized communities. We are a group of bioethicists, drug experts, legal scholars, criminal justice researchers, sociologists, psychologists, and other allied professionals who have come together in support of a policy proposal that is evidence-based and ethically recommended. We call for the immediate decriminalization of all so-called recreational drugs and, ultimately, for their timely and appropriate legal regulation. We (...)
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  2. Recognizing the Diversity of Cognitive Enhancements.Walter Veit, Brian D. Earp, Nadira Faber, Nick Bostrom, Justin Caouette, Adriano Mannino, Lucius Caviola, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 11 (4):250-253.
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  3. Evaluating Tradeoffs between Autonomy and Wellbeing in Supported Decision Making.Julian Savulescu, Heather Browning, Brian D. Earp & Walter Veit - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (11):21-24.
    A core challenge for contemporary bioethics is how to address the tension between respecting an individual’s autonomy and promoting their wellbeing when these ideals seem to come into conflict (Not...
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  4. Experimental Philosophical Bioethics and Normative Inference.Brian D. Earp, Jonathan Lewis, Vilius Dranseika & Ivar R. Hannikainen - 2021 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 42 (3-4):91-111.
    This paper explores an emerging sub-field of both empirical bioethics and experimental philosophy, which has been called “experimental philosophical bioethics” (bioxphi). As an empirical discipline, bioxphi adopts the methods of experimental moral psychology and cognitive science; it does so to make sense of the eliciting factors and underlying cognitive processes that shape people’s moral judgments, particularly about real-world matters of bioethical concern. Yet, as a normative discipline situated within the broader field of bioethics, it also aims to contribute to substantive (...)
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  5. In Science We Trust? Being Honest About the Limits of Medical Research During COVID-19.Walter Veit, Rebecca Brown & Brian D. Earp - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (1):22-24.
    As a result of the world-wide COVID-19 epidemic, an internal tension in the goals of medicine has come to the forefront of public debate. Medical professionals are continuously faced with a tug of...
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  6. Does encouraging a belief in determinism increase cheating? Reconsidering the value of believing in free will.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jason Shepard, Damien L. Crone, Jim A. C. Everett, Brian D. Earp & Neil Levy - 2020 - Cognition 203 (C):104342.
    A key source of support for the view that challenging people’s beliefs about free will may undermine moral behavior is two classic studies by Vohs and Schooler (2008). These authors reported that exposure to certain prompts suggesting that free will is an illusion increased cheating behavior. In the present paper, we report several attempts to replicate this influential and widely cited work. Over a series of five studies (sample sizes of N = 162, N = 283, N = 268, N (...)
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  7. Beyond sacrificial harm: A two-dimensional model of utilitarian psychology.Guy Kahane, Jim A. C. Everett, Brian D. Earp, Lucius Caviola, Nadira S. Faber, Molly J. Crockett & Julian Savulescu - 2018 - Psychological Review 125 (2):131-164.
    Recent research has relied on trolley-type sacrificial moral dilemmas to study utilitarian versus nonutili- tarian modes of moral decision-making. This research has generated important insights into people’s attitudes toward instrumental harm—that is, the sacrifice of an individual to save a greater number. But this approach also has serious limitations. Most notably, it ignores the positive, altruistic core of utilitarianism, which is characterized by impartial concern for the well-being of everyone, whether near or far. Here, we develop, refine, and validate a (...)
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  8. The Quantified Relationship.John Danaher, Sven Nyholm & Brian D. Earp - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics 18 (2):3-19.
    The growth of self-tracking and personal surveillance has given rise to the Quantified Self movement. Members of this movement seek to enhance their personal well-being, productivity, and self-actualization through the tracking and gamification of personal data. The technologies that make this possible can also track and gamify aspects of our interpersonal, romantic relationships. Several authors have begun to challenge the ethical and normative implications of this development. In this article, we build upon this work to provide a detailed ethical analysis (...)
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  9. If I Could Just Stop Loving You: Anti-Love Biotechnology and the Ethics of a Chemical Breakup.Brian D. Earp, Olga A. Wudarczyk, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics 13 (11):3-17.
    “Love hurts”—as the saying goes—and a certain amount of pain and difficulty in intimate relationships is unavoidable. Sometimes it may even be beneficial, since adversity can lead to personal growth, self-discovery, and a range of other components of a life well-lived. But other times, love can be downright dangerous. It may bind a spouse to her domestic abuser, draw an unscrupulous adult toward sexual involvement with a child, put someone under the insidious spell of a cult leader, and even inspire (...)
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  10. The Medicalization of Love.Brian D. Earp, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu - 2015 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 24 (3):323-336.
    Pharmaceuticals or other emerging technologies could be used to enhance (or diminish) feelings of lust, attraction, and attachment in adult romantic partnerships. While such interventions could conceivably be used to promote individual (and couple) well-being, their widespread development and/or adoption might lead to “medicalization” of human love and heartache—for some, a source of serious concern. In this essay, we argue that the “medicalization of love” need not necessarily be problematic, on balance, but could plausibly be expected to have either good (...)
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  11. Addiction, Identity, Morality.Brian D. Earp, Joshua August Skorburg, Jim A. C. Everett & Julian Savulescu - 2019 - AJOB Empirical Bioethics 10 (2):136-153.
    Background: Recent literature on addiction and judgments about the characteristics of agents has focused on the implications of adopting a ‘brain disease’ versus ‘moral weakness’ model of addiction. Typically, such judgments have to do with what capacities an agent has (e.g., the ability to abstain from substance use). Much less work, however, has been conducted on the relationship between addiction and judgments about an agent’s identity, including whether or to what extent an individual is seen as the same person after (...)
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  12. How to Use AI Ethically for Ethical Decision-Making.Joanna Demaree-Cotton, Brian D. Earp & Julian Savulescu - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (7):1-3.
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  13. Are Generational Welfare Trades Always Unjust?Walter Veit, Julian Savulescu, David Hunter, Brian D. Earp & Dominic Wilkinson - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (9):70-72.
    In their thoughtful article, Malm and Navin (2020) raise concerns about a potentially unjust generational welfare tradeoff between children and adults when it comes to chicken pox. We share their c...
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  14. Bioethics, Experimental Approaches.Jonathan Lewis, Joanna Demaree-Cotton & Brian Earp - 2023 - In M. Sellers & S. Kirste (eds.), Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 279-286.
    This entry summarizes an emerging subdiscipline of both empirical bioethics and experimental philosophy (“x-phi”) which has variously been referred to as experimental philosophical bioethics, experimental bioethics, or simply “bioxphi”. Like empirical bioethics, bioxphi uses data-driven research methods to capture what various stakeholders think (feel, judge, etc.) about moral issues of relevance to bioethics. However, like its other parent discipline of x-phi, bioxphi tends to favor experiment-based designs drawn from the cognitive sciences – including psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics – to (...)
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  15. Moral Neuroenhancement.Brian D. Earp, Thomas Douglas & Julian Savulescu - 2017 - In L. Syd M. Johnson & Karen S. Rommelfanger (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. Routledge.
    In this chapter, we introduce the notion of “moral neuroenhancement,” offering a novel definition as well as spelling out three conditions under which we expect that such neuroenhancement would be most likely to be permissible (or even desirable). Furthermore, we draw a distinction between first-order moral capacities, which we suggest are less promising targets for neurointervention, and second-order moral capacities, which we suggest are more promising. We conclude by discussing concerns that moral neuroenhancement might restrict freedom or otherwise “misfire,” and (...)
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  16. Why do evaluative judgments affect emotion attributions? The roles of judgments about fittingness and the true self.Michael Prinzing, Brian D. Earp & Joshua Knobe - 2023 - Cognition 239 (C):105579.
    Past research has found that the value of a person's activities can affect observers' judgments about whether that person is experiencing certain emotions (e.g., people consider morally good agents happier than morally bad agents). One proposed explanation for this effect is that emotion attributions are influenced by judgments about fittingness (whether the emotion is merited). Another hypothesis is that emotion attributions are influenced by judgments about the agent's true self (whether the emotion reflects how the agent feels “deep down”). We (...)
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  17. Brain stimulation for treatment and enhancement in children: an ethical analysis.Hannah Maslen, Brian D. Earp, Roi Cohen Kadosh & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8.
    Davis called for “extreme caution” in the use of non-invasive brain stimulation to treat neurological disorders in children, due to gaps in scientific knowledge. We are sympathetic to his position. However, we must also address the ethical implications of applying this technology to minors. Compensatory trade-offs associated with NIBS present a challenge to its use in children, insofar as these trade-offs have the effect of limiting the child’s future options. The distinction between treatment and enhancement has some normative force here. (...)
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  18. Should we campaign against sex robots?John Danaher, Brian D. Earp & Anders Sandberg - 2017 - In John Danaher & Neil McArthur (eds.), Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    In September 2015 a well-publicised Campaign Against Sex Robots (CASR) was launched. Modelled on the longer-standing Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, the CASR opposes the development of sex robots on the grounds that the technology is being developed with a particular model of female-male relations (the prostitute-john model) in mind, and that this will prove harmful in various ways. In this chapter, we consider carefully the merits of campaigning against such a technology. We make three main arguments. First, we argue (...)
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  19. The Ordinary Concept of True Love.Brian Earp, Daniel Do & Joshua Knobe - 2024 - In Christopher Grau & Aaron Smuts (eds.), "Introduction" for the Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Love. NYC: Oxford University Press.
    When we say that what two people feel for each other is 'true love,' we seem to be doing more than simply clarifying that it is in fact love they feel, as opposed to something else. That is, an experience or relationship might be a genuine or actual instance of love without necessarily being an instance of true love. But what criteria do people use to determine whether something counts as true love? This chapter explores three hypotheses. The first holds (...)
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  20. Evaluating Tradeoffs between Autonomy and Wellbeing in Supported Decision Making.Walter Veit, Brian Earp, Heather Browning & Julian Savulescu - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (11):21-24.
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  21. Hymen 'restoration' in cultures of oppression: how can physicians promote individual patient welfare without becoming complicit in the perpetuation of unjust social norms?Brian D. Earp - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (6):431-431.
    In this issue, Ahmadi1 reports on the practice of hymenoplasty—a surgical intervention meant to restore a presumed physical marker of virginity prior to a woman's marriage. As Mehri and Sills2 have stated, these women ‘want to ensure that blood is spilled on their wedding night sheets.’ Although Ahmadi's research was carried out in Iran specifically, this surgery is becoming increasingly popular in a number of Western countries as well, especially among Muslim populations.3 What are the ethics of hymen restoration?Consider the (...)
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  22. Pathways to Drug Liberalization: Racial Justice, Public Health, and Human Rights.Jonathan Lewis, Brian D. Earp & Carl L. Hart - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (9):W10-W12.
    In our recent article, together with more than 60 of our colleagues, we outlined a proposal for drug policy reform consisting of four specific yet interrelated strategies: (1) de jure decriminalization of all psychoactive substances currently deemed illicit for personal use or possession (so-called “recreational” drugs), accompanied by harm reduction policies and initiatives akin to the Portugal model; (2) expunging criminal convictions for nonviolent offenses pertaining to the use or possession of small quantities of such drugs (and releasing those serving (...)
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  23. Female genital mutilation (FGM) and male circumcision: Should there be a separate ethical discourse?Brian D. Earp - 2014 - Practical Ethics.
    It is sometimes argued that the non-therapeutic, non-consensual alteration of children‘s genitals should be discussed in two separate ethical discourses: one for girls (in which such alterations should be termed 'female genital mutilation' or FGM), and one for boys (in which such alterations should be termed 'male circumcision‘). In this article, I call into question the moral and empirical basis for such a distinction, and argue that all children - whether female, male, or indeed intersex - should be free from (...)
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  24. Sex and Circumcision.Brian D. Earp - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (2):43-45.
    What are the effects of circumcision on sexual function and experience? And what does sex—in the sense related to gender—have to do with the ethics of circumcision? Jacobs and Arora (2015) give short shrift to the first of these questions; and they do not seem to have considered the second. In this commentary, I explore the relationship between sex (in both senses) and infant male circumcision, and draw some conclusions about the ongoing debate regarding this controversial practice.
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  25. Does religion deserve a place in secular medicine?Brian D. Earp - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (11):865-866.
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  26. I can't get no (epistemic) satisfaction: Why the hard problem of consciousness entails a hard problem of explanation.Brian D. Earp - 2012 - Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 5 (1):14-20.
    Daniel Dennett (1996) has disputed David Chalmers' (1995) assertion that there is a "hard problem of consciousness" worth solving in the philosophy of mind. In this paper I defend Chalmers against Dennett on this point: I argue that there is a hard problem of consciousness, that it is distinct in kind from the so-called easy problems, and that it is vital for the sake of honest and productive research in the cognitive sciences to be clear about the difference. But I (...)
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  27. ‘Legitimate rape’, moral coherence, and degrees of sexual harm.Brian D. Earp - 2015 - Think 14 (41):9-20.
    In 2012, the politician Todd Akin caused a firestorm by suggesting, in the context of an argument about the moral permissibility of abortion, that some forms of rape were. This seemed to imply that other forms of rape must not be legitimate. In response, several commentators pointed out that rape is a and that there are. While the intention of these commentators was clear, I argue that they may have played into the very stereotype of rape endorsed by Akin. Such (...)
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  28. The Technological Future of Love.Sven Nyholm, John Danaher & Brian D. Earp - 2022 - In André Grahle, Natasha McKeever & Joe Saunders (eds.), Philosophy of Love in the Past, Present, and Future. Routledge. pp. 224-239.
    How might emerging and future technologies—sex robots, love drugs, anti-love drugs, or algorithms to track, quantify, and ‘gamify’ romantic relationships—change how we understand and value love? We canvass some of the main ethical worries posed by such technologies, while also considering whether there are reasons for “cautious optimism” about their implications for our lives. Along the way, we touch on some key ideas from the philosophies of love and technology.
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  29. Natural Selection, Childrearing, and the Ethics of Marriage (and Divorce): Building a Case for the Neuroenhancement of Human Relationships. [REVIEW]Brian D. Earp, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):561-587.
    We argue that the fragility of contemporary marriages—and the corresponding high rates of divorce—can be explained (in large part) by a three-part mismatch: between our relationship values, our evolved psychobiological natures, and our modern social, physical, and technological environment. “Love drugs” could help address this mismatch by boosting our psychobiologies while keeping our values and our environment intact. While individual couples should be free to use pharmacological interventions to sustain and improve their romantic connection, we suggest that they may have (...)
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  30. The Extinction of Masculine Generics.Brian D. Earp - 2012 - Journal for Communication and Culture 2 (1):4-19.
    In English, as in many other languages, male-gendered pronouns are sometimes used to refer not only to men, but to individuals whose gender is unknown or unspecified, to human beings in general (as in ―mankind‖) and sometimes even to females (as when the casual ―Hey guys‖ is spoken to a group of women). These so-called he/man or masculine generics have come under fire in recent decades for being sexist, even archaic, and positively harmful to women and girls; and advocates of (...)
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  31. Criticising religious practices.Brian D. Earp - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 63:15-17.
    In 2012, a German court ruled that religious circumcision of male minors constitutes criminal bodily assault. Muslim and Jewish groups responded with outrage, with some commentators pegging the ruling to Islamophobic and anti-Semitic motivations. In doing so, these commentators failed to engage with any of the legal and ethical arguments actually given by the court in its landmark decision. In this brief commentary, I argue that a firm distinction must be drawn between criticisms of religious practices that stem from irrational (...)
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  32. Science cannot determine human values.Brian D. Earp - 2016 - Think 15 (43):17-23.
    Sam Harris, in his book The Moral Landscape, argues that "science can determine human values." Against this view, I argue that while secular moral philosophy can certainly help us to determine our values, science must play a subservient role. To the extent that science can what we ought to do, it is only by providing us with empirical information, which can then be slotted into a chain of deductive reasoning. The premises of such reasoning, however, can in no way be (...)
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