Would Aristotle have seen the wrongness of slavery if he had undergone a course of moral enhancement?
Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Reason for embargo
Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by Cambridge University Press. 6-month embargo to be applied on publication
I agree with those proponents of bio-medical moral enhancement who claim that we face large-scale global moral problems which are currently un-recognised or un-acted upon. But I argue that the proposed bio-medical means for tackling them is misconceived. I show that both bio-medical and ‘traditional’ conceptions of moral enhancement share a misleading picture of the relation between the moral psychology of individuals and the socially structured moral problems with which they are faced. The argument unfolds in three stages. First I reflect on prominent historical cases of large-scale progressive moral change to assess the role of the agents’ moral psychology in bringing that about and sustaining it. Second, I identify some current cases of people recognising one or more of (what I call) the ‘new moral problems’ but not acting in accordance with that recognition. Third, I adumbrate an alternative stance to the idea of both traditional and bio-medical moral enhancement.
This is the author accepted manuscript.
In: Hauskeller M, Coyne L (eds), Moral Enhancement: Critical Perspectives