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, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 141–151 | Cite as

Moral Bioenhancement Probably Won’t Improve Things for Animals (and May Make Them Worse)

  • Bob FischerEmail author
Article

Abstract

Persson and Savulescu are advocates for moral bioenhancement—i.e., using drug treatments and genetic engineering to enhance our core moral dispositions. Among other things, they suggest that moral bioenhancement would improve how we treat animals. My goal here is to argue that we have little reason to think that moral bioenhancement will help in this regard. What’s more, it may make things worse. This is because (a) there are cognitive mechanisms that lead us to discount animal interests relative to human interests—mechanisms not overridden by increased altruism and a stronger sense of justice—and (b) there are deep tensions between the interests of humans and animals that moral bioenhancement may well exacerbate.

Keywords

Moral enhancement Persson Savulescu Animal ethics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Marcus Schultz-Bergin, Ian Werkheiser, and two anonymous referees for helpful feedback on earlier versions of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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