Journal of Bioethical Inquiry

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 127–131 | Cite as

The Looping Effects of Enhancement Technologies

  • Carl ElliottEmail author
Critical Perspectives


Libertarians often portray the decision to use enhancement technologies purely as a matter of individual choice, affecting the person who uses them but no one else. Yet individual choices often add up to large social changes that profoundly affect the lives of other people, effectively pushing individual choices in a particular direction. It seems plausible that self-reinforcing loops such as those that have driven the adoption of technologies like cars and air-conditioners might also play a role in the adoption of enhancement technologies, effectively exerting pressure on people to use a technology that they might otherwise resist.


Enhancement technologies Ian Hacking Looping effects Self-reinforcing loops 


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Copyright information

© Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Pty Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for BioethicsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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