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Enharrisment: a Reply to John Harris about Moral Enhancement

Abstract

In his reply to our response (both in this issue) to his book How to be Good, John Harris accuses us of saying ‘two mutually contradictory things’ (2016: 1) when in fact we talk about two different things. In this short response, we distinguish between moral enhancement and interventions which promote moral behaviour but undermine freedom. We argue that moral enhancement does not necessarily undermine freedom. Interventions, such as the God Machine, which do undermine freedom are not moral enhancements as we conceive of them. But they might nonetheless be justified because freedom must be balanced against other values, such as well-being.

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Correspondence to Julian Savulescu.

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Persson, I., Savulescu, J. Enharrisment: a Reply to John Harris about Moral Enhancement. Neuroethics 9, 275–277 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12152-016-9274-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12152-016-9274-7

Keywords

  • Moral enhancement
  • Bioenhancement
  • Freedom
  • Well-being
  • God Machine
  • Reason