Biotechnological moral enhancement

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Junior Researcher, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences
Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy RAS
Address: Russian Federation
Journal nameChelovek
EditionIssue №6

The article deals with the social and humanitarian aspects of moral enhancement of a person by means of biotechnologies. The idea of biotechnological moral enhancement is based on the recent neurotechnological studies that explain the neurobiological foundations of human behavior, including prosocial behavior. Practical use of this knowledge would allow society to get rid of aggression, violence, corruption, and problems related to environmental pollution. A prerequisite for discussing biotechnological moral enhancement is the intention to use biotechnology to solve the problems faced by a person because of the development of science. In the view of the supporters of moral enhancement, the achievements of neuroscience and genetics can provide biotechnological tools for artificial stimulation of moral actions. The most of the technologies do change the genetic, physical, cognitive abilities of a person, and as a result they can change social structures, but they are not specifically aimed at modifying the personal freedom of making a decision, his/her ability to make certain decisions. The article considers both the problem of moral human enhancing from the point of view of its supporters (J. Savulescu, Douglas) and opponents (J. Harris, A. Buchanan) and the technological context of the problem of the moral enhancement. The epistemological shift proposed under the framework of the discussion of the idea of the moral enhancement not only compromises the idea of free will but also puts a person before a difficult task to justify traditional forms of culture and education as competitive forms of the formation of a personality.

Keywordsneurotechnology, technoscience, moral enhancement, oxytocin, biotechnologies
Publication date07.12.2018
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