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A Kantian ethics approach to moral bioenhancement

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>5/09/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Bioethics
<mark>State</mark>E-pub ahead of print
Early online date5/09/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

It seems, at first glance, that a Kantian ethics approach to moral enhancement would tend towards the position that there could be no place for emotional modulation in any understanding of the endeavour, owing to the typically understood view that Kantian ethics does not allow any role for emotion in morality as a whole. It seems then that any account of moral bioenhancement which places emotion at its centre would therefore be rejected. This article argues, however, that this assumption is incorrect. Given later writings by Kant on the role of sympathy, and taking into account other concerns in Kantian ethics (such as bodily integrity), it may in fact be the case that Kantian ethics would allow for an account of moral bioenhancement through emotional modulation, and that in some (rare) cases such an intervention might even be considered to be a duty.