What is and is Not Wrong with Enhancement?

54 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2006  

Frances Kamm

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

This article examines the arguments concerning enhancement of human persons recently presented by Michael Sandel. In the first section, I briefly describe some of his arguments. In section two, I consider whether, as Sandel claims, the desire for mastery motivates enhancement and whether such a desire could be grounds for its impermissibility. Section three considers how Sandel draws the distinction between treatment and enhancement, and the relation to nature that he thinks each expresses. The fourth section examines Sandel's views about parent/child relations and also how enhancement would affect distributive justice and the duty to aid. In conclusion, I briefly offer an alternative suggestion as to why enhancement may be troubling and consider what we could safely enhance.

Keywords: Ethics/Political Philosophy

Suggested Citation

Kamm, Frances, What is and is Not Wrong with Enhancement? (May 2006). KSG Working Paper No. RWP06-020. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=902372 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.902372

Frances Kamm (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-384-9808 (Phone)
617-496-6372 (Fax)

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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