Free to do evil. Some possible implications of moral enhancement for free will and moral responsibility

Consuelo Luverà


In recent years the progress of biomedical technologies has enabled man to enhance his physical and cognitive abilities by using pharmaceutical, surgical, or genetic techniques. In social imaginary many worries are raised by this new possibility to go beyond the limits set up by nature, even though remote. In the wider framework of human enhancement we will examine a particular one: moral bioenhancement. More specifically it is the use of new biomedical technologies to improve our acting or reflecting morally. These kinds of prospective interventions raise many ethical issues. We will focus specifically on the implications for human freedom and consequently for moral responsibility. Although these concepts could be threatened by moral bioenhancement we could imagine a futuristic scenario where these kinds of interventions could have a useful social employment.


human enhancement; moral enhancement; bioethics; neuroethics; free will; moral responsibility.

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