Moral bioenhancement

From Kook Science

Moral bioenhancement is a catch-all term for any biomedical technology, including pharmaceuticals, or any other form of biomedical intervention that is utilised with the intended aim of moral improvement, in effect acting as a form of behavioural modification, as opposed to being intended for physically curative or augmentative purposes.


  • Crutchfield, Parker (July 2016), "The Epistemology of Moral Bioenhancement", Bioethics 30 (6): 389-396, 

    Moral bioenhancement is the potential practice of manipulating individuals' moral behaviors by biological means in order to help resolve pressing moral issues such as climate change and terrorism. This practice has obvious ethical implications, and these implications have been and continue to be discussed in the bioethics literature. What have not been discussed are the epistemological implications of moral bioenhancement. This article details some of these implications of engaging in moral bioenhancement. The argument begins by making the distinction between moral bioenhancement that manipulates the contents of mental states (e.g. beliefs) and that which manipulates other, non-representational states (e.g. motivations). Either way, I argue, the enhanced moral psychology will fail to conform to epistemic norms, and the only way to resolve this failure and allow the moral bioenhancement to be effective in addressing the targeted moral issues is to make the moral bioenhancement covert.

  • Crutchfield, Parker (Jan. 2019), "Compulsory Moral Bioenhancement Should be Covert", Bioethics 33 (1): 112-121, 

    Some theorists argue that moral bioenhancement ought to be compulsory. I take this argument one step further, arguing that if moral bioenhancement ought to be compulsory, then its administration ought to be covert rather than overt. This is to say that it is morally preferable for compulsory moral bioenhancement to be administered without the recipients knowing that they are receiving the enhancement. My argument for this is that if moral bioenhancement ought to be compulsory, then its administration is a matter of public health, and for this reason should be governed by public health ethics. I argue that the covert administration of a compulsory moral bioenhancement program better conforms to public health ethics than does an overt compulsory program. In particular, a covert compulsory program promotes values such as liberty, utility, equality, and autonomy better than an overt program does. Thus, a covert compulsory moral bioenhancement program is morally preferable to an overt moral bioenhancement program.