Moral enhancement refers to the possibility of making individuals and societies better from a moral standpoint. A fierce debate has emerged about the ethical aspects of moral enhancement, notably because steering moral enhancement in a particular direction involves choosing amongst a wide array of competing options, and these options entail deciding which moral theory or attributes of the moral agent would benefit from enhancement. Furthermore, the ability and effectiveness of different neurotechnologies to enhance morality have not been carefully examined. In this paper, we assess the practical feasibility of moral enhancement neurotechnologies. We reviewed the literature on neuroscience and cognitive science models of moral judgment and analyzed their implications for the specific target of intervention (cognition, volition or affect) in moral enhancement. We also reviewed and compared evidence on available neurotechnologies that could serve as tools of moral enhancement. We conclude that the predictions of rationalist, emotivist, and dual process models are at odds with evidence, while different intuitionist models of moral judgment are more likely to be aligned with it. Furthermore, the project of moral enhancement is not feasible in the near future as it rests on the use of neurointerventions, which have no moral enhancement effects or, worse, negative effects.


Dubljević V, Racine E. Moral Enhancement Meets Normative and Empirical Reality: Assessing the Practical Feasibility of Moral Enhancement Neurotechnologies. Bioethics. 2017 Jun;31(5):338 348. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12355


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