Are We Obliged to Enhance for Moral Perfection?

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In recent years a number of philosophers have discussed whether we have a duty to morally enhance ourselves through biomedical means if the opportunity were available. This paper investigates the possible limits of such a duty through investigating the related question of whether it would be desirable to create a world populated entirely with morally perfect people. I will argue that we have reason to be grateful that we do not live in a world in which everyone is morally perfect, which should serve as a limitation on attempts to morally improve people through the use of technology. I will also argue that the less ambitious forms of moral enhancement currently being explored in the literature give us no reason to worry about preventing valuable non-moral ways of life. Rather, they might serve as an aid to help people fulfill valuable non-moral goals in a way that is morally permissible.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medicine and Philosophy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • moral enhancement
  • moral philosophy
  • moral obligation
  • bioenhancement
  • Supererogation


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