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Ought We to Enhance Our Cognitive Capacities?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2009 (English)In: Bioethics, ISSN 0269-9702, E-ISSN 1467-8519, Vol. 23, no 7, 421-432 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ought we to enhance our cognitive capacities beyond the normal human range? There is no denying that it might be a good idea to level out differences between people with respect to cognitive capacities, and there is no denying that some persons' reaching beyond normal capacities may have some good side-effects on society at large (but also bad side-effects, of course). But is there any direct gain to be made by having ones cognitive capacities enhanced? Will this as such make our lives go better? No, I argue, or, at least, there doesn't seem to exist any evidence suggesting that it would. And it doesn't matter whether we consider the question from a narrow hedonistic perspective, from a more refined hedonistic perspective, from a desire-satisfaction view, or if we adopt some reasonable objective list view of what makes a life go well. Only on an extremely perfectionist — and implausible —view of what makes our lives go well could any direct value in cognitive enhancement find support. Finally, there are no good reasons to do with our sense of identity to enhance even our capacity to remember. So, cognitive enhancement as such would not make our lives go any better.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Blackwell , 2009. Vol. 23, no 7, 421-432 p.
Keyword [en]
cognitive enhancement, hedonism, preferentialism, perfectionism, personal identity, happiness studies
National Category
Philosophy Medical Ethics Social Sciences
Research subject
Practical Philosophy
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-31675DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2008.00721.xISI: 000268587300006OAI: diva2:278145

Author count: 1

Available from: 2009-11-24 Created: 2009-11-24 Last updated: 2013-05-20Bibliographically approved

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Tännsjö, Torbjörn
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