Bioconservatism, bioenhancement and backfiring

Browne, Tamara and Clarke, Steve 2019, Bioconservatism, bioenhancement and backfiring, Journal of moral education, doi: 10.1080/03057240.2019.1576125.

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Title Bioconservatism, bioenhancement and backfiring
Author(s) Browne, TamaraORCID iD for Browne, Tamara
Clarke, Steve
Journal name Journal of moral education
Total pages 16
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2019-04
ISSN 0305-7240
Keyword(s) Social Sciences
Education & Educational Research
Brave New World
moral education
Summary © 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The prospect of enhancing ourselves through the use of new biotechnologies is for the most part, hypothetical. Nevertheless, the question of whether we should undertake such enhancement is worthy of discussion as it may become possible in the future. In this article, we consider one form of argument that conservative opponents of biotechnological means of enhancement (bioconservatives) deploy in opposition to the use of enhancement technologies—the backfiring objection. This is the objection that the use of such technologies is liable to go wrong and lead to outcomes that are inferior to the outcomes intended. We will argue that the objection is not nearly as significant as bioconservatives suppose it to be. Bioconservatives sometimes supplement the backfiring objection by arguing that change will be irreversible, that the new (or the unconventional) is especially liable to backfire and that humans possess severe and permanent limitations which cannot be overcome. We consider these ways of supplementing the backfiring objection and argue that each of them, when properly understood, is of limited value to the bioconservative. We also consider how traditional approaches to moral education can be supplemented by bioenhancement.
Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/03057240.2019.1576125
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 220101 Bioethics (Human and Animal)
1303 Specialist Studies in Education
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2019, The Authors
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