In this episode I talk to Jonathan Pugh about bio-conservatism and human enhancement. Jonny is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Applied Moral Philosophy at The University of Oxford, on the Wellcome Trust funded project “Neurointerventions in Crime Prevention: An Ethical Analysis”. His new paper, written with Guy Kahane and Julian Savulescu, ‘Bio-Conservatism, Partiality, and The Human Nature Objection to Enhancement’ is due out soon in The Monist.
0:00 – introduction
2:00 – what is the nature of human enhancement – the functionalist and welfarist accounts/models
10:30 – bio-conservative oppositions to enhancement – evaluative and epistemic approaches, the naturalistic fallacy
19:00 – Cohen’s conservatism – intrinsic value – personal and particular valuing – art and pets
30:30 – personal values and bio-enhancement
40:30 – the partiality problem – who would you save from the river? Value-based partiality and discrimination.
54:00 – species bias, human prejudice, partiality, family and nationalism – Bernard Williams, John Cottingham, Thomas Hurka, Samuel Scheffler, genetic enhancement
1:03:00 – should human enhancement be opposed on the grounds of bio-conservatism? – Biological enhancement in the context of other social and technical changes – Is conservatism a foundational moral principle?
1:11:00 – conclusion