Episode #18 – Jonathan Pugh on bio-conservatism and human enhancement

pugh_jonnyIn 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.

You can download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes (via RSS).

Show Notes

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

Relevant Links

Jonny’s Academia.edu page

Jonny’s blog – jonathanpughethics.wordpress.com

Pugh, Kahane, and Savulescu – Bio-Conservatism, Partiality, and The Human Nature Objection to Enhancement (forthcoming)

Pugh, Kahane, and Savulescu – Cohen’s Conservatism and Human Enhancement (2013)

Samuel Scheffler – Death and the Afterlife (2013)

Alfonso Cuaron – Children of Men (2006)

Ben Davies – Enhancement and Conservative Bias (2016)

Bernard Williams – The Human Prejudice (2006)

John Cottingham – Partiality, Favouritism and Morality (1986)

Thomas Hurka – The Justification of National Partiality (1997)

John Danaher – An Evaluative Conservative Case for Biomedical Enhancement


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