Seminar - Advertising moral bioenhancement interventions

A seminar exploring contemporary ethical issues and applied philosophy.

As part of our Summer 2019 research seminar scheduleDr Sarah Carter-Walshaw presents a talk on issues surrounding the advertising of moral bioenhancement interventions.


Suppose we had a pill that made people more empathetic; if we assumed (as writers such as Persson and Savulescu have argued) that this would be a very good thing to have and that we should prefer that people take it, how should we encourage people to do so?

In previous works I have considered offering financial incentives and appealing to a sense of duty, however both seemed unlikely to help in this endeavour, and the former could even prove counterproductive.

So, in a return-to-basics move, I thought it might be worth considering a seemingly innocuous option: simply advertising the intervention as-is, making people aware of its existence and its possible advantages to society in the hopes that people will get involved of their own accord. But it seems that this approach could be less straightforward and indeed more ethically problematic than as might initially appear.


The seminar takes place on Wednesday from 12pm - 1:15pm, in Seminar Room 2 within the IDEA Centre.

All are welcome and no registration is required.