Towards a Moderate Stance on Human Enhancement

  • Nikil Mukerji Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
  • Julian Nida-Rümelin Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany
Keywords: human enhancement, technology, ethical issues


In this essay, we argue against radical ethical views about human enhancement that either dismiss or endorse it tout court. Instead, we advocate the moderate stance that issues of enhancement should be examined with an open mind and on a case-by-case basis. To make this view plausible, we offer three reasons. The first lies in the fact that it is difficult to delineate enhancement conceptually, which makes it hard to argue for general ethical conclusions about it. The second is that an appropriate view of the edifice of moral theory suggests that tenable moral judgements about human enhancement are the result of a careful consideration of the pros and cons that attach to the use of a specific enhancement technology. Lastly, we show that important normative factors in the enhancement debate can be used both in arguments for and in arguments against enhancement. The bottom line of our discussion is that we should treat issues of human enhancement like we do any other ethical issue, viz. by weighing up the reasons pro and con.

How to Cite
Mukerji, N., & Nida-Rümelin, J. (2014). Towards a Moderate Stance on Human Enhancement. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 7(26), 17-33. Retrieved from