The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate

Clarke, S., Savulescu, J., Coady, C. A. J., Giubilini, A. and Sanyal, S., (Eds.) (2016), The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate. (Oxford: Oxford University Press)




We humans can enhance some of our mental and physical abilities above the normal upper limits for our species with the use of particular drug therapies and medical procedures. We will be able to enhance many more of our abilities in more ways in the near future. Some commentators have welcomed the prospect of wide use of human enhancement technologies, while others have viewed it with alarm, and have made clear that they find human enhancement morally objectionable. The Ethics of Human Enhancement examines whether the reactions can be supported by articulated philosophical reasoning, or perhaps explained in terms of psychological influences on moral reasoning. An international team of ethicists refresh the debate with new ideas and arguments, making connections with scientific research and with related issues in moral philosophy.

Further Resources

Written to coincide with the publication of the book The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate, Steve Clarke's article in AQ explores the discussion so far and considers where the debate might head next.

The article was selected to appear in 'The Best of 2016', a special free edition of Australian Quarterly.

Download a PDF of the special edition here. See pp. 29-33 for Steve's article 'A Brave New World: Understanding the Ethics of Human Enhancement'.


"This book is an excellent contribution to the existing literature on the ethics of human enhancement. It deserves the attention of anyone who is eager to delve deeper into the on-going philosophical conversation about human enhancement, and it should be of special interest to so-called bioconservatives since so much of the book is grappling with that viewpoint." - Stephen M. Campbell, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews