The experimental psychology of moral enhancement: We should if we could, but we can't
Rights© The Royal Institute of Philosophy and the contributors 2018. This material has been published in a revised form at https://doi.org/10.1017/S1358246118000413. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works.
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AbstractIn this chapter we will review experimental evidence related to pharmacological moral enhancement. Firstly, we will present our recent study in which we found that a drug called propranolol could change moral judgements. Further research, which also investigated this, found similar results. Secondly, we will discuss the limitations of such approaches, when it comes to the idea of general “human enhancement”. Whilst promising effects on certain moral concepts might be beneficial to the development of theoretical moral psychology, enhancement of human moral behaviour in general – to our current understanding – has more side-effects than intended effects, making it potentially harmful. We give an overview of misconceptions when taking experimental findings beyond the laboratory and discuss the problems and solutions associated with the psychological assessment of moral behaviour. Indeed, how is morality “measured” in psychology, and are those measures reliable?
CitationTerbeck S and Francis KB (2018) The experimental psychology of moral enhancement: we should if we could, but we can't. In: Hauskeller M and Coyne L (Eds.) Moral enhancement: critical perspectives. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements: volume 83. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Link to publisher’s versionhttps://doi.org/10.1017/S1358246118000413
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