I have a new paper coming out in the journal Neuroethics. This one argues that directly augmenting the brain might be the most politically appropriate method of moral enhancement. This paper brings together my work on enhancement, the extended mind, and the political consequences of advanced algorithmic governance. Details below:
Title: Why Internal Moral Enhancement Might be Politically Better than External Moral Enhancement
Links: Official; Philpapers; Academia
Abstract: Technology could be used to improve morality but it could do so in different ways. Some technologies could augment and enhance moral behaviour externally by using external cues and signals to push and pull us towards morally appropriate behaviours. Other technologies could enhance moral behaviour internally by directly altering the way in which the brain captures and processes morally salient information or initiates moral action. The question is whether there is any reason to prefer one method over the other? In this article, I argue that there is. Specifically, I argue that internal moral enhancement is likely to be preferable to external moral enhancement, when it comes to the legitimacy of political decision-making processes. In fact, I go further than this and argue that the increasingly dominant forms of external moral enhancement (algorithm-assisted enhancement) may already be posing a significant threat to political legitimacy, one that we should try to address. Consequently, research and development of internal moral enhancements should be prioritised as a political project.