Desire for Mastery
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AbstractHuman Enhancement (HE) refers to any deliberate technological and/or biomedical intervention on the healthy human body or mind to improve our physical and/or mental capabilities above the level that is typical of human beings to increase our welfare. While the phenomenon of HE is garnering lots of momentum, the ethical conundrums surrounding it are also on the increase. Against this background, this article evaluates the validity of Michael J. Sandel’s ethical perspective on HE as he is a prominent participant in the mainstream philosophical debate on HE. The article begins by analysing the reasons for Sandel’s unease with HE, which led him to propose his stance. After that, it discusses how HE affects the main features of the moral landscape. Then it critically investigates Sandel’s argument and its viability. Finally, based on Sandel’s concerns that human nature is likely to be affected by HE, the article inquires whether human nature has any normative significance in the ethical appraisal of HE.