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Opponents of biomedical enhancement frequently adopt what Allen Buchanan has called the Personal Goods Assumption. On this assumption, the benefits of biomedical enhancement will accrue primarily to those individuals who undergo enhancements, not to wider society. Buchanan has argued that biomedical enhancements might in fact have substantial social benefits by increasing productivity. We outline another way in which enhancements might benefit wider society: by augmenting civic virtue and thus improving the functioning of our political communities. We thus directly confront critics of biomedical enhancement who argue that it will lead to a loss of social cohesion and a breakdown in political life.

Original publication

DOI

10.5840/soctheorpract201440330

Type

Journal article

Journal

Soc Theory Pract

Publication Date

07/2014

Volume

40

Pages

499 - 527

Keywords

Allen Buchanan, Biomedical Enhancement, Civic Virtue, Cognitive Enhancement, Moral Enhancement, Personal Goods Assumption, Social Cohesion