Hastings Center Report
In Service to Others: A New Evolutionary Perspective on Human Enhancement
Abstract: In enhancement ethics, evolutionary theory has been largely perceived as supporting liberal views on enhancement, in which decisions to enhance are predominantly regulated by the principle of individual autonomy. In this article, I critique this perception in light of recent scientific developments. Cultural evolutionary theory suggests a picture in which individual interests are entangled with community interests, and this undermines the applicability of the principle of autonomy. This is particularly relevant for enhancement ethics given how—I argue—decisions to enhance are often influenced by desires to increase social status. The service view on enhancement, based on principles of service and trust, offers, I propose, better guidance for the challenges of social living.