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Authors: Cerovac, Ivan
Keywords: Genetic enhancementdifference principleequality of opportunityBaccariniRawls
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Ivan Cerovac, "LIBERAL EQUALITY, FAIR COOPERATION AND GENETIC ENHANCEMENT", in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2016) XVIII/3", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2016, pp. 423-440
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
(2016) XVIII/3
Genetic enhancement represents an improvement of human abilities and talents, giving those who are thus enhanced a competitive advantage over others. If genetic enhancement technologies are privately funded and only a small group of wealthy people has access to them, their competitive advantage might be further increased, and the existing social, economic and political inequalities might be increased as well. I discuss Baccarini's regulation proposal according to which genetic enhancement can remain privately funded and (at least for some time) accessible only to a small group of people, provided that the benefits of their enhancement (e.g. increased productivity, better health care) are distributed is accordance with the lax difference principle (i.e. to the greatest reasonable advantage of the worst-off citizens). I have some doubts regarding this proposal. Namely, I argue that there are other more important principles (i.e. the principle of equal liberty and the principle of fair equality of opportunity) that have lexical priority over the difference principle, and offer several arguments supporting this claim. In the rest of the paper I argue that privately funded genetic enhancement, available only to a small number of wealthy citizens, can lead to the violation of both the principle of equal liberty and the principle of fair equality of opportunity. It should therefore be replaced with publicly funded genetic enhancement available to all citizens.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2016) XVIII/3

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