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Title: Nussbaum’s Capability Approach and the Structural Analogy of Educational and Genetic Enhancement
Authors: Sorgner, Stefan Lorenz
Keywords: bioethicsenhancementcapability approacheugenics
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, "Nussbaum’s Capability Approach and the Structural Analogy of Educational and Genetic Enhancement" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2018) XX/3", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018, pp. 73-87
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
Several thinkers, e.g. Niemeyer (2015), stressed that Nussbaum’s capability approach (=CA)
has a problem due to its paternalistic implications. This evaluation is correct. It ought to be
even stronger, as I will show in this article, as the CA not only has paternalistic but even
eugenic implications, which is why it should be rejected for any social order in which the
norm of negative freedom is highly valued. I proceed as follows. Firstly, I explain that there
is a structural analogy between classical education and genetic enhancement, or educational
and genetic enhancements, which in turn suggest an analogous moral assessment. This
thesis is directed against Habermas’ line of thought, which rejects this parallelization (Habermas
2001, 91), whereby he in turn argues against a thesis of Robertson (Robertson 1994,
167). Afterwards I apply this insight to Nussbaum's CA, from which the aforementioned
morally problematic implications result.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
DOI: 10.13137/1825-5167/22586
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2018) XX/3

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