Moral Worth, Biomedical Moral Enhancement and Communicative Punishment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Imagine that a criminal offender were provided with a “reform pill”, which significantly weakened his desire to reoffend. After consuming the pill, he obeys the law. Is the offender’s subsequent, apparently “good” behaviour genuinely good?

Various theorists have intuited that biomedical “moral enhancement” techniques used for the purposes of reducing reoffending could somehow undermine the moral worth of the recipient’s future actions. This article draws on the communication theory of punishment in order to shed new light on a potential source of this intuition in relation to the moral bioenhancement of those who have committed serious criminal wrongs. In doing so, it will consider the contention that the ultimate source of this intuition can be attributed to the intrinsically valuable freedom to do wrong before rejecting this account. The then article proceeds to explore the implications of the communication theory of punishment for the question of whether biomedical moral enhancements would undermine the moral worth of offenders’ future law-abiding behaviour and highlights the need for the proponents of such interventions to address these issues. The arguments presented in this article have potential implications for biomedical interventions that are currently being used in the criminal justice system.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Law, Information & Science
Volume25
Early online date2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2017

Fingerprint

offender
penalty
communication theory
intuition
Law
recipient
justice
reform

Keywords

  • law
  • intellectual property
  • 3d printer
  • 3d print
  • 3d
  • regulation
  • regulatory
  • IP
  • legal
  • trademark
  • trade mark
  • trade marks

Cite this

@article{40a3ae89fb4f4cae8dd0aaa9399ea365,
title = "Moral Worth, Biomedical Moral Enhancement and Communicative Punishment",
abstract = "Imagine that a criminal offender were provided with a “reform pill”, which significantly weakened his desire to reoffend. After consuming the pill, he obeys the law. Is the offender’s subsequent, apparently “good” behaviour genuinely good?Various theorists have intuited that biomedical “moral enhancement” techniques used for the purposes of reducing reoffending could somehow undermine the moral worth of the recipient’s future actions. This article draws on the communication theory of punishment in order to shed new light on a potential source of this intuition in relation to the moral bioenhancement of those who have committed serious criminal wrongs. In doing so, it will consider the contention that the ultimate source of this intuition can be attributed to the intrinsically valuable freedom to do wrong before rejecting this account. The then article proceeds to explore the implications of the communication theory of punishment for the question of whether biomedical moral enhancements would undermine the moral worth of offenders’ future law-abiding behaviour and highlights the need for the proponents of such interventions to address these issues. The arguments presented in this article have potential implications for biomedical interventions that are currently being used in the criminal justice system.",
keywords = "law, intellectual property, 3d printer, 3d print, 3d, regulation, regulatory, IP, legal, trademark, trade mark, trade marks",
author = "Elizabeth Shaw",
year = "2017",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
journal = "Journal of Law, Information & Science",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Moral Worth, Biomedical Moral Enhancement and Communicative Punishment

AU - Shaw, Elizabeth

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - Imagine that a criminal offender were provided with a “reform pill”, which significantly weakened his desire to reoffend. After consuming the pill, he obeys the law. Is the offender’s subsequent, apparently “good” behaviour genuinely good?Various theorists have intuited that biomedical “moral enhancement” techniques used for the purposes of reducing reoffending could somehow undermine the moral worth of the recipient’s future actions. This article draws on the communication theory of punishment in order to shed new light on a potential source of this intuition in relation to the moral bioenhancement of those who have committed serious criminal wrongs. In doing so, it will consider the contention that the ultimate source of this intuition can be attributed to the intrinsically valuable freedom to do wrong before rejecting this account. The then article proceeds to explore the implications of the communication theory of punishment for the question of whether biomedical moral enhancements would undermine the moral worth of offenders’ future law-abiding behaviour and highlights the need for the proponents of such interventions to address these issues. The arguments presented in this article have potential implications for biomedical interventions that are currently being used in the criminal justice system.

AB - Imagine that a criminal offender were provided with a “reform pill”, which significantly weakened his desire to reoffend. After consuming the pill, he obeys the law. Is the offender’s subsequent, apparently “good” behaviour genuinely good?Various theorists have intuited that biomedical “moral enhancement” techniques used for the purposes of reducing reoffending could somehow undermine the moral worth of the recipient’s future actions. This article draws on the communication theory of punishment in order to shed new light on a potential source of this intuition in relation to the moral bioenhancement of those who have committed serious criminal wrongs. In doing so, it will consider the contention that the ultimate source of this intuition can be attributed to the intrinsically valuable freedom to do wrong before rejecting this account. The then article proceeds to explore the implications of the communication theory of punishment for the question of whether biomedical moral enhancements would undermine the moral worth of offenders’ future law-abiding behaviour and highlights the need for the proponents of such interventions to address these issues. The arguments presented in this article have potential implications for biomedical interventions that are currently being used in the criminal justice system.

KW - law

KW - intellectual property

KW - 3d printer

KW - 3d print

KW - 3d

KW - regulation

KW - regulatory

KW - IP

KW - legal

KW - trademark

KW - trade mark

KW - trade marks

M3 - Article

VL - 25

JO - Journal of Law, Information & Science

JF - Journal of Law, Information & Science

ER -