Creating Capabilities to be Better


  • Francesca Guma Vita-Salute San Raffaele University



Moral Enhancement, Procedural Moral Enhancement, Agency, Free Will, Boost


In this paper, I argue that the possibility of becoming better moral agents is related to the possibility of increasing both the opportunity and capacity to will otherwise and the effective conscious control of the will. Believing that it is essential for empirically informed ethics interested in moral enhancement to assess what to enhance and what type of enhancer is preferable, I begin by considering different types of enhancers and different factors on which they perform their action (§ 1). Secondly, I consider some issues arisen by moral enhancement in relation to the agent’s freedom, emphasizing the need to reflect on the effects that such interventions can have on the agency (§ 2). I then propose a conception of free-will which can dialogue with empirical research in order to assess what the best moral enhancers might be and what factors they should act on to achieve real moral enhancements in individuals (§ 3). On such a basis, I assess what and how to enhance to achieve real moral improvement (§ 4) and present empirical proposals for procedural moral enhancement that leave open the possibility of achieving real individual moral improvement (§ 5). Finally, I conclude by stating that seeking out enhancers that can implement the opportunity and capacity to be good can lead to outcomes in which individuals do not become incapable of doing evil, but rather more capable of doing good (§ 6).