Reasons, reflection, and repugnance

Douglas McConnell, Jeanette Kennett

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

8 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Moral conservative Leon Kass claims that repugnance is the emotional expression of deep wisdom, so intuitions generated by repugnance should guide our adoption of enhancement technologies. Contra Kass, the authors argue that plausible accounts of rational and wise action integrate intuition and reflection. The wise only rely on intuitions over reflective thought when those intuitions have been developed through reflection, training, and experience and are subject to reflective oversight. Therefore the normative authority of intuitions is parasitic on long-term reflective training. More central to wisdom are the policies of epistemic humility, open-mindedness and a willingness to justify one’s actions. These policies allow the wise agent to train both their affective responses and their reflective thinking to track their reasons more robustly. Repugnance may alert us to the need for caution but it does not have the normative authority to end the conversation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe ethics of human enhancement
Subtitle of host publicationUnderstanding the debate
EditorsSteve Clarke, Julian Savulescu, C.A.J Coady, Alberto Giubilini, Sagar Sanyal
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter4
Pages58-74
Number of pages26
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9780191070983
ISBN (Print)9780198754855
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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Intuition
Reflective
Wisdom
Authority
Affective Response
Enhancement
Train
Emotional Expression
Humility
Thought
Willingness

Cite this

McConnell, D., & Kennett, J. (2016). Reasons, reflection, and repugnance. In S. Clarke, J. Savulescu, C. A. J. Coady, A. Giubilini, & S. Sanyal (Eds.), The ethics of human enhancement: Understanding the debate (1st ed., pp. 58-74). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McConnell, Douglas ; Kennett, Jeanette. / Reasons, reflection, and repugnance. The ethics of human enhancement: Understanding the debate. editor / Steve Clarke ; Julian Savulescu ; C.A.J Coady ; Alberto Giubilini ; Sagar Sanyal. 1st. ed. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016. pp. 58-74
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McConnell, D & Kennett, J 2016, Reasons, reflection, and repugnance. in S Clarke, J Savulescu, CAJ Coady, A Giubilini & S Sanyal (eds), The ethics of human enhancement: Understanding the debate. 1st edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 58-74.

Reasons, reflection, and repugnance. / McConnell, Douglas; Kennett, Jeanette.

The ethics of human enhancement: Understanding the debate. ed. / Steve Clarke; Julian Savulescu; C.A.J Coady; Alberto Giubilini; Sagar Sanyal. 1st. ed. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016. p. 58-74.

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

TY - CHAP

T1 - Reasons, reflection, and repugnance

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AU - Kennett, Jeanette

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PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

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AB - Moral conservative Leon Kass claims that repugnance is the emotional expression of deep wisdom, so intuitions generated by repugnance should guide our adoption of enhancement technologies. Contra Kass, the authors argue that plausible accounts of rational and wise action integrate intuition and reflection. The wise only rely on intuitions over reflective thought when those intuitions have been developed through reflection, training, and experience and are subject to reflective oversight. Therefore the normative authority of intuitions is parasitic on long-term reflective training. More central to wisdom are the policies of epistemic humility, open-mindedness and a willingness to justify one’s actions. These policies allow the wise agent to train both their affective responses and their reflective thinking to track their reasons more robustly. Repugnance may alert us to the need for caution but it does not have the normative authority to end the conversation.

M3 - Chapter (peer-reviewed)

SN - 9780198754855

SP - 58

EP - 74

BT - The ethics of human enhancement

A2 - Clarke, Steve

A2 - Savulescu, Julian

A2 - Coady, C.A.J

A2 - Giubilini, Alberto

A2 - Sanyal, Sagar

PB - Oxford University Press

CY - Oxford

ER -

McConnell D, Kennett J. Reasons, reflection, and repugnance. In Clarke S, Savulescu J, Coady CAJ, Giubilini A, Sanyal S, editors, The ethics of human enhancement: Understanding the debate. 1st ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2016. p. 58-74