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Enhancing genetic virtue: A project for twenty-first century humanity?

  • Mark Walker (a1)
Abstract

The Genetic Virtue Project (GVP) is a proposed interdisciplinary effort between philosophers, psychologists and geneticists to discover and enhance human ethics using biotechnology genetic correlates of virtuous behavior. The empirical plausibility that virtues have biological correlates is based on the claims that (a) virtues are a subset of personality, specifically, personality traits conceived of as “enduring behaviors,” and (b) that there is ample evidence that personality traits have a genetic basis. The moral necessity to use the GVP for moral enhancement is based on the claims that we should eliminate evil (as understood generically, not religiously), as some evil is a function of human nature. The GVP is defended against several ethical and political criticisms.

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