Adaptation and autonomy : adaptive preferences in enhancing by Juha Räikkä, Jukka Varelius

By Juha Räikkä, Jukka Varelius

This quantity gathers jointly formerly unpublished articles targeting the connection among choice model and autonomy in reference to human enhancement and within the end-of-life context. the worth of person autonomy is a cornerstone of liberal societies. whereas there are various conceptions of the inspiration, it's debatable that on any believable figuring out of person autonomy an self sustaining agent must have in mind the stipulations that circumscribe its activities. but it has additionally been instructed that permitting one’s suggestions to impact one’s personal tastes threatens autonomy. whereas this phenomenon has got a few realization in different components of ethical philosophy, it has seldom been thought of in bioethics. This publication combines for the 1st time the themes of choice edition, person autonomy, and selecting to die or to augment human capacities in a distinct and accomplished quantity, filling a major wisdom hole within the modern bioethics literature.

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3 Though this idea is not precisely formed (an investigation into which, I should note, forms much of the remaining content of this essay), it seems right to say that when I adapt my preference to Columbia and away from Harvard, this is an adaptation away from my genuine values, or an attitude that accurately expresses my autonomous point of view. It is, as it were, putting on a kind of “mask”: adopting a preference or evaluative attitude that does not reflect me. That adaptive preferences are non-autonomous seems essential to the concept and function of preference-adaptation.

I think the right answer,2 appeals to the inapplicability of a central rationale for taking preferences seriously at all. Insofar as we care about preferences in moral and political theory, we care about them because they seem to capture what people value, or what expresses their own evaluative point of view. We believe that the fact that someone values something has normative or evaluative consequences: it makes the thing valued valuable, or pro tanto worth pursuing. But sometimes, as in cases of adaptation, preferences do not genuinely express what someone values.

There are other ways to construe this idea; regrettably I don’t have the space to discuss them all, but I have done so elsewhere. I refer the reader to Dorsey (2012b, 413-415). 42 D. Dorsey compete in regional tournaments rather than the Olympics, given her lack of ability to do so, would maintain a normatively authoritative preference. But this proposal is implausible. Though it may be rational13 for her to maintain this preference, such a preference lacks the normative roles we assign to normatively authoritative preferences.

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