May 7th 2015 Ethics in Medicine and Sport Seminar ‘Enhancement and Desert’ with Dr Tom Douglas

We are delighted to announce that Tom Douglas, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, will be our next guest speaker for the Philosophy of Medicine and Sport Seminar Series.  Dr Tom Douglas (Oxford) will speak on ‘Enhancement and Desert’.

When: Tuesday, 5 May, 5.30-7.00 p.m

Where: K0.19, Strand Campus

Dr Tom Douglas

Dr Tom Dougla

Abstract

“It is sometimes claimed that those who succeed with the aid of biomedical enhancement technologies deserve the rewards associated with their success less, other things being equal, than those who succeed through training or education. This claim captures some widely held intuitions, has been implicitly endorsed by participants in social-psychological research, and helps to undergird two otherwise puzzling objections to the use of enhancement technologies: that enhancement produces unfair advantages, and that it undermines the value of human achievement. I consider whether the claim can be provided with a rational basis by examining three arguments that might be offered in its favour. These appeal respectively to the views that desert is diminished by the adoption of morally undesirable means, the avoidance of effort, and the partial responsibility of others for our achievements.

About the speaker:

Tom Douglas is a Senior Research Fellow in the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and a Golding Junior Fellow at Brasenose College. He is also Principal Investigator on the Wellcome Trust-funded project ‘Neurointerventions in Crime Prevention: An Ethical Analysis’.   He initially qualified as a medical doctor at the University of Otago (New Zealand) before taking up a Rhodes Scholarship in Oxford, where he received his BA in Philosophy, Politics & Economics in 2005, and his DPhil in Philosophy in 2010. From 2010-2013 he was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre and a Junior Research Fellow at Balliol College.  Tom’s research lies mainly in practical and normative ethics. In practical ethics, his work focuses on the ethics of using medical technologies for ‘non-medical’ purposes, such as crime prevention and behaviour change. In normative ethics he is primarily interested in the nature of moral improvement and in tensions between special obligations and requirements of fairness. Previously, he has written on slippery slope arguments, organ donation policy, the philosophical foundations of injury compensation law, and the dual-use dilemma.

For inquiries contact: johnwilliam.devine@kcl.ac.uk

All are welcome to attend and there is no need to register.

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