A Capabilities Solution to Enhancement Inequality
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Human enhancements will dramatically alter individuals' capabilities and lead to serious harm if unregulated. However, it is unclear how states should act to mitigate this harm. I argue that the capabilities approach provides a useful metric to determine what action states should take regarding each enhancement technology. According to the capabilities approach, states are responsible for ensuring their citizens are able to function in certain ways that are essential to human life. I consider the impact of a range of enhancements on individuals' capabilities in order to determine what actions states should take regarding each technology. I find that in order to be just and prevent harmful inequality, states will need to ensure many enhancements are available to their citizens. I also explore a range of other regulations aimed at harm prevention. Considering the impact of enhancement technologies on human capabilities, and the appropriate regulatory options for states, under the guide of the capabilities approach allows me to demonstrate that the capabilities approach can provide valuable, realistic, advice to guide public policy in response to enhancement technologies.