In Favour of a Dialogue Between Neurosciences and Normative Ethics: Moral Enhancement via Sprayed Oxitocine?




oxytocin, normative ethics, neuroethics, moral enhancement, practical philosophy, moral reasoning


In this paper we argue that there should be a relationship of dialogue (excluding subordination and independence) between neurosciences and normative ethics. Our main argument is based on the fact that knowledge from neuroscience (and, in particular, studies on the causal role of oxytocin in human behavior) can explain and give content to some motivational and psychological limits that would modify moral demands on individuals. We show that in the face of a hypothetical case proposing moral enhancement through the application of aerosolized oxytocin, neuroethical arguments alone are insufficient to determine its moral permissibility or impermissibility. Furthermore, we argue that it is also not possible to establish the superiority of normative arguments, since neuroscience insights are more effective in modifying behaviors constrained by our own physical and neurological constitution. We conclude that both serve to make decisions, both individually and collectively, to try to better accommodate our attitudes and behaviors to what we consider morally right to do.


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2022-12-01 — Updated on 2022-12-02

How to Cite

Garcia Valverde, F., & Fatauros, C. A. (2022). In Favour of a Dialogue Between Neurosciences and Normative Ethics: Moral Enhancement via Sprayed Oxitocine?. Revista De Humanidades De Valparaíso, (20), 57–75.



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