Pelican Books Philosophy Editor: Ted Honderich What Sort of People Should There Be? Jonathan Glover was born in 1941 and was educated at Tonbridge School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He is a PeUow and tutor in philosophy at New College, Oxford, and has written Responsibilitg (1970) and Causing Death and S~ving Lives (Pelican. 1977). He is manied and has three children.

Jonathan Glover .

W h a t Sort of People Should There Be? ! Penguin Books .

New Zealand P i n t pubhhcd l 9 8 4 Copydghl Qloosfhrn Glover. 40 Wesl23rdStrst.) Ltd. ". Mlddldlx..Penguin BMLG Ud.New York 10010. Auckland 10. Iliogwood.SA Penguin Books AuskaUa Ltd. Bungmy. Badand Penglun Books. New York. SSvnak PllmsetloMonophof~ Phollna by Narhumbcrnd P . Victoria. 1984 AllnBhUrmed Madeand phinhdh Gmrf BrItaln by Rlcbwd Clay (The Clraucer Press) Ltd. 182-190 WaiauRoad. M r h m Ontario. Caoadn L3R 1B4 aka. G ~ f f h 3 d I ."M~hcr'" prior Consent in aoy form arbinlllng or cover ofher Lhan that hwhich It L published and without aslrmiarcandlllon hcludlng m mndition bdng imporsd on fhe subsequent purchaser r .Harmondswonh. 2801 John Street. Penguin Book (N. AusSaUr Penguin BoobCanada LM.Ltd.Z.

To Daniel. David and Ruth .

Monitoring Thoughts 61 2. AMixedSystem 50 4. Values 52 5. The Objections So Par 43 Chapter 3 Decisions 45 1. The Questions 13 2. The Genetic Supermarket 47 3. Not Playing God 45 2. Crossing Species Baundaries 38 8. Risks and Mistakes 41 9. The Approach 15 Part One: Genes Chapter 2 Questions about Some Uses of Genetic Eogineeling 23 1. Methods of Changing the Genetic Composition of Future Generations 26 3. Changing Human Nature 55 Part Two: Thought Experiments Chapter 4 Transparency 59 1. Cloning 3 4 7. Transparency in a Pree Community 63 . The Pamily and Our Descendants 35 6. Avoiding the Debate about Genes and the Environment 25 2 . The View That Overall Improvement is Unllkeiy or Impossible 33 5. The PositineNegative Dishnction 30 4.Contents Acknowledgements 11 Chapter 1 Introduction 13 1.

Voluntary Submission to Democratically Programmed Control 84 5 . Some Questions 81 2. The Dreamworld 102 Is t h e h a m w o r l d Real? 105 Deception. The Objection to Social Quietism 72 2. Self-ModEccation 88 8. Identity 87 7. 6. 5. Chapter 8 Dreams (11) 102 1. 2. Cooperation and Expression 116 The Journey. 3. 4. Will It SNI Be MC? 99 9. The Two Perspectives 70 Chapter 5 Mood 71 1. 3. 4. 2. A Closed Society 86 6 . Identity Objectibns 96 7. Personal Characteristics 100 1. 5. 3. Conclusions 89 Chapter 7 Dreams ( I ) 91 The Experience Machine 92 Some Primitive Objections 93 Internal and External Perspectives 94 Other People 95 Activity 95 \. Benevolent Control by the Authorities 83 4.CONTENTS 3. Relationships 64 4. and What We Want 107 The Objection That the Dreamworld is Mind-Centred 108 The Mind-Dependence View 110 Claustrophobia 112 Chapter 9 Work 114 1. Appropriateness 73 3. Abuse by the Authorities 82 3. Identity and Individuality 68 5. 6. The Superdrug 76 Chapter 6 Control 79 1. TheKantian Objection 97 8. 4. 2. Not the Anival 117 ResultsandReplacement 118 Circles 121 .

The Quality Principle 140 3. Consciousness 186 Index 189 . NegativeCircles 123 6. In Defence of Interoention 150 7. AgainstUtapias 149 6. Contact a variety 133 & 3. Archimedes and Neurath 174 Chapter 14 Some Conclusions 178 1. Practical Cons'aints on the Equality Principle 148 5. The Development of Consciousness 134 4. Beyond Consewatism about Human Nature 136 Part Three: Values Chapter 1 1 Generations 139 1. Quality 166 3. lixternal Perspectives 164 2. Transcending IntellectualLimitations 179 2. Some Views Incompatible with the Equalitg Principle 144 4. Bias 169 4. Qualitya d the Satisfaction of Desires 154 2. Autonomy 157 3. A Possible C a d e t 151 Chapter 12 Adjustment 153 1. Transcendingthe Bcanomic Problem 128 2. System 126 7. The Human Zoo 162 Chapter 13 Perspectives 164 1. StahandHenen 139 2. 4. Values and Dangers 184 4.CONTBNTS 5. Emotional andImaginative Urnitations 181 3. Neutrality 161 l .


and has shown an astonishing patience with the gap between the original deadline and the arrival of the manuscript. Jeremy Cherfas. I owe a lot to Freddie Ayer. Ted Honderich. I am grateful to Vicky Banbury for typing much of the book.Acknowledgements I am grateful to many people who have helped with this book. I have also learnt from helpful disagreements and suggestions expressed in groups I have talked to in Oxford and in other universities and colleges. Jim Grimn. Aniartya Seu. as Penguin editor. DonRegan. Ronnie Dworkin. Wayne Sumuer and Bernard Williams. Most of all. for stimulating my early interest in philosophy. John Harris. DerekParEt. Vivette. and for much help and support. She has sometimes. and to Sylvia Graham and Sylvia Barkwell for typing the rest. I notice how many passages. Reading it over. Richard Keshen. Among those I have learnt from in discussions of these issues over the last few years are Ruth Chadwick. Alan Ryan. . are attempts to express things I have learnt from her. Joseph Raz. I have discussed its topics with undergraduates and graduates at Oxford in classes and tutorials. especially those about the kinds of world we should most hope for. Nancy Davis and Jeff McMahan each generously wrote penetrating comments on the book at a earlier stage. Dlck Hare. We have talked a lot about this hook. been a bit sceptical about parts of it. Richard Llndley. I have been inIluenced by my wife. which have led to many n changes for the better. has always been most helpful. probably rightly. Michael Dover. Chris Graham.

And they involve fundamental values: these technologies may change the central framework of human life. Which activities should we keep for ourselves?What will the knowledge of our replaceability do to our way of seeing ourselves and what we do? The issues raised by these possible future technologies are. Some are about what we should do with genetic engineering. psychology and arti6cial intelligence. such as our sense of identity. The a book is intended as a contribution. It may also threaten other things. at one level.Chapter I Introduction This book is about some questions to do with the future of mankind. The questions have been selected on two grounds. Other problems are raised by the development of machines able to duplicate or surpass our abilities and skills. These central common themes are often lost . But part of the argumenl developed here will be that. at another lfevel. not to prediction. such as genetic engineering and behaviour control. very varied. but t a discussion of what sort of future we should try to bring about. We may develop far more powerful techniques for monitoring both behaviour and mental states. How should we decide what sort of people there should be? Or are there reasons for refusing to make such decisions?The second group of questions is about the possible impact of technologies based on neurobiology. 1 The Questions At one level. and to control their motives and actions. We may greatly increase our ability 10 alter people's experiences. They arise out of scienti6c developments whose beginnings we can already see. or the value we place on having relatively undistorted experience of the world as it really is.in these different contexts. Such power to control and to understand people seems a threat to autonomy and to privacy. many of the same questions about our basic values recur . the questions fall into two groups. Perhaps one day we shall be able to choose people's genetic characteristics.

This is for several reasons. But the result may be that future generations will lose things they would have found of great value. There is something to be said for taking a generous view of what may happen. rather th& always too late. And. and each time this may seem more compelling than rather vaguely formulated objections on principle. IE we stay inarticulate. Many people. in a piecemeal way. as the world will remain more as it is now. The advocateswill at each stage be able to offer some specffiablegain. when thinking of such possibilities as genetic engiueering or techniques for controlling behaviour. such as a reduction in the crime rate. Perhaps by taking several topics it may be possible to show in clearer outline the central questions about values. Predictions of that kind'are usually short-term. 14 . predictions of technical developments are often wrong the atomic bomb exploded a decade after Rutherford ruled out the possibility of any practical application of atomic energy. and what sort of people there should be.INTBODUCTION sight of in the discussion of a particular topic. or an increase in average intelligence. have areaction ofrather inarticnlate horror or revulsion. such as genetic engineering. This will be a less disturbing outcome from our point of view. I have paid only rather limited attention to current beliefs about which technical developments are probable and which improbable. Leaving the objections at the level of inarticulate opposition excludes the possibility of discriminating between desirable and undesirable applications of the new technologies. events will perhaps take one of two courses. These are questions about what human life should be like. only believe developments are likely when they are nearly upon us. where the shape of people's views is largely determined by what they think is likely to happen in practice. Even in the short term. so that wedevelop the habit ofthinking about the best pollcy well in advance. noth ha possibility is that our resistance will prove too deeply rooted for all this. It is much easier to feel disturbed and repelled by these enterprises than it is to give a coherent account of precisely what the objections are. because people. By easy stages. The 6rst is that the techniques will be adopted. thought to be rehlistic. the time we have to think about what to do with discoveries is usually much too short. The time-span here is not intended to be limited to a few decades. and lose plausibility when extended beyond a decade or so. and that these techniques will fall under some general and u@iscriminating ban. we could move to a world which none of us would choose if we could see it as a whole from the start. a littleat a time.

by what people decide.Decisions to use ornot to usegenetic engineering in certain ways will make a differenceto the composition of subsequent generations. 1959). There is an obvious way in which thisis true. But there are views . B. it is worth thinking about how desirable w e h d them. We cannot be certain that this assumption is correct. The second is about technologies related in one way or another to the 8 brain.Thefirstpartis about geneticengineering. And. and when I say that they are necessaly. Medawar expressed about the questions of his Reith lectures on The Future oJMan. The PulureofMan (TheRetthhturos. if we do have a future. 1. that they are suBcient. as elsewhere. Another presupposition is that the future of the human race will be determined. to the extent that we are able to choose between ditrerent futures. About the questions discussed. which are starting to creep up on us now. in so far as it is possible to answer them. please remember that I have not said. ~ h third is about some general issues arising from the other parts. Clearly the shape of society is not determined only by our thoughts and desim. One is that we do have a future: that we will not die out because of shortages of food or energy. .' He said.according to which thinking about the sort of world we want is awaste of time. The avoidance of such disasters is our immediate problem. Yet it is hardly plausible that our balues have no impact at all on what the world is like. will be more urgent themselves. But in tbnking. London. there is division of labour. because what happens is determined by social or technological forces far more powerful than the values people have. and not everyone should concentrate on the most urgent questions to the exclusion of longer-term issues. I have the same thought that P. are deeply necessary for any understanding of the future of man. at least in part. And. and one more urgent to think about than 'the questions of this book. 'I think that the answers to questions of this kind. and that we will not destroy ourselves by war or by some other blunder. and do not Imply.INTBODUCTION These questions are worth thinking about only on certain assumptions.1960. these questions about what sort of people there should be.' 2 The Approach Thediscussion falls intothreeparts.

My hope is to give due weight to the legitimate sources of anxiety and resistance. whether the distinction between remedying gonetic defects and making genetic improvements is important. think about the values to be used in deciding for or against any proposed change. 16 . Perhaps partly for this reason. london. Imture (he. But. to something precise. It has been used throughout the history of philosophy since Socrates. My responses will be given to thesepossibilities. The Philosophy oli.'l The method to be used here for moving from the vague shadow to something' more precise does not derive from Russell. and to see how far they wilhstand scrutiny when separated. and. to my mind. which by reflection and analysis we llnd is involved in the vague thing we start from. 2. so it seems important to meet conservatism about human nature on its strongest ground. the real truth of which that vague thing is a sort of shadow.The discussion of genetic engineering has as a central theme the question of whether it is desirable to try to modify human nature. important as these other issues are. to detach them from what seems to me a misguided opposition in principle to any changes in our nature. the central issue is about changing human nature. ambiguous things. If we rejecl any general ban on changing human nature. consists mainly in passing from the obvious. it is then obviously important U. it arouses in us kinds of resistance that go very deep. so to speak. Genetic engineering scems a good test case for this question. The aim is to apply to some of our values an approach Bertrand Russell spoke of in a quite different context. and is. I want to argue for greater willingness to consider policies that would do this. and problems about who should take decisions about genetic changes. that we feel quite sure of. which is mainly about possible future technology applied to the brain. attempts to bring the relevant values into sharper focus. The second part i f the book. definite. The reader is p~ sented with aseries of thought experiments: in this case various technologies will be imagined in extreme forms. The aim of the discussion is to diagnose the varied sources of our resistance to genetic engineering. by doing this. vague.ogicd Afornisrn. There are other issues discussed: whether genetic change is differenl in principle from environmental change. 19 18. He said. as it seems to open up the possibility of more fundamental changes than we could otherwise envisage. clear. in ll~ehopethat thereader too will havesomeresponses. 'The process of sound philosophizing.

On this view. so essential to a decision in a particular context. the reader should bear in mind a wmment by Nnncy Davls on an oarliar draft olthis book: 4 don't Lhink that we can so oaslly suppose that our rcacUons are linear: that we can apply our reactions to sci-flcases back to our rnuodaneJudgcments. The complexity of practical detail. has a softening and blurring effect when we are trying to think about what our priorities are in general. And our values often become clearer when we consider imaginary cases where conflicts can be made sharp. it is often best deliberately to confront the most extreme possibility. is that we are hardly ever able to choose between kinds of life in general. shadowy belief to something precise. from our present perspective. he had in mind the philosophical analysis of common-. and confine our thinking to the developments that. such as an economic programme based on false factual assumptions. Why is this? Thinking about the desirability of different futures cannot be separated from thinking about present values. in discussing values. Lack of rezlisrn is a serious criticism of practical proposals. .INTRODUCTION I said earlier that little notice will be taken of which technical developments are thought probable (though none of the ones to be discussed is now known to be impossible). But. This will strike many as a serious weakness. and rule out places we might have done well to go to. It is not a serious criticism of philosophical thought experiments about values. but less often argued for. . if we consider 'moderate' rather than extreme cases. it lurks unconfronted i s the thought of some nameless horror further down the slope. . Rather than the extreme development being fully ignored. A series of incremental decisions can lead us somewhere we would never have chosen to go in the first place. unless it issupposed that responses reflecting our real priorities can only be elicited by very familiar and homely kinds of cases. We are limited to piecemeal decisions. In thinking about the desirability of various developments. nothing is more damning than the criticism that some issue being discussed is based on assumptions that are'unrealistic'.' . such as that the room he was lecturing in contained a number of people. On the conventional view. . sense beliefs of a quite uncontroversial kind. All the sslpe. 3. Another feature ofthinking only about what at the time seems likely. seem likely. the way to think about issueslike behaviour control i~ avoid far-out s~iencsfictioo to cases. I hold the opposite view. Also.' When Kussell taked of moving from the vague. This is often asserted. our judgements are often influenced by awareness of being on a slippery slope. .

but I am sceptical of the possibility of this. it is still a fantasy. Some of the values that will figure prominently here might have meant little to a medieval European. For there is a danger that we will drift into a world tnuch less good than we could have. This involves both judging that possible world by our own values. The intention is to describe possibilities in ways that separate out different values. it would be unrealistic to expect general agreement. However tempting. and what some philosophers attempt to provide. 'these values. But there is a different way of seeing argument in elhics. One stage of. My hope is that those who answer 'no' will have been helped to see more clearly what it is they do not believe. Some people hope for more than this from philosophical discussion of values. when clearly stated. This more modest function may still be worthwhile. ralher than those. is a proof of the validity of one set of values. Perhaps its social function is to spell out different sets of values more f~ifly than they usually appear. But. and a demonstration that others are mistaken. thinking about a possible future world is to ask onrselves what we like or dislike about it. And even among the likely readers of this book. to be open to criticism. and to say. It is a tempting fantasy for someone writing a book like this one to think that any reader who is rational and who understands the argument will be trausfonned into a person with the same views as the writer. There is not room here to argue the matter. aren't they?' Of course. because people have diiTerent outlooks. so that people can accept or reject policies with greater awareness of the implications of their choices.INTRODUCTION I it is less obvious that there are agreed beliefs to start from. in a way I hope for the answer 'yes'. For the reasons we give may turn out. as the result of making piecemeal. short-term decisions. and what reasons we have. and may mean little now to people in China or Japan. rather than thiuking coherently about kinds of life as a whole. and perhaps as a result to work out more fully what they do believe. and critical d e c t i o n on those values themselves. What they hope for. the answer will quite often be 'no'. are what matter. although I hope there will be understanding of its values. The aim is to bdng out some of the underlying questions of value more clearly. Objections to the conditioning techniques used in Brave NEW World invile ithe challenge to say just what it is that makes them worse than the more haphazard 18 l i 1 1 l .

it seems parochial and constricting to take decisions about the future with only our own outlook in mind. Many possible kinds of fnture world (Brave New World is one) come out badly in terms of some of our values. there is no total escape from our own viewpoint. thinking about the future is a way of thinking about ourselves. commitment to this degree of impartiality must be a feiture of our own system of values. So the next stage of thinlung is 10 ask what we should try to do for future generations. Should we care at all what sort of people there are. and what their life is like? If we should. even if we decide to give weight to future attitudes we do not share. Changes in society and in human nature can be expected to involve changes in values. Suppose we are fairly clear about our own reasons for approving or disapproving of a particular kind of society. in deciding what we ought to do. but on the way we will be forced to do some fresh thinking about what autonomy is.methods used in our own society. and why we value it. Here too. On the other hand. what is the role of our own attitudes in assessing ways of life in which those attitudes would no longer exist? One thought here is that. . a hundred years from now. Perhaps this challenge can be met. and yet would be highly raled by their inhabitants. Perhaps we should not give our own late-twentieth-century attitudes a privileged position? But. The third part of the book lries to place the discussion in a larger context.


Part One: Genes .


due this year.Chapter 2 Questions about Some Uses of Genetic Engineering NonEL 'SUPER BABIES' Three exceptionally intelligent women have been fertilized from a sperm bank whose donors are all Nobel prize-winning scientists. Mr Robert Graham.' D r Shockley was quoted as saying. mqst of them . He said that blacks scored on average about 1 5 points below whitessin intelligence tests. as saying that so far at least four Nobel prize-winners in addition to Dr ShocMey had donated to the sperm bank. 'Yes. The newspaper quoted Mr Graham. aged 74. Dr Shockley caused a minor sensation in the early 1970s when the US National Academy of Sciences refused lo sponsor a study of his contention that human intelligence was mostly the result of heredity. it was reported. malce a few comments on your front-page story ('Nobel Super Babies')? The vast majority of Nobel laureates are scientists. would be the first to result from a programme set up by a California businessman. sir. as a citizen and a Nobel laureate. who shared the Nobel prize for Physics in 1956. It said the existence of the sperm bank was confirmed by Dr Shockley and at least five other people. the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday. more than a dozen have expressed interest in the idea. aimed at producing people of superior intelligence. aged 70. He said he was dsappointed that more of his fellow Nobel scientists had not beeu willing to add their names to what he called 'this good cause'. the newspaper said. Apart from the three women who have beeu inseminated. GUARDIAN. 1March 1980 . May I. I'm one of them. One of the sperm donors was Dr William Shockley. the newspaper said. The babies.

has several times explained clearly. As is now well known. has not been at the centre of attention. I6nd it morally reprehensible and presumptuous for anybody to put himself forward as a judge of the qualities for which we should breed. Even if Mr Graham's project is to be considered an experiment. is for many reasons not practicable. such as those of Mr Graham and Dr Shockley. The debate will become less academic if we develop genetic engineering techniques to give us power directly to choose the genes of future people. is only partly controlled by heredity. 5 March 1980 Should we try to alter the genetic composition of future generations? Eugenic proposals. as it is usually understood. the development of intelligence. and discard our less admirable qualities. have always aroused strong passions. Seen in this way. Others think of the abuses (perhaps remembering the N z experimenl) and feel ai revulsion and dread at the horrors even a well-intentioned policy could lead to. since Nobel laureates are a very small sample even of the world's scientists. This debate. it is equally vital for success in life that a child grows up in a harmonious family and that he be offered the besl possible opportunities for education. They are not necessarily all of superior intelligcnce: they are primarily men and women who have been successfuul in a particular kind of intellectual endeavour. in a letter to the GUARDIAN. As one of our foremostbiologists. 'positive eugenics'. and people of comparable stature are to be found in large numbers in all walks of life. . Some hope that we can escape from our present innate limitations.e. breeding for the 'improvement' of the human species. Pinally. it will never be possible to judge its results. adopting a policy of deliberate genetic change would be a beneficial turning-point in the history of the human race. while conhed to eugenics. Tinbergen. N. Sir Peter Medawar. i. the five Nobel laureates and the three women involved have raised doubts about their possession of the very asset they want to pass on to their offspring: intelligence. By consenting to take part in Mr Graham's ill-considered project. because of doubts about the workability of eugenic schemes. At any rat$.specialists.

if at aU. No doubt there is some approximate truth of this type to be fouhd if we consider variations within a given population at a particular time. The debate on human genetic engineering should become like the debate on nuclear power: one in which large possible benefits have to be weighed against big problems and the risk of great disasters. partly because the techniques have not ye1 been developed. there is everything to be said for not muddling the issue up with the debate over the relative importance of genes and environment in the development of such characteristics as intelligence. It will be argued that our resislance is based on a complex of different values and reasons.is a widespread view that any project for the genetic improvement of the human race ought to be ruled out: that there are fundamental objections of principle.o u t b e d opposition in principle. apart from this fastidiousness. But it is highly unlikely that there is any such statement . there are other reasons. I take the particular case of genetic engineering because il may provide the most extreme possibilities of this. in the Ikst part of this book. when examined. we should adopt policies designed to change human nature. adequate to rule out in principle this use of genetic eugineering. The discussion has not reached this point. is to raise the question of how far. 1 Avoiding the Debate about Genes and the Environment In discussing the question of genetic engineering. and so is filled wilh as much acrimony as argument. The aim of this discussion is to sort out some of the main objections. There. none of which is. and seems likely to arouse the deepest resistance.SOME USES OP G B N B T I C E N G I N E B E I N G My concern. One reason for avoiding that debate is that it arouses even stronger passions than genetic engineering. But. The nature-nurture dispute is generally seen as an argument about the relative weight the two factors have in causing differences within the human species: 'IQ is 80 per cent hereditary and 20 per cent environmental' versus 'IQ is 80 per cent envimnmental and 20 per cent hereditary'. It poses the underlying issues with particular sharpness. But it is also partly because of the blurred vision which fuses together many separate risks and doubts into a f w .

Suppose the genetic engineering proposal were to try to make people less aggressive. We need only the minimal assumption that different genes wuld give us differentcharacteristics. To take the extreme case. Discoveries . It is only if we make the highly artificial assumption that diKerent groups at d8erent times all have an identical spread of relevant environmental differences that we can expect to find statements of this kind applying to human nature in general. To say this is not to argue that studies on Ule question should not be conducted. It may well be possible. we need take no stand on the relative importance or uuimportance of genetic factors in the explanation of the present range of individual differences found in people. In other words.) But all this would show is that. We can avoid this dispute because of its irrelevance. 2 Methods of Changing the Genetic Composition of Future Generations There are essentially three ways of altering the genetic composition of future generations.GCNES . but also when genetic differencesare. within our species. to h d out the relative weights of the two kinds of factor for a given characteristic among a certain group at a particular time. To deny that assumption you need to be the sort of person who thinks it is only living in kennels which makes dogs differentfrom cats. It would show nothing about the likely effects on aggression if we use genetic engineering to give people a different set of genes from those they now have. which is simply true of human nature regardless of context. that such a figure turned out to be true for the whole of humanity. . any residual variations would be 100 per cent genetic. And this last case is what we are considering. and useful. the distribution of genes relevant to aggression is very uniform. to take genetic engineering seriously. regardless of social wntext. The first is by environmental changes. not only when environmental differences are stretched out or compressed. if we could imn out all environmental differences. (Let us grant. On a snpeficial view. the proposal might be shown to be unrealistic if there were evidence to show that variatian in aggressiveness is hardly genetic at all: that it is 95 per cent environmental. The point is that any such conclusions lose relevance. or are bound to fail. most implausibly.

although setting it up meant that some people with genetic defects. at least where the alteration is not for the worse. we often &ePt this. 1960. Pew people oppose the National Health Service. all alter the selective pressures on genes. who would have died. Scepticism has been expressed about whether eugenic policies have any practical chance of success.) For many characte&tics. or alterations in the tax position of large families. 1972. have had treahnent enabling them to survive and reproduce.' It is hard to think of any social change which does not make some difference to who snrvives or who is born. the institution of a National Health Service.SOME USES UP G E N E T I C B N G I N E I N G in medicine. Controversy starts when we think of aiming deliberately at genetic changes. Eugenic methods are 'environmental' too: the difference is only that the genetic impact is intended. fewer children. On the whole. chapter 3: and in 'The Genetic ImprovementofMun'. in The Hope ofProgross. before suggesting that policies of deliberate intervention are best considered in the context of genetic engineering. 1959). Possible strategies range from variuus kinds of compulsion (to have more children. agricultural changes. 2. The third method is genetic engineering: using enzymes to add to or subh. schemes for poverty relief.patterns or patterns of survival of people with dinerent genes. And even in cases where environmental factors increase the proportion of undesirable genes in the pool. or even compulsion over the choice of sexual partner) to the completely (our present genetic counselling practice of giving pmspective parents information about probabilities of their children having various abnormalities). I want to make some brief remarks about eugenic policies. Any simple picture 1. The Puture of Man (The Reith Lectures. we accept without quahns that much of what we do has genetic impact.' (Our different blood groups are a familiar example.act from a stretch of DNA. So children do not simply repeat parental characteristics. people get a different gene from each parent. 27 . Most people are unworried by the fact that a side-effect of an environmental change is to alter the gene pool. London. London. ChrisGrahamhassuggested ta mo that it ismisleading to say thls witl~out emphasizing L o h poinful slawyss of this wily ofchanging gene fmquencies. The second method is to use eugenic policies aimed at altering breeding. or no children. Medawar has pointed out the importance of genetic polymolphism: the persistence of genetically different types in a population. by engenics or genetic engineering.

but a similar point can he made at a higher level of complexity. But.. Genes. If this were so.p. even apart from environmental variation. Suppose the best individualsfor some quality (say. But it does not show the inevitable failure of any large-scale attempts to alter human characteristics by varying the relative numbers of children different kinds of people have. Polymorphism raises a doubt about whether the offspring of the three 'exceptionally intelligent women' fertilized by Dr Shoclcley or other Nobel prize-winners will have the same IQ as the parents. There is the view that the genetic-engineering techniques required will not become a practical possibility.GENES of producing an improved type of person. so we will not be gnessing which qualities will be desinble dozens of generations later. if it becomes possible. Sir Macparlane Burnet. writing in 1971 about using genetic engineering to cure disorders in people already born. overall improvement could still be brought about by encouraging people whose genes included an A or a B to have more children than those who had only CS or Ds. say. 81. For the genellc. The point of taking a quality like colour vision is that it may be genetically fairly simple. would be a very slow &air. DrumsandRcalillca. will have an immediate effect. although polymorphism is a problem for this crudely utopian form of eugenics. so that they inherit a gene A from one parent." Unless engineering at the stage of sperm cell and egg is easier. Yet any attempt. to raise the level of intelligence. this seems a conAdent 3. dismissed the possibility of nsing a virus to cany a new gene to replace a faulty one in cells throughout the body: 'I should be willing to state in any company that the chance of doing this will remain infinitely small to the last syllable of recorded time. taking many generations to make much of an impact. This is one reason for preferring to discuss genetic engineering. 1971. But AAs and BBs may still be better than ACs or ADS. it does not show that more modest schemes of improvement must fall.es. and then letting the improvement be passed on unchanged. These ABs will have AAs and B& ainong their children. and perhaps much better than CCs or CDs. Qualities like kindness or intelligence are more likely to depend on the interaction of many genes. and a gene B h m the other.Iandon. 28 . colour vision) are heterozygous. collapi. who will be less good than they are. engineering of human improvements.

) Genetic engineering will not damage the family in the obvious ways that compulsory eugenic policies would. which hide the deeper theoretical issues. (Sir MacFarlane ~ ~ ~ ~ has not yet been falsified as totally as Rutherford's view view ~ t ' s about atomic energy. obtaining iransfer b m n n rebbit and mouse. and the futurepason being engineered has no views to be overridden. are aU open to objection on grounds of overriding people's autonomy. wll In the rnaise. But I hope that the last syllable of recorded time is still soqe way off.) ~h~ main reason for casting the discussion in terms of genetic engineering rather than eugenics is not a practical one. More recent work casts doubt on this ~onfidence. Same.~ having mentioned this scepticism. by transferring the geses Into the devoloplng eggs. Genetic engineering need not involve overriding anyone's autonomy. Such policies as compulsory sterilization. I shall disSo. Nor need it be encouraged by incentives which create inequalities. it is still objectionable to have one's genetic characteristics decided by others. genetic engineering allows us to focus more clearly on other values that are involved. It need not be forced on parents against their wishes. I do not want to be taken to be opposing two Wuds of policy. 229-30. and goad sxpresslon of the forelgn gene in Its new host. OdoM. Saying that some eugenic policies are open to obvious moral objections does not commit me to disapproval of all eugenic pohcies.and childbenefit policies is an intolerable step towards a society of different genetic castes. or wmlsUing people to have more or fewer children than they would otherwise have. hove menaced to get eh now genes lnm evnv te -. compulsory abortion. Many eugenic policies are open to fairly straightforward moral objections. (To avoid apossiblemisunderstanding. Including the sex cells: those mice have fathered o m d n g who can& the forelgn gene. One is genetic counselling: warning people of risks 4. (The view that despite this. In particular. And the use of discriminatory tax. and that it is worth discussing. pp. compelling people to pair off in certain ways. 1982. 'Already they have pushed Cline's results furlher. one pointshould be added before leaving the topic of eugenics. Because it avoids these highly visible moral objections. . for example. Some are open to objection on grounds of damage to the institution of the family. We will assume that genetic engineering of people may become possible.' ]eremy ChuEas: Man Made Mfe. regard it.SOME USBSOP G E N E T I C E N G I N B B B I N G dismissal of the topic to be discussed here. will be considered later.

For this reason the screeningprogramme is more conlroversial. Huntington's chorea is caused by a dominant gene. and perhaps advising them against having them. so those who find that one of their parents has it have themselves a 50 per cent chance of developing it. These two eugenic policies come in at different stages: before conception and during pregnancy. The other is the inlroduction of screening-programmes to detect foetal abnormalities.in having children. leading to mental decline and lack of control over movement. because it raises the issue of abortion. at least in voluntary form. The risks are so high and the disorder so bad that the potential parents often decide not to have children. even if not an . I they do have it. the mother is given the possibility of an abortion. This is a particularly appalling inheriled disorder. each of their children will in turn have a 50 per cent f chance of the disease. as applied to those thought likely to have such disorders as Huntington's chorea. and are often given advice to this effect by doctors and others. But they are likely to feel that elimination of the disorders would be a good thing. Those who think ahorlion is no different from killing a fully developed human are obviously likely to oppose the programme. involving brain degeneration. by which time many of its victims would in the normal course of things have had children. Another eugenic response to disorders is involved in screeningprogrammes for pregnant women.followed by giving the mother the option of aborlion where serious defects emerge. we should do in the field of human genetic engineering.) Let us now t m to the question of what. 3 The PositivcNegative Distinction We are not yet able to cure disorders by genetic engineering. But we do sometimes respond to disorders by adopting eugenic policies. The screening-programmesare eugenic because part of their point is to reduce the incidence of severe genetic abnormality in the population. Those who are sympathetic to abortion. It does not normally come on until middle age. Genetic counselling is one instance. if anything. When tests pick up such defects as Down's syndrome (mongolism) or spina bsda. and who think it would be good to eliminate these disorders will be sympathetic 10 the programme.

the boundary between a defective state and normality may be more blurred. But withother conditions. say at the foetal stage. as neither compulsion nor killing is involved. Huntington's chorea orspina biildaaregenetic 'mistakes' in a way that cannot seriously be disputed. Suppose the genetic disposition to depression involves the production of lower levels of an enzyme lhan are produced in normal people. If there is a genetic dispositih towards depressive illness. whose elimination would be part of negative genetic engineering. ~~w people object to the use of eugenic policies to eliminate disorders. Unless they also disapprove of contraception. we do not object to the use of eugenic policies against disease. knowing that any abnormality will be eliminakd. ~~~t of us are resistant to the use of compulsion. We do not object to advising those likely to have Huntington's chorea not to have children. The hegative programme is to correct the genetic fault so that the enzyme 31 . Some conditions are genetic disordem whose identification raises little problem. The couple. it would be pure g . (The same distinction can be made for eugenics. But apart from these other objectibus. and there is a clear and stzong case for its use. In both cases. And those opposed to abortion prefer babies to be born without handicap.) The positive-negative distinction is not in all cases completely sharp. &ss those policies have additional features which a r e objectionable. it is hard to see how those of us who are prepased to use the eugenic measures just mentioned could object.SOME USES O P G B N B T l C B N G I N B E B I N G adequatejustification for killing. can have a child if they want. But accepting the case for eliminating genetic mistakes does not entail accepting other uses of genetic engineering. The elimination of defects is often called 'negative' genetic engineering. It is hard to think of any objection to using genetic engineering to eliminate defects. and those who oppose abortion hill object to screening-programmes. Those of us who take this view have no objection to altering the genetic composition ofthe next generation. ~f it were possible to use genetic engineering to correct defects. to bring about improvements in normal people. one of whom may develop I-Iunting* ton's chorea. Those sympathetic to abortion will agree that cure is preferable. Going beyond this. this seems a defect. where this alteration consists in reducing the incidence of defects. they are likely to support the genetic-counselling policy in the case of~untington's chorea. is by contrast 'positive' engineering.

' But other people have held just as strongly that positive policies are the way to make the future of mankind better than the past. Outofthe NiyhLNcw Y a k . or should we say that the line between the two is the limit of what is tnorally acceptable? There is no doubt that positive programpes arouse the sh.' The case for positive engineering is not helped by adopting the tones of the mad scientist in a horror film. In the second . If we decide on a positive programme to change our nature. But behind the rhetoric is a serious point. I there is a rough and ready distinction. there are variations in the enzyme level. 1935. the question is: how important is it? Should we go on from accepting negative engineering to accepting positiie programmes. the wishes. J.ToBnd a distinguished genetidst talking like this after the Nazi pdod is not easy .GBNHS level is within the range found in normal people.ongest feelings on both sides. shape itsellinto an increasingly snblhne creation . and the whims of man.shaking. which correlate with ordinary dBerences in tendency to be cheerful or depressed.a being beside which the mythical divinities of the past will seem more and more ridiculous. On the one hand. the tequirements. it will reach down into the secret places of the great universe of its own nature. In the long preparatory phase it was the helpless creature of its environment. and nakurai selection gradually ground it into human shape. but often f we can at least roughly see where it should bp drawn. But suppose that within 'normal' people also. And in thc long third phase. and by aid of its evor growbg intelligence and COoperation. many respond to positive genetic engineering or positive eugenics with Professor Tinbergen's thought: 'l find it morally reprehensible and presumptuous for anybody to put hhnself forward as a judge of the qualities for which we should breed. Is there a sharp boundary between 'cUnicalSdepression and the depression sometimes felt by those diagnosed as 'normal'? Is it clear that a sharp distinction can be drawn between raising someone's enzyme level so that it falls withln the normal range and raising someone else's level from the bottom of the normal range to the top? The positivbnegative distinction is sometimes a blurred one. Muller expressed this hope: And so we foresee the history of life divided into three main phases.our mshwt transitionalphase-it reaches out at the immediate environment. challenges them to contest. Many years ago H. and which setting its own marvellous inner powers against thc bruk Goliath of the suns and the planets. 5.shaping and grindingto suit the form.

I shall also assume that we can ignore problems about whether positive engineering will be technically possible. negative genetic engineering is acceptable. I shall assume that.SOME USES OP G B N B T I C B N G I N R Z R I N G this will be a central moment in our hislory. 4 The View That Overall Improvement is Unlikely or Impossible There is one doubt about the workability of schemes of genetic improvement which is so widespread Lhat it would be perverse to ignore it. what. if anything. In the next chapler some general issues of principle will be considered. On this view. we are bound to pay a price somewhere else: perhaps the more intelligent people will have less resistance to d~sease. If it were possible to push up intelligence without . will be less physically agile. if we bring about a genetically based improvement. such as cloning. in terms of gene survival. subject to adequate safeguards against things going wrong. The rest of this present chapter is about some more localized objections. This is the vipw that. there are no gains without Wmpensaling losses. in any genetic alteration. If correct. ilnd against other objections and doubts? par the rest of this discussion. And there are objections to the risks involved. lhis might or so undermine the practicability of applying eugenics or genetic engineering that it would be hardly worth discussing the values involved in such programmes. and to the possibility of mistakes. The question is: how are we to weigh this possibility against Tinbergen's objection. such as higher intelligence. and the transformation benefiual to a degree we can now scarcely imagine. should we do with this power? The strategy of the discussion will be to separate out some different objections to positive engineering. we must already be as efficient as it is possible to be. Once we have eliminated genetic defects. or crossing speciesboundaries. There are criticisms of particular applications. The Issue is positive engineering. Suppose we have the power to choose people's genetic characteristics. There is the view lhat any ben& from a genelic improvement will be balanced by a related drawback. There are objections about damage to the family. This vie? perhaps depends on some idea that natural selection is so efficient that.

The view that gains and losses are tied up with each other need not depend on the dogma that natural selection must have created the best of all possible sets of genes. hut this need not force us. If natural mutations can be beneficial without a compensating loss. suggesting. In real evolutionary theory.1965. In our present state of knowledge. From tbe point of view of evolutionary progress. If so. It depends on how we rate musical ability as against having children. A more cautiously empirical version of the claim says there is a tendency for gains to be accompanied by losses. and this is the origin of evolutionary progress. f 34 . in his paper on 'Eugenics and Utopia'. and evolutionary survival does not dictate priorities here. why should artificially induced ones not be so too? It should also be noticed that there are two different ideas of what counts as a gain or a loss. John Maynard Smith. that any loss of genetic resistance to disease is likely to he a good thing: 'The reason for this is that in evolution. far from the genetic status quo always being the hest possible for a given environment. natural selection would already have done so. one seldom gets something for nothing. But this is a naive version of evolutionary theory. as an argument in defence of medicine. or the musical prodigies themselves. engineering for some improvement might easily bring some uupredicted but genetically linked disadvantage.' It is important that different characteristics may turn out to be genetically linked in ways we do not yet realiee. Fdinburgh. this would be a hopeless gene in terms of survival.' takes this kind of 'broad balance' view and runs it the other way. so that there is a presumption that any gain will be accompanied by a compensating loss 6. as in other Eelds. Genes which confer diseawresistance are likely to have harmful effects in other ways: this is certainly true of the gene for sickle-cell anaemia and may be a general rule. to think of the change as for the worse.John Moynard Smith: On Bvolution. gains and losses are simply advantages and disadvantages from the point of view of gene survival. some mutations turn out to be advantageous. absence of selection in favour of disease resistance may be eugenic. But we are not compolled to take this view. 1972: the artlde is reptintd fmm the issueon 'Utopia' o Daedalm. But we do not have to accept that there will in general be i broad balance. JournaloJthe Arnerirm Academy of ArB nndSci~nm8. If we could engineer a genetic change in some people which would have the effect of making them musical prodigies but also sterile.weakening some other p u t of the system.

If genetic engineeringresulled in children fairly diEferentfrom their parents. There is something to this objection. Because losses are relative to context. 5 The Family and Our Descendants unlike various compulsory eugenic policies. The changes would have to be detectable to be worth bringing about. But. And let us suppose that genetically engineered babies grow in the mothefs womb in the normal way. so that her relationship to the child is not threatened in the way it mighl be if the laboratory OS the hospital were substituted for the womb. would not be easy to identify with. any generalization about the impossibility of overall improvements is dubious. but there seems no reason why large changesinappearance. while those who are homozygous (whose genes are both sickle-cell) get sickle-cell anaemia. this might make their relationship have problems.SOME USES O F G B N B T I C E N G I N B E R I N G (or Maynard Smith's version that we can expect a compensating gain for any loss). Obviously. and no doubt sometimes we project on to our children similarities that are not really there. when the similarities do exisl. It may be suggested that there is a more subtle threat. But genetic engineering need uot mgve in such sudden jerks. or with their decisions about how many children to have. The cruder threats to family relationships are eliminated. but it is easy to exaggerate. The reason why sickle-cell anaemia is widespread in Africa is ylat it is genetically linked with resistance to malaria. Parents like to identify with their children. The reason is that what counts as a gain or loss varies in different contexts. they help the parents and children to understand and sympathize with each other. We are often pleased to see some of our own characteristicsin our children.oran unbridgeablepsychologicalgulf. we will pay the price of having more malaria. genetic engineering need not involve any interference with deriqions by couples to have children together. Those who are heterozygous (who inherit one sickle-cell gene and one normal gene) are rsistant to malaria. children who were like Midwich cuckoos. If we use genetic engineering to knock out sickle-cell anaemia where malaria is common. should 35 . But when we eradicate malaria. Perhaps this is partly a kind of vanity. the gain will not involve this loss. or comic-book Martians. Take Maynard Smith's example of sickle-cell maemia.

tion of children in a remote place are given schooling and made literate. 6 Cloning Cloning is reproduction of an organism by cell divis~on. Where this is successful. If scientific originality depends less on genes than this project nssumes. Perhaps these hopes about the future of mankind are relatively unimportant to us. Perhaps there would be psychological problems. Genetic engineering would rnake our descendants less like us. there seems to be only one. . they are unrealistic in the very long term. if they think of us. It is not clear that genetically induced chauges of similar magnitude are any more objectionable. and that. the production of a single cloned person seems unobjectionable. A related objection concerns our attitude to our remoter descendants. Rut. they will do so w ~ t h sympathy and approval. objection.) But. because of the special position of being a cloned offspring. should we use them? If we think of producing a single offspring by cloning. (Scientists sometimes talk of the benefits to physics of being able to clone a replica of Einstein. We hope they will to some extent be like us. these expectations would create obvious problems for the less talented Einstein-clone.A cell-nucleus from the organism to be reproduced is transferred to an unlertilized egg whose own cell-nucleus has been removed. Natural mutations and selectivepressures make it unlikely that in a few million years our descendants will be physically or menlally much like us.be created in any one generation. Perhaps this is in part an immortality substitute. So what genetic engineering $reatens here is probably doomed anyway. When people are repelled by the thought of clones. rather speculative. but it is not usually thought a decisive objeclion. If we develop techniques for cloning humans. but this would only speed up lhenatuml rate of change. We like to think of our descendants stretching on for many generations. This may cause some proMems in families. even if we mind about [hem a lot. they usually have in mind Ule creation of whole batches of people of identical composition. as when the first genera. if these proble~nsare minor or non-existent. We bring about environmental changes which make childrendifferentfrom their parenls. the resulting organism has the same genetic make-up as the original one.

as it were. w e might expect cloning to change our relationships. It is hard to guess how far cloning would change relationships. A very diverse gene pool makes it more likely that some of us will survive biological disasters such a s the spread of some new and lethal disease. and of their responses to each other. 81.. (I wonder what it is like now to love someone who has an identical twin?) And any changes of a disturbing kind might be matched by compensating advantages. Perhaps cloning will alter relationships less than we might 6rst think. because of the extent to which a relationship between two people depends on a history of shared experiences. of a kind not now apparent. (People might have problems telling who they were married to.tthe practical drawbacks are not central. so one would see the very m-down Mary Smith who was in the locality. One might slat comparing. or whether any changes would he on balance for better or worse. Bernard Williams (in a different context) discusses what it would be like to love someone just as an instance of a type rather thau as an individual person. Cambridge. We feel our lives would be impoverished by the loss of variety. 37 . where a town was entirely populated bfone male clone and one female clone. perfonnanees of the type: and wanting to be ncar We persau one loved would be like mating very much to hear some performance. of B~aro -just as one will go to the scratch provincial performance of Pigaro rather than hear no Pigam at all. even an indlEEcrent one. In Pmblerns ofthe Sell. there would be practical problems. rather than see no Mary Smith at all. wecan dimly see what this would be like. And the police might And identification parades less useful. The central objections have to do with the narrowing of the genepool. 1973. It would be like loving a work of art in some reproducible medium. And our present degree of variety has genetic advantages.' These engaging thoughts about this dislurbing possibility might never be actualized. Members of a clone might develop special bonds of closeness and empathy. .a SOMB USES O F G E N E T I C L'NGINBBaING hi^ is unattractive because of the value we place on having a wide variety of diff6rent people. and the impoverishing uniformity involved. In an extreme case.) ~. These objections are so strong that any substantial use of cloning batches of people could only be justified by some very pressing reason. He says. 9 ' 7 'Arc Persons Badles?'. p.

where. young geese are given an early environment which gives them later a sexual orientation towards humans. But this is not the central reason. It is likely that we would only mix species if the resulting animals were going to have qualities that we would 6nd useful. We imagine someone breeding a slave species combining the passive subservience of domesticated anlmals with some human intellectual skills. Perhaps the special unpleasantness of combining exploitation with genetic mixing is in the possibility that creatures might be partly human. But this does not didtinguish the genetic mix from other animals that we rear for purposes of exploitation. Perhaps we are influenced by stories Uke Katka's Mctamarphosis. We think of a creature with a fair amount of human mentality unable 10 express much. It seems likely that the combination of such different genes would lead to psychological stresses and frustrations. The horror of the half-human slave species has two components. A better model of what inappropriate mixing might be like may be imprinting. if we suppose 38 . not accepted as a member by the species from which it had wme.GBNBS 7 Crossing Species Boundaries Many people feel a revulsion at the thought of genetic engineering being used to produce creatures which would combine characteristics of more than one species. and feel this particularly strongly where one of the species in such a combination would be our own. where a man one day b d s he has the body of an insect. The first aspect of its awfulness is the probably unsatisfactory life of such creatures. And. This suggests the purpose would only be exploitation. for instance. More fundamental is the fear that inappropriate parts ofdiferent species wuld be combined. but exploitationis not worse because the breed is an artificial product. as a lot of the special horror of Kaka's story comes from the man having thoughts and feelings which depend on his having previously been an ordinary human. It is objectionable where our treatment of animals means that they have less good lives than they could have. Tbis is a misleading way of thinking of what genetic mixing of species would be like. One reason for the revulsion may be the thought that the creature would be an outcast. That could be dealt with by producing enough of the new type for them to make their own community. because of the Limitations of a body derived from a wolf or a cat.

even if a particular project of mixing genes from different species involves no sulfering. or foad bespattered on clothing. Mary Douglas. there is another problem. wemay still feel. and the disturbance induced by things that straddle or blur the boundaries between them.ations of this is the idea ofdirt: It is a reiatiqe idea. Our revulsion has a second component. Shoes are not dirty in themselves.the dining-table: food is not dlrty in itself. This is its Brst appearance.SOMB USES O P G R N B T l C B N G I N B B R I N G that genetic engineering has reached a level of precision where these conilicts can be eliminated. more to do with our own psychological needs than with theinterests of the creature produced. but it i dirty m place them s on. in her anthropological theorizing. The objection is like that lo some project of breeding contented mental defectives as slaves. The question of how we can be justified in thinking one sort of life more worthwhile than another is a central issue in this boolc. we may still feelrepelled. we have produced sub-humins rather than humans. But. and here I just assume that many readers share the above view about breeding contented menlal defectives. bathroom equipment in . even if we are quite confident that contented creatures combining features of humans and of. and even if we are persuaded by the 'super-cow' argument that the project involves no loss in quality of life. But someone might reply that. by adding some f human genes. One of her illush. and the population of ordinary cows declines as farmers choose to have super-cows instead. But we think it wrong to bring into the world people with such relatively impoverished lives when we could have brought normal people into the world instead. Some theoretical issues underlying such judgements are discussed in the last part of the boolc. from our external perspective. by adding some cow genes. The objection is not on grounds of misery or frustration. Yet. but it isdirty to leave cooking utensils in'the bedroom. and not miss lost aspects of life which they cannot understand. They may be contented. I the number of humans stays constant. that the life of these creatures is impoverished. it is hard to see that the world has grown worse. similarly. but on grounds of possibilities that wc can see have been lost: the possibilities in a fully human life. say. has stressed the imporb ance to us of the m& categories we use in classifying the world. as these have been eliminaled. cows have lives that are less worthwhile than fully human lives are. We say that. we have produced super-cows rather than cows.

p. 40 . But. And the division between our own speciesand others is even more important to our system of thought. clothing lying on chairs: outdoor thingsindoors: upstairs things downstairs: underclothing appearing where overclothes should be. For the divisions between the species are the lines of our system of classifying animals. ibid. atbers for children. One way or another the animais which they reject as unsuitable for human or female consumption turn out to be ambiguous according to their scheme of classification. Purity andDanyer. a s well as religious belief. But some qualifications are necessary. animakafthe abovc(binls. 1966.the drawing-room.ondon. others for pregnant women. flying squirrels are not unambiguously birds nor animals. 8. our pollution behaviour is thc reaction which condemns any object or idea likely to confuse or cantradicl cherished clasuifications. and so they are avoided by dlscliminoting adults:' When and how much people are disturbed by things anomalous in their system of classification is not an easy question. it is tempting to dismiss it. In short. Certain animals and parts of animais are appropriate for men to eat.squirrelsandmonkeys)fromanimals of the below: water animals and land animals. 1.. and is something we could give up without loss. Those whose behaviour is ambiguous an! treated as anomalies of one kind or another and are struck off80mone's diet sheet. To the extent that our resistance to genetic mixing is cansehhy revulsion against anomalies. Another example she gives of the importance of such boundaries applied to animals is in the outlook of the Lele: Most of their cosmology and much of their social order is reflected in their animal categories. and those of us who do not have that revulsion do not feel we lack anything of value. pp. and disturbance a t the thought of blurring them may be playing a part in our hostile response. that motivated the resistance to Darwin. Some people hate the thought of intermarriage between races.' She suggests that this point is relevant to the explanation of food taboos of the kind laid down in Leviticus. where some animals are thought unclean. 48. if we feel sympathetic to Mary Douglas's idea. and sa on. Perhaps it is no more capable of rational justification than the food taboos of the Lele. Their animal taxonomy separates night Eromday animals. Perhaps it was this. its application to genetic mixing of the species will seem plausible. For instance. Others are regarded as totally inedible. 9. 196-7. othors for women.The temptation to dismiss our resistance as a n irratiohal taboo is one we should mainly yield to.

there is a strong case for resisting the blurring of this boundary. If. the effects might go either way. Or there might be a weakening of the prohibitions that now protect weaker or less intelligent humans from the treatment animals are subjected to. and should no(assume that shedding taboos is without psychological cost. this might undermine our present belief in the moral importance of the d i s t i n ~ tion. 8 Risks and Mistakes Although mixing different species and cloning are often prominent in people's thoughts about genetic engineering. than by mixing different species. genetic mixing resulted in many individuals varying imperceptibly along the continuum between the two species. But. but to say that the likflihood of other techniques bking much more prominent makes it a pity to become fixated on the issues raised by these ones. We exploit animals for our food and our research. Our present practice is to act in quite d8erent ways towards humans and towards members of other species. to outweigh the drawbacks.SOME USES OP G B N B T I C ENGINEERIPG It may not be easy to give up our feelings of revulsion. There might be a beneficial reform in our attitudes towards members of other species. And it is no1 clear what advantage cloning batches of people might have. or by the creation of quite new types of organism. And the same might be true of our resistance to genetic mixing of species. they are relatively marginal issues. If the second possibility 1s a real danger. We know rather htlle about how deep this kind of reaclion goes.instead oftherebeing aclear gap between monkeys and ourselves. There seems little problem when we think in terms of other people giving up thek food taboos. If it dld. when we turn to our own. This is partly because there may be no strong reasons in favour of either. And some of the most serious objec- . Another qualification has 10 do w ~ t b effects of making traditional the category boundaries seem less important by blurring them. This is not to be dogmatic that species mixing and cloning could never be useful. whether another or our own. the psychological difficulty is clearer. we might find our resistance hard to overcome. treating them in ways we would not think of treating even the most subnormal human being. Our purposes might be realized more readily by improvements to a single species. If the most efficientmeat production was the rearing of cats or rats for food.

we ought to do so with extreme caution. while negative enaneering is perhaps acceptable. If we produce a group of people who turn out worse than expected. or because diferent characteristics are found to he genetically linked in unexpected ways. We may produce unintended resulls.mse of current work on recombinant DNA. Some of the risks are already part of the public debate bec. The risk of disasters provides at least a reason for saying that.) This 'principle of caution' is less slrong than one ruling out all positive engineering. (The problems of deciding when this is so are familiar from the nuclear power debate. in characleristically violent fashion. This kind of mistake might not only be disastrous. our explanation that they were a mistake. because its aims are more modest. It is enough to make some people think we should ruleout genetic engineering altogether.GENES tions to positive genetic engineering have wider application than to these rather cases. or else corrective genetic engineering for their ofspring. only with adequate safeguards against such a disaster. we will have to live with them. The prnblem is dcciding what we should count as ddeqwate safeguards. but also very hard to 'correct'in snbsequenlgenerations. if we do adopt a policy of human genetic engineering. and where the benefit is great enough to justify lhe risk. We should alter genes only where we have strong reasons for thinking the risk of disaster is very small.we will perhaps move on to genetic engineering of people. if at all. Perhaps we would aim for producing people who were especially imaginative and creative. I have nothing to contx%buteto this problem here. The danger is of producing harmful organisms that would escape from our control. 42 . and that. And this introduces another dimension of risk. The work obviously should take place. One of these wider objections is that serious risks may be involved. we ~houldrule out positive engineering. The possibility of an irreversible disaster is a strong deterrent. and to make others think that. we might End them hard to persuade. The thought behind this second position is that the benefits from negative engineering are clearer. and reject. They might like the way they were. For when we suggested sterilization to the people we had produced. and only too late 6nd we had produced people who were also very violent and aggressive. disastrous mistakes are less lilcely. either because our techniques turn out to he less 6nely tuned than we thought. If it can be dealt with satisfactorily.

it is a matter of setting losses or t risks against any possible benefils. depends upon a distinction that is not completely sharp. The need to protect family relationships creates a presumption that any genetic change should be brought about gradually. which need not apply to genetic engineering. 9 The Objections So Par It is a widely held view that positive genetic engineering should in principle be ruled out. But this point. The disadvantages of cloning batches of people create a presumption against that policy. some of the arguments against any positive engineering have been criticized. there may be dangers in undermining our resistance. the argument from risk provides more justification for the principle of caution than for the stronger bap on all positive engineering. Our rebistance to crossing species boundaries may be largely irrational. Because all these objections have been of this kind. sometimes as the unintended results of policies of ours. Olhers appeal to a principle we need not believe in: that genetic gains will always be balanced by compensating losses. But the dominating reason for caution about adopting positive human genetic engineering. Even this risk has only been interpreted here as justifying a principle of caution rather than a told ban. is the risk OF some irreversible disaster. Unless with genetic engineering we think we can already rule out such possibilities. relatively . This belief. But. Like other arguments for caution. they are all. as well as for gradualness if we do adopt it. assuming that some such distinction can at least roughly be drawn. or that greater risks of a different kind are involved in not using positive engineering. from the theoretical point of view.SOME USES O F G E N E T I C EN(I1NEBRING and allows room for the possibility that the dangers may turn out to be very remote. when combined with the view that it is acceptable to use genetic engheering to remedy defects. should be placed in the context of the genetic changes which are taking place anyway. Some are difficultiesfor eugenic breeding policies. though in the case of mixing human and other genes. Like all the objections considered so far. The arguments designed to show that overall improvement is unlikely need not deter us. These possibilities correspond 10 one view of the facts in the nuclear power debate.

They are in some cases important. but most of them raise few deep issues not already present in debates on other possibly hazardous technology. The set ofproblems which raises deeper issues centres round the question: if we adopt positive genetic engineering. or in debates on large scale social changes.clear. who is in a position to decide what future people should be like? .

45 . they do not add up to an overwhelming case against positive engineering. The central line of thought is that we should not start playing God by redesigning the human race. 1 Not Playing God Suppose we could use genetic engineering to raise the average IQ by fifteen points. but that. I shall argue that these issues raise real problems. And it is also doubted whether we could have any adequate grouids for basing such decisions on one set of values rather than another. Wilson: On Human Nature Some of the strongest objections to positive engineering are not about specialized applications or about risks. This is not because the present average is preferable to a higher one. the boring objection that the average IQ is always by delbition 100. B. The suggeslion is that lhere is no group (such as scientists. philosophers measure their personal emotional responses to various alternalives as though consultimg a hidden oracle. public officials.Chapter 3 Decisions Like everyone else. or politicians) who can be enbvsted with decisions about what sort of people there should be. That oracle resides deep in the emotional centres of the brain. This chapter is about the 'playing God' objection: about the question 'Who decides?'. They are about the decisions involved. . We do not think that.. 0. only to ignore. The objection is to our playing God by deciding what the level should be.) Should we do this? Objectors to posltive engineering say we should not. (I mention. and about the values involved. most probably within the Limbic sy&m. doctors. if it were naturally fifteen points higher. we ought to bring it down to the present level. contraly to what is often supposed.

and negative changes at the genetic level. according to which features of our nature have been selected for their contribution to gene survival. how do we know thatmedicine and education do not?) The objection to playing God has a much wider appeal than to Ulose who literally believe in a divine plan: But. If these interpretations a r e too restrictive. On this view. But can we be sure that enough weight would be given to other desirable qualities? And do things seem better if for scientists ' 46 . it is unclear what the objection comes to. the objection is relatively straightforward. (It is relativelg straightforward: there would still be the problem of knowing where the boundaries came. where the decisions about the desired improvements were taken by scientists. Even if it is hard to distinguish in principle between the use of genetic and environmental means. it is not blasphemous. If it tells us not to interfere with natural selection at all.. This objection can be reinforced by imagining the possible results of a programme of positive engineering. The prohibition on playing God is obscure. who has a plan for the world which will be disrupted if we stray outside the boundaries assigned to us.GENES On one view of the world. why should we not malce positive changes at the genetic level? What makes this policy. but not the others. great prominence' would be given to intelligence. to start to control the process in the light of our own values. this rules out negative as well as positive genetic engineering. If we can make positive changes at the environmental level. and so they can be seen as the extreme case of an objectionably God-lilce policy by which some people set out to plan the lives of others. If we have a Darwinian view. We may value other qualities in people. there really is a God. outside such a context. the ban on positive engineering seems to need some explanation. Judging by the literature written by scientists on this topic. If genetic engineering disrupts the programme. i it only forbids interference with natural selection by thedirect alteration of genes. genetic changes are likely to ditrer in degree from most environmental ones. and most other f environmental and social changes. this rules out medicine. in preference to those which have been most conducive to gene survival. or obviously disastrous. Genetic alterations may be more drastic or less reversible. objectionably God-like? Perhaps the most plausible reply to these questions rests on a general objection to any group of people trying to plan too closely what human life should be like.

and we are right to worry that the limitations of their outlook might become the boundaries of human variety. if indeed there would be any such convergence. The present genetic lottery lhrows up a vast range of characteristics.oUing a poalive engineering policy would iuevilably have limited horizons. SLltamd Utoplo. Thus they worry over what sort(s) of person there is to be and who will control this process. that would come from the imaginative limils of those lakhg the decisions. 315. politicians or civil servants? Or some committee containing businessmen. it is a protest against a particular group of people. This supermarket system has the greatvirtue that it involves no centralized decison k i n g the future human tjpe(s). p. Nor do they think of seeing what limited number of types of persons people's choices would converge upon. . meeting the individual s p ~ c a t i o u(within certain moral s limits) of prospective parents. Or it may be an expression of opposilion to such concentralion of power. When the objection to playing God is separated from the idea that intervening in this aspect of the natural world is a kind of blasphemy. The group of people contr. trade unionists. taking decisions so important to our future. They do not tend to think. New York.we substitute doctors. academics. of specifying the best types of persons so that biologists can proceed to produce them. in all sorts of combinations. of a system in which they run a "genetic supermarket". The drawbacks would be like those of town-planning or dog-breeding. perhaps because it diminishes the importance of their role. 1974. perhaps with the thought: 'What right have they to decide what kinds of people there should be?' Can these problems be side-stepped?' 2 The Genetic Supermarket Robert Nozick is critical of the assumption that positive engineerhg has to involve any centralized decision about desirable qualities: 'Many biologists tend to think the problem is one of design. lawyers and a clergyman? What seems wonying here is the circumscribing of potential human development. but with more important consequences." 1 Ar~nrchy. such as loss of variety of people. good and bad. This protest may be on grounds of the bad consequences. necessarily fallible and limited. .

It would be a political decision where the limits should be set. Anyone with these sympathies will be suspicious of centralized decisons about what sort of people should form the next generation. and who wanted them to be unable to read. No doubt the boundaries here wiU be difficult to draw. and wmpulsion on parents to allow their children to be educated and to have necessary medical treatment) are likely to support protecting children from being harmed by their parents' genetic choices. If parents chose characteristics likely to make their children unhappy. ba a protection against their faith being corrupted.. Nozick's proposal will seem more ateactive than centralized decisions. (But we should be cautious here. On this approach to politics. as the influence of fashion or of shared values might make for a small number of types on which choices would converge. So. Parental choice is not a guarantee of genetic variety. even if only the restrictive one ofruling out certain choices harmful to the children. There may also be a case for other centralized restrictions on parental choice. some centraliied policy. (Imagide'parents belonging to some exlreme religious sect. It seems less likely to reduce human variety. if genetic engineering makes new combinations of characteristics available. we might feel that the children should be protected against this.GQNNS This idea of letting parents choose their children's characteristics is in many ways an improvement on decisions biing taken by some centralised body. as well as those aimed at preventing harm to the indimdual people 48 . Nozick recognizes this when he says the genetic supermarket should meet the specifications of parents 'within certain moral limits'. a good society is one which tolerates and encourages a wide diversity of ideals ofthe good life. . should exist. But It is hard to accept that society should set nolimits to the genetic choices parents can make for their children. But some parental decisons would be disturbing. or likely to reduce their abilities.) Tq those sympathetic to one kind of liberalism. if the supermarket came into existence.) Those of us who support restrjctions protecting children from parental harm after birth (laws against cruelty. and could even increase it. it is wrong for the authorities to institutionalize any religious or other outlook as the official one of the society. We already find it difficult to strike a satisfactory balance between protection of children and parental freedom to choose the kind of upbringing their children should have. To a liberal of this kind. who wanted their children to have a religious symbol as a physical mark on their face.

Unregulated individual decisions could lead to shifts of this kind.DECISIONS being designed. since those most likely to be 'interested individuals' would be in the age grnup being genetically engineered. Or parents might thiulc their children would be more successful if they were more thrusting. and. Information about likely prospects for marriage or sexual partnership might not be decisive for parents' choices. If enough parents acted on this thought. The genetic supermarket might have more oblique bad effects. competitive and selfish. other parents with different values might feel forced into making similar choices 10 prevent their own children being too gmatly disadvantaged. cit.) Nozick recognizes that there may be cases of this sort. And. He says: 'Either parents wonld subscribe to an information service monitoring the recent births and so know which sex was in shorter supply (and hence would be more in demand in later life). while admitting that the desired result would be harder to obtain in a purely libertarian system. An imbalance in the ratio between the sexes could result. thus adjusting their activities. 315.' The proposals for avoiding the sexual imbalance without central regulation are not reassuring.l He clearly prefers to avoid governmental intervention of this h d . 3. 49 . with new family and social patterns developing. we wonld have the choice between allowing a sexual imbalance or imposing some system af social regulation. He considers the case of avoiding a sexual imbalance and says that 'a government could require that genetic manipulation be carried on so as to Et a certain ratio'.' If the libertarian methods failed. or a population of relatively uncompetitive people. suggests possible strategies for doing so. or interested individuals wolild contribute to a charity that offersbonuses to maintain the ratios. Those who dislike central decisions favouring one sort of person over 2. with outcomes unwanted by most of those who contribute to them. If a majority favour a roughly equal ratio between the sexes. it is not clear that the charity wonld be given donations adequate for its job. they may feel justified in supporting restrictions on what parents can choose. p. This klnd ofunworldly innocence Ls part of the engaglne charm d Ndck's datty and bdlliant book. or the ratio would leave 1:1. that unrestricted individual choices can add up to a total outcome which most people think worse than what wonld result from some regulation. op. (This is an appllcation to the case of genetic engineering ofa point familiar in other contexts..

we wuld avoid this. where the working of the genetic supermarket leads to a general change unwelcome to those who coutribute to it? Can we defend regulation to prevent a shift towards a more selfish and competitive population as merely being the preservation of a certain ratio between characteristics? Or have we crossed the boundary. But. so long as no attempt was made to raise the proportion of altruistic people in the population. may still be better than a system of purely central decisions. the acceptability derivcs from the fact that the present ratio is to be preserved. it does not show that the view has to be abandoned altogether. But is this boundary an easy one to defend?) If positive genetic engineering does become a reality. Or rather. . or to their generation as a whole. One view would be that the sex-ratio case is acceptable because the desired ratio is equality of numbers. we may be unable to avoid some of the decisions being taken at a social level. it is implausible to claim that they are all quite free of any taint of preference for some characteristics over others. But what about the other sort of case. 3 A Mixed System The genetic supermarket provides a partial answer to the objection about the limited outlook of those who would take the decisions.. and allowed a centralized decision favouring some characteristics over others? The location of the boundary is obscure. The liberal value is not obliterated because it may sometimes be compromised for the sake of other things we care about. although this suggests that we should not be doctrinaire in our support of the liberal view. on the grounds that neither sex is being given preference: the aim is rough equality of numbers. modled by some central regulation. The genetic supermarket should not operate in a completelyunregulated way. even if the social decisions are only restrictive. (In this second view.We may still think that social decisions in favour of one type of person rather than another should be few. A genetic supermarket. The choices need not be concentrated in the hands of a small number of people. preserving altruism would be acceptable. And. even if the consequences of excluding them altogether are unac: ceptable. but olily at what seems an unacceptable cost.others might accept regulation here. either to the particular people being designed. On another view.

if positive genetic engineering is introduced. the dangers of concentrating the decision-making create a strong presumption in favobr of a mixed system rather than one in which initiatives come Erom the centre. How can we be confident that it is better for one sort of person to be born than another? 4. And. subject to this reservation. They would then only check departures Erom the natural genetic lottery. Twenty-first-century elections may be about issues rather deeper than economics. and so the power Eo bring about changes would not be given to them. Thc genenc supermsrket (wrhaps wi& genotypes being sold by TV commerclds) can be thought of as an 'Amerlcnn' model. ~ My own sympathies are with the view that. One system lhat would answer many of the anxieties about centralized decision-making would be to Lmit the power of the decision-makers to one of veto. as it could be that some centralised decision for genetic change was the only way of securing a huge benefit or avoiding a great catastrophe. If positive genetic engineering does wme about. this mixed system is in general likely to be the best one for taking decisions. . m~derlfiug this. Docistan-taking by a central committee (perhaps of a dozen elderly men) can be thought of as a ' R u s d d model. But. there is a more general unease which il does not remove. there would have to be a great deal of politicd argument over what kinds of reshictions on the supermarket should be imposed. If thin mixed system eliminatesthe anxiely about genetic changes being introduced by a few powerful people with limited horizons. is the problem of what values parents should appeal to in making their choices. The mud system may appeal to Westan European soclal democrsls. Let us call this combination of parental initiative and central veto a 'mixed system'. parallel to the place occupied in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by the debate over control of the e c o n o m ~ . if a mixed system was introduced. we can imagine the argument between supporters of a mked system and supporters of other decision-making systems being central to the political theory of the twenty-first century.I do not want to argue far an absolutely inmolable commitmenl to this. but spread through the whole population of potential parents. May not the limilations of one generation of parents also prove disastrous? And.and so some cenh'i(lizeddecisionswould have to be taken about therestcictions that should be imposed.

resting as it does on the risk of disaster. And we say 'yes' if we think that encouraging some qualities rather than others should be an aim of the upbringing and education we give our children. The positive-negative boundary may seem a way of avoiding objectionably God-like decisions. Could the parents ever be justified in choosing. there is a case against positive genetic engineering. as to what sort 52 . but an a more general problem about values. So we might not be disturbed in advance by the possible impact of the genetic changes on such a quality. The positive. even spread thmugh all pmspective parents. And the genes . But this case. such as emotional warmth. We do not know the limitations of our own outlook. Any inclination to say 'no' in the context of positive genetic engineering must lay great stress on the two relevant boundaries. even when the changes do not result from centralized decisions. is not based on risks. on the basis of our own values. supports a principle of caution rather than a total ban. Because such disasters are a real danger. This possibility seems one of the worst imaginable. There are human qualities whose value we may not appreciate. even to a mixed system. seem to me very real. We have to ask the question 'whether there are benefits sd5ciently great and sufficientlyprobable to outweigh the risks.negative boundary is needed to mark off the supposedly unacceptable positive policies from the acceptable elimination of defects. We might leave out a sense of humour. We S e swayed by fashion. to create one sort of person rather than another? Is it sometimes better for us to create one sort of person rather than another? We say 'yes' when it is a question of eliminating genetic defects. without really wanting to do so. . according to some set of values. Or we might not notice how important to us is some other quality. And. we might stumble into producing people with a deep coldness. But it is not clear that confidence in the importance of these boundaries is justified. A generation of parents might opt heavily for their children havingphysical or intellectual abilities and skills. It is just one of the m a y horrors that could be blundered into by our lack of foresight in operating the mixed system.environment boundary is needed to mark off positive engineering from acceptabIe positive aims of educational policies. But perhaps the deepest resistance.GENES 4 Values The dangers of such decisions.

and however reluctant we would be to abandon them altogether. why should crossing the same boundary for the same reasons be ruled out absolutely when the means are genetIc7 It may be said that the genesenvironmeut boundary is important because environmenklly created changes can be reversed in a way that genetically based characteristics can not. If so.Elomes and schools would be impoverished by attempting to restrict their influence on children to the mere prevention of physical and mental disorder. is less sharp in others. perhaps because the changes arc likely to be less reversible. apart from this. however much they are already incorporated in our child-rearing. there is the problem of explaining why the positive-negative boundary is so much more important with genetic intervention t h a n with environmental methods. and perhaps because they may be more extreme. And if we are right here to cross the positive-negative boundary. 0. Would we really stop doing this if we were so effective that cruelty and meanness become impossible for them7 It is not clear that our concern to develop their autonomy requires keeping open all possibilities. And it is also hard to believe that irreversibility can be our main objection to crossing the genesenvironmeut boundary. We have our values. B. bntperhaps we ought to be modest about them. and so alter the values by which people judge these issues. But this perhaps underrates the permanence of . there is an element of convention in where the boundaries of normality are drawn. Wilson's speculation that intuitions about values have their basis in the limbic system might be right. Saving someone from spina is a lot less controversial than deciding he shall be a good athletd. It may be said that we do not see the human race from the God-like perspective that seems to be required for malu'ng these decisions. or to be generous and imaginative. encouraging children to ask questions. In bringing up our children. we try to encourage kindness and generosity. And. We act mvironmentally to influence people in ways that go far beyond the elimination of medical defects. And this 53 . clear in some cases.DBCISIONS of people there should bc. Yet there remains an unease about positive policies of moulding people in one direction rathcr than &other. With emotional states or intellectual functioning. at whatever cost to our other values.the effecfs of upbringing. perhaps genetic engineering could alter the limbic system. But tho distinction. It may be that the difference is at best a matter of degree. And the unease is intensified when the methods are genetic.

but could be a matter of piecemeal genetic engineering. But this is a fealnre of any moral or political decision. presuppose that you knew what the human race was here hr. But it is questionable how far this is an argument against intervention to change what people are like. and so want to restrict the genetic supermarket. requiring the proponents of positive genetic engineering to have solved problems about objectivity in ethics which we do not expect people arguing other cases to have solved. whether the means are genetic or environmental. London. Clow (od. if we are sure that some genetic changes would be for the worsc. The sceptical case has been strongly stated by Bernard Williams.). .i Talk of 'knowledge' and 'information' sets the standard rather high. we cannot but be guided by our own f values (which would perhaps have been different had our limhic systems been different).GENES raises the question of what basis we have for saying that genetic changes are improvements. Why should we assume that opting for the genetic status qno involves less commitment to a world view than opling for a change? And. decentralized choices a1 the genetic stage could lead to variety rather thau uniformity. But the point can be freed from this implicalion by being put as a question: on whal basis can we decide between bringing into existence different types of people? I we take decisions of this sort. But it is not at ail clear where one is supposed to get that knowledge or information from. as with educational decisions. without claiming l o know what the human race is here for. And. We take a view about what sorl of people we prefer when we make decisions aboul schooling. This need not commit us to some utopian blueprint about what the hnman race is for. 1970. There is. People more generous. Morals and Medtolns.and take all the steps you could to make it reach that ideal goal. He talks of a difficulty about thc basis of value8 on which these supposed impmvemenk would be mtroduced. 'GencUcs and Moral Respondblllty'. a general problem about Ule basis of the values we bring to any decision. One would have to take the Mnd of standpoint in which one regarded as selFevidenl to oneself whal the future of thc human ram should be. of course. braver and less conformist than ourselves may be people we can recognize would be better thau us. And it is not obvious that we are the best possible people in terms of our own values. Ln A. is S.

But. and for resisting positive genetic engineering in authoritarian societies. Some deep changes in human nature may only be possible . The risks are good reasons for extreme caution. or with the drawbacks of imposed.centralized social decisions are taken. The chance of securing some great benefit. They need not justify total rejection of positive engineering. It is hard to imagine being persuaded of the rightness of such a policy if adopted undemocratically or if imposed by coercion. But this is a presumption rather than an absolute ban on any central initiative. might justify overriding the presumption. not merely to filter out certain parental initiatives. if so. or of avoiding some great catastrophe. Another has been to try lo isolate the justifiable doubts. even with a democratically chosen policy.DECISIONS it really plausible to say we have no basis for thinking some changes would be for the better? The scepticism seems unjustifiably selective. whose boundaries are not easy to dtaw. Could we be justified in trying to change human nz'nre? And. there is still the liberal resistance to government endorsement of some types of people as more desirable than others. but positively to encourage the development of some characteristics. there must be benefits to outweigh the risks. But these good reasons are quite separable from any opposition in principle to changing human nature. using only persuasion or incentives. The other drawbacks are good reasons for decentralized decisions. is genetic change an acceptable method? Most of us feel resistance to genetic engineering. centralized decisions. the idea that we must preserve all the chararte~sticsthat are natural to us is not obvious without argument. And. These have to do with risks of disasters. If positive genetic engineering is to be justified. I have argued that there should be a presumption in favour of decentralized choices. and these two questions are often blurred together in our thinking. The idea of 'human nature' is a vague one. One aim of the discussion has been to separale the different sources of our resistance. given our history. which are more likely to preserve or increase variety than decisions taken from the narrow viewpoint of the members of some central body. 5 Changing Human Nature Positive genetic engineering raises two issues. And the benefits have to be even greater if .

the case for and against various changes is considered. And we cannot yet be sure that these pessimistic views are both false. if they do. and perhaps the dangers will outweigh the benefits. The decision involves balancing risks and gains. but they do set limits to the sorts of people we can be. even if that means putting up with human nature as it is. the fact that they are changes will be treated as no objection at all. many people will think that we should reject it. But there is the pessimistic thought that perhaps they will not. Preserving the human race as it is will seem an acceptable option to all those who can watch the news on television and feel satisfied with the world. I have some sympathy with the 6rst view. It is less easy to sympathizewith opposition to the principle of changing our nature.GENES if we do accept positive genetic engineering. We can only tell when the details are clearer than they are now. It will appeal to those who can talk to their children about the history of the twentieth century without wishing they could leave some things out. . we ought not to tamper with our nature. Perhaps changes in society will transform our nature'. And many others will think that. It is true that our nature is not determined entirely by our genes. Or. to renounce positive genetic engineering wrould be to renounce any hope of fundamental improvement in what we are like. both about the genetic techniques and about the sort of society that is in existence at the time. quite apart from risks and dangers. in the rest of this book. When. Given the risks that positive genetic engineering is likely to involve. And the evolutionary competition to survive has set limits to the sorts of genes we have. the resulting better people may lose to nnreconstructecl people in the evolutionary skuggle. On either of these pessimistic views.

and to mould our hearts to entertain new values. Yet controlled imagination in this sphere can be a very valuable exercise for minds bewildered about the present and its potentialities. but also that we may familiarize ourselves with the certainty that many of our most cherished ideals would seem . then. is to attempt to see Ule human race in its cosmic setting. Today we should welcome. Olaf Stapledon: Last and First Men . and even study.Part Two: Thought Experiments To romance of the future may seem to be indulgence in ungoverned speculation for the sake of the marvellous. puerile to more developed minds. not merely in order to grasp the very diverse and often tragic possibilities that confront us. To romance of the far future. every serious attempt to envisage the future of our race.

Chapter 4 Transparency

A remote radio-communications system using belt transceivers is presently undergoing prototgpe testing. Systems of this type can monitor geographical location and psychophysiological variables, as well as permit two-way coded communication with people in Uleir natural social environment. Probable subjects include individuals susceptible to emergency medical conditions that occasionally preclude calling for help (e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, myocardial infarctions), geriatric or psychiatric outpatients, and parolees. It is conceivable, for example, that convicts might be given the option of incarceration or parole with mandatory electronic snrveillance. Robert L. Schwitzgebel:llmotions and Mkhines: A Commentary on the Conkxt and Strateyg o Psychotechnology f During the last few years, methodology has been developed to slimulate and record the electrical activity of the brain in completely unrestrained monkeys and chimpanzees. This prncedure should be of considerable clinical interest because it permits exploration of the brain for unlimited periods in patienls without disturbing their rest or normal spontaneous activities. Jose M. R. Delgado: Journal o Nervous and Mental Disease 1968 f The development of electronic monitot%ngdevices makes it possible for us to keep people under surveillance without locking them up in prison. We could largely replace prison by a system of keeping track of convicted criminals withoul restricting their movements. This thought can arouse both anxiety and optimism. The anxiety (when not about the effectiveness of such a system in restraintug criminal activity) is about the invasion of privacy involved in such monitoring. The optimism comes frnm the thought that'sulmitting to a monitoring system might be much less terrible than going to prison.


Advocates of monitoring systems use the argument that they would he more humane, and would be no more an invasion of privacy than prison. They suggest that we should try out monitoring for its effectiveness in preventing crime. If these systems turn out to be no more ineffective than prisons, it may seem that their supporters will have won the argument. But it is a bit more complicated than this. Monitoring systems, just because they are less horrible to submit to than prison, may be resorted to more readily. Periods bf moniloring might be much longer than prison sentences, and many more people might be monitored than are now sent to prison. We would then live in a society in which many had lost a lot of privacy. Perhaps social gains, such as a reduced crime rate and the abolition of prisons, wonld be thought great enough to outweigh this loss. But the issue is not a simple one, and the ways in wbich monitoring techniques could be developed and used have to be taken into account. One obvious development is to monitor, not merely where people are. but also various of their physical states. Dr Schwitzgebel mentions some useful applications of thii internal monitoring in the cases of people with conditions dangerous to themselves. The extension to sex offenders, and to people liable to do harm when drunk or in fits of rage, can easily be imagined. And, as techniques for recording the electrical and chemical actimty of the brain grow more sophisticated, we can expect it to become possible to monitor physical and psychological states with increasing precision. When we think of more h e l y luned monitoring, which would cross the blurred boundary between physical and psychological states, we are likely to feel increasing anxiety at the potential for invasion of privacy. To many people it will seem obvious that any extension of monitoring to psychological states should be resisted. But it is worth scrutinizing what is often taken for granted, and asking what the reasons are for valuing privacy as we do. Would it really be so terrible if our feelings and thoughts could be monitored by other people? What would be lost in a world without privacy? To pose this issue in its sharpest form, let us consider the exlreme case, in which the neurosciences have developed to the point where. by monitoring the activity of a person's brain, others could know in some detail the contents of his mind.

Some philosophers have argued that there could not exist comprehensive and detailed psychophysical laws. When I am slruck by the thought that I have forgotten to telephone for a taxi. seems plausible. This is why psychological studies of thinking. it may be that no words cross my mind. where. while others disagree. or that seeing particular patterns involves the firing of specific neurons in the cortex. but come with an interpretation. despite this. If I teU someone else that I have a mental picture of a taxi. there is a real problem in saying what having a thought consists in. the working assumption. . and we are probably in for many surprises before the brain is fully understood. have so far told us so little about what our ordinary 'background' stream of consciousness consists in. This is the working assumptionof much psychology and neurophysiology. it is perhaps only some image. if we are aware of anything. What does it mean to talk of monitoring someone's thoughts and feelings? In a way. Yet. with deliberate casualness about current opinions as to which way the neurosciences will develop. In such cases. The plan is to consider the implications of a technology based on monitoring brain activity. we all know what it is to have thoughts. What is the problem about thoughts? Some thinking is in words. which applies to words as well as images. which can tell us so much about the strategies people use for solving pmhlems. though I may be in no doubt at all that my thought is about the phone call. These arguments will not be gone into here.1 Monitoring Thoughts The idea that we could monitor thoughts in this way presupposes that different mental states are correlated with different states of the brain. Yet there is already much suggestive work showing that electrical stimulation of particular points of the cortex can evoke highly specific memories. Perhaps I simply have a mental picture of a taxi. he will not know what thought I am having. In the scientific context. We cannot be certain what future scientific work will show. And this problem causes difficulty for the idea of monitoring thoughts. is something we know almost nothing about. even if by no means impregnable. but it is controversial. This process of interpretation. and in most cases it seems absurd to suggest that someonedoes not know what thought heis having. but sometimes we have a thought not formulated in words. images do not just come to mind on their own. n u t there is a question whichcannot be shelved here.

we will oflen have a fairly good idea of what othem a e thinking. while the contents of a mind would always in principle be open to inspection. The next thing I know is that I hear coming komjt. for mnch of the time it would not be nnder scrutiny. and that they are produced in conveniently portable form. and images which are-not visual or auditory could he reproduced by similar devices. even where the thought has embodiment in words or images. But the machines so far described will leave us with an intermittent privacy of a kind. I could only attend to the thoughts of one or two people at a time. someone monitoring simply those words or imagespassing through my mind will have an incomplete knowledge of what I am thinking about. Let us suppose that these devices are developed. This is because of our limited powers of attention. (Though artists and writers might 6nd their thoughts constantly monitored by people doing courses about creativity.) Thoughts which take place in words could be reproduced on a soundtrack. most of us would want to spend most of the time doing other things. For. This technology will make people's minds largely transparent. the answer is clearly 'yes'. if there is a centre it must surely be the contents of the mind. or thinking our own a thoughts. apart from problems of limited attention. and see my accompanying visual images on the screen. as the onion layers of privacy are peeled away. Some television enthusiasts have more than one set. For.THOUGHT B X P E B I M B N T S Because the process of interpretation is so important. Even with several thoughtreading machines going atonce. We can imagine a device that would decode the brain's activity and project on to a screen images corresponding to those in the person's mind. For this reason it seems better to discuss monitoring only words and images. and one for visual imagination. You come into the room holding what looks like a small portable television. (We might need two screens: one for experiences involved in seeing.the words that are fuming through my mind. It has to be recognized that a technology letting us do this would not give us perfect knowledge ofpeople's mental lives. r Will this be the end of privacy? In one way. And. The limitations on how far this could go are obvious. Despite the problems about interpreting words and images. and would probably not spend long tuned in t the minds of others. But it is mnch less clear what it would be to give public embodiment to the process of interpreting these words and images. so that they can watch programmes on differentchannels at the same time.) 62 .

Why should we be disturbed if our thoughts become transparent to others? Some explanations that come to mind involve particular projects. or particular kinds of thought. wbcre everyone's thougbls could be recorded and stored. the project will collapse if our thoughts are publicly available. the general availability of thought-reading machines can be seen as a terrible threat. so that they would be available for scrutiny when desired. which will no doubt have repercussions on our economy. which generate their own reasons for secrecy. At this point. This can be seen by a thought experiment in which we eliminate misuse by the authorities. A society transparent in' this way will be one in which bargaining and swindling are impossible. In our present world. Peelings of jealousy or resentment.) Bven here. Thought-policing is so appalling that there is a lot to be said for the view that work on dcveloping thought-reading machines is immoral. We are surely right to fear these potential uses. But most of us will see little reason for being appalled. or at least embarrassing. It would also give governments complete power to block new ideas and social change.TRANSPARENCY A society or a government determined to eliminate privacy could overcome these dimculties by dcveloping a central monitor and memory store. if only by killing or locldng up people as soon as they had the ideas. (It is not clear what this comes to. but some ofour deepest anxieties about privacy come from other sources. but at least though1 itself is always free. bargaining with him. but imagine the nearest we can gel in practice to an anarchist utopia. or Walter Mitty day- . More personal anxieties are stronger. 2 Transparency in a Free Community Much of the horror of devices to make our minds transparent to others has to do with their uses in an authoritarian society. Some of our thougb?s would seem discreditable. systematic thought policing would be possible. governments and other organizations can destroy or hamper the freedom to express thoughts. merely because it helps to make it possible. The inlroduction of thought-policing would make many people's lives scarcely worth living. or trying to swindle or cheat him. Imagine a community of free and equal people. If we are trying to give someone a surprise. sexual fantasies.

without the intimacy of shared private information.') The claim is that privacy is necessary for different kinds of relationship. But these gifts. there would still be room for people being generous with themselves to different degrees.can the man who. may not go to the heart of the matter. and this would be more obvious than it is now.chapter 9. (This is suggested in a particularly perceptive discussion of these issues by Charles Pried. and in which daydreams and sexual fantasies were no longer a matter for embarrassment.glfts of property or of service. although psychologically powerful. Close relationships would 1. They concern particular kinds of thoughts and feelings. less selEshly. nor . There is a case for saying that the value of privacy depends on something deeper than the embarrassing or hurtful aspects of particular thoughls and feelings. . cannot alone canstltute Love or friendshimThe man who is eenemus with his possessions. But is it certain that gradations of intimacy are necessary for differences of relationship? In a world of transparent relationships. people might still feel a resistance to their mental lives being made transparent to others. We would respond to people with varying degrees of warmth. We choose how far to admit people to friendship or other relationships with us partly by controlling how much of what is private we reveal to them. 3 Relationships On one view. 1970. In that society. We would continue to give people different amounts of our concern and our time. hw vduntarily w involuntarily. An Anabmy ofVnlucs. But these reasons. Harvard. We can imagine a society in which bargaining and swindling did not exist. And. can hardly be a Eriend. and with our sense of our own identity. It may be bound up with the nature of relationships.and t i more clearly shows the necessity of privacy for Lovc . the fact that we have a n area of privacy is more important than which particular activities or thoughts are included in it.THOUGHT BXPBRIMBNTS dreams of a self-flattering kind would all be solmes. but not with himself. we are glad to keep some thoughls about other people secret so that we do not hurt them. Love or Mendship can be partially expressed by the gift of othor rights . shares everything about himself with the world indlscriminately.of embarrassment. As Pried puts it.

they provide a reason for rejecting. This is because our conversation does not just report responses. And while you are showing me round your town. we are doing something similar to what a novelist does. but shapes them.) h talking to each other. A world without privacy would he a world in which the gates of all towns would always be open. So transparency would not destroy conversation. and by listening to their thoughts in return. The changes are equally likely whether our privacy is invaded from outside or whether it is given away freely. (Part of the appeal of Li!ms and. We can climb the hill and walk round outside their walls. But it does not follow that all such conversation would be eliminated. In our present state. Closeness would be Werent fsom now. seeing squares and houses and churches. It does seem that some of the. We lilce to do things together and to talk about our responses. If we were transparent to each other. privacy gives a special quality to the times when it is waived. novels is that they often portray people from the inside. but not so differentas to be non-existent. If these changes in relationships are for the worse. we have the pleasures of exploration. especially. But the value placed on gradations of intimacy need not be a reason against a much 'degree of transparency than we have now.TRANSPARENCY consist in choosing to be together. Other people can seem like medieval fortied towns. though we might just think together without having to talk. so the excitement of the h t admission would be less. and so give us comparisons to use in tryjng to capture and articulate our own fugitive private experiences. sometimes like those we lmow and sometimes quite different. and m the way people would feel about each other. But another aspect of relationships might be threatened by transparency. but also any voluntarg general lowering of the barriers which protect privacy. We hide behind so many different layers of defences. We often only get clear about our own thoughts and feelings by trying to express them to someone else. There would no longer be the mutual lowering of the barriers of privacy. I am showing you round mine. There are barriers -65 . not only the thought-reading machine. But if they open the gate and let us in.pleasures of relationships involve talking about things that otherwisewould be private. and so learning to express (and sharpen) our experiences. some of the thimgs we now say would not need to be said. so that we are each at the sime time explorer and host.

because of the problems about interpretation. signalling that we are unapproachable about this. It may be that already. and no doubt vary from culture to culture. and that this is part of a beneficial transformation of our wnsciousness and social life. or will not talk about that. we are moving towards greater transparency. against political systems when: people fear the authorities. Anno Koranin. the disputants finally became aware that what they had been at such pains to prove to one another had long ago. we are more willing to take down the take them down even when they barriers. would be impossible. Sometimesthereverse happened: heat last expressed what heliked hlmself. 421. Tolstoy describes this in Anna Karenin: Levin had often noticed in discussions behveen the most intelligent people that antr enormous effprts. chancing to express it well and genuinely.. there has been a strong trend towards greater honesty in relationships. the obstruction of this process is another charge.' When we do not feel threatened. created perhaps because we feel threatened. Deception. to add to the familiar ones. not only by deception. These thinks are hard to establish. as the result of innumerable individual decisions. Homondsworth. 66 . with its resulting erosion of love and friendship. and less timid people som~times ' . and endless logical subtleties and talk. and so need the barriers. Ile had oikn had the experience of suddenly in the middle of n discussion grasping what it was the other Uked and at once liking it tao. and then auquments fell away useless. And there are barriers of manner and style. (Sometimes the threat turns out to be imaginary.and feelings. would 2. but that they liked different things. p. But it seems to me that in our century. but also by our limited ability to express our thoughts. and by our lack of perception about other people. translnkd by Roscmruy Edmand8. and would not define what they liked for fear of its being attacked.) This change could go a long way further. and immediately he found himself agreeing. been known to both. with greater openness about things which used to be private. And relationships now are obscured. had found the person he was disputing with suddenly agree. and still leave us room for different degrees of privacy and intimacy. 1954. The effectsof transparency on relationships would be in several ways beneficial. which he had been arguing to defend and. do feel threatened. from the beginning of the argument. (If talcing down the barriers is starting to transform us. The thoughtreading machine.THOUGHT EXPBRIMENTS created by context: you can't mention that here.

and might involve relatively Little distress. because I feel that this dark region lhat we have within ourseives. not necessarily from everyone.. and it seems plausible that this would make relationships belter rather than worse. rather than having the power to invade that of others. well. will be mmpletely offered up. As we understood more about each other's mental lives. It is hard to see how 3. There is an as-formysclf (quantd. 'Does it bother you when I ask you about yourself? lie replied: No. because no one will have any more sccrets from anyone. I-Iis transition period would Involve no loss of autonomy. I do not express mysclf on all points with thc people I meet. as well as objective life.. we would form more realistic pictures of each other. but from whomever he is spoaking to at the moment. . I think tram parency should always be substituted for what is secret. in order for true sock1 harmony be established. and fear. 'Sartro at Seveaq An Intervkw'. that is. because subjcctivc life. something secret. August 1975. but it would greatly reduce their obscuring effects. and I can quite wU o imagine the day when two men will no longer have secre%sfrom each other. Sartre envisages people voluntarily abandoning their own secrecy of thought. In a b e interview on his seventieth birthday. which keeps me from being confidentialwith another. NW Yo?kReviewo/Uwka.ansincent as powibie. or not codidcntiai enough. and perhapi after yours. which $ at once dark for us and dark for others. A man's existence must be entirely visible to his neighbour.TRANSPARENCY not abolish these Umitations. togethcr with theending of asensc ofloneliness and isolation which some people feel because of their inability to share their experiences. people will t& about themselves more and more and that this will a produce a great change. Sometimes a society of transpareul relationships is held up as an ideal.. afta my death. Moreover. I think that this change is linked to a roal' revolution. can only be illuminated for ourselves in W n g to illuminate it for others One can't say everything. . moreover. And a slronger sense of community might resull from the barriers of privacy coming down. The introduction of the thought-reading machine would not respect people's autonomy.'Jean-Paul Sartre was asked. but I try to be as @.born of dishust. But I think that later. given. why? I believe that everyone should bc abh to speak of his inncmost being to an intcrvicwer. but would strip them of secrecy against their will.soi). I think that what spoils relations among people iq that each keeps something hidden h m tho othcr. whose own existence must in turn be entirely visible to him. you know that. There is obviously a big difference between Sartre's ideal and the world of the thought-reading machine. Personally. 67 . ignorance.

not against theft and physical appropriation. A sufficiently subtle thoughtreading machine would detect the difference between thoughts merely coming to mind and thoughia being endorsed. But if. the effect on relationships might be much the same as thal of voluntarily lowering the barriers. H a r w d Lcw Review 1890. If the end of privacy is the end of any distinction between thoughts being endorsed and merely being entertained. and so on. but that of an inviolate per~onality. Charles Pried has said that we often have thoughts we do not express. most of us prefer to have our identity modifiable by our decisions. 4 Identity and Individuality In our present world. then we may lose some ~ontrol our identity.. But it is part of me that I do entertain those thoughts. .) It may be'tiiat privacy contributes to this control. and my identity is not changed because 4. And it is not obvious that tr. For what a person is depends on all his features.both to those losing protective secrecy and to those who would be hurt by the thoughts of others. and that only when we choose to express them do we adopt them as part of ourselves. Resistance would be so strong that there might develop an arms race of offensiveand defensive technology: devices to jam lhe thoughtreading machines. including those concealed from others. whatever the solution to those problems. after the horrors of the transition period. devices to jam the jamnlers.ulspareut relationships would be worse than opaque ones. AU that would be lost is concealment of thoughts only entertained.'~ In suggestions of this kind. 'TheRight to Privacy'.THOUGHT BXPHRIMENTS the process could fail to cause great unhappiness. (The question of the extent to which our choices could have been different raises the problems about determinism and free will. the world of the thought-reading machine became established. the sort of people we are is to some extent the result of our own choices. But. is in reality not the principle of private properW. which will not be discussed here. It may have been some view of this kind which over led Justices Warren and Brandeis to argue that a legal right to privacy is independent of more general property dghts: 'The principle which protects personal writings and all other personal productions. there is something obscure about the idea of personality or identity. but against publication in any form.

or to justify doing nothing. flourish where there are long stretches free from critical appraisal. Our freedom to de6ne ourselves. as well as not to act on ideas arousing disapproval. Privacy is necessary if we are not to be stifled by other people. in an earlier phase. can destroy individuality. talked in Being and Nothingness with an almost neurotic horror of being observed by other people. without the thought-reading machine. So when people say that transparency might Ulreakn our freedom to choose our identity. It is obviously true that the abolition of privacy will reduce the control we have over the pictures other people have of us. It may be that public scrutiny of my minddoes not in itself change my identity. 5. Perhaps the threat posed by transparency is more oblique. is our freedom to choose between beliefs and attitudes. and perhaps creativity and originality. but 'identity' in a sense closer to 'image of onrselvesprojected to other people'.) To be observed by other people can build up a feeling of pressure to justify what we are doing and how we are doing it. (Sartre. Iohn Stuart Mill wrote in 1859 of the sooial pressures towards respectability and conformity: 'In our times. and to opt for some kinds of actions and ways of Life rather than others. We have only partial control over our thoughts and feelings. This may create very strong pressures to conform. chaptor 3 69 . but the social censorship might persuade us to turn away ftwm lines of thought which we knew might lead us into dangerous areas. from the highest class of society down to the lowest.'~ result of transparency might be to extend the social censorship inwards. where hell for three people is being loclced for ever in a room together. when not just a matter of manipulation ofimage. On Ilbcrtu. But this seems more of a threat to our reputation than to our identity. and vividly presented the awfuIness of permanent scrutiny in Huis Clos. happiness. everyone lives as One under the eye of a hostile and dreaded cen~orshii. beins permanently obscrved. and I will kaow at once of your attitude. For many people. so that there would be the same pressures for conformity of thought and feeling as there are for conformity of behaviour. You will know when I am wntemplating the ideas and actions you disapprove of.TRANSPARENCY this aspect of it comes to light. Bvep in our present world. but rather has effects which will inhibit the development of individuality. as in some prisons. they may net have in mind 'identity' in the sense of being a particular kind of person. And this is not destroyed by others knowing what different ideas we have also considered.

If the threat to individuality seems much more clear than the benefits to relationships. raises a deep theoretical difficulty I deciding what sort of world we should aim for. Yet it may be that our horror at the thought ofentering the transparent world is nothing to Ule horror with which people in the transparent world will look back at our lives. and that its effects on relationships might. after a transition period. Any appraisal is ditficnlt because it is hard to imagine relationships so transformed. n . But it is hard to see how the extra pressures could be avoided. like the inhabitants of a suburban street hiding behind fences and hedges. our mew of any proposed steps towards the transparent world will depend on how we weigh these different gains and losses. and m a world of transparent relationships we might grow stronger in our resistance to pressures to conform. If this account is accepted. be beneficial. They may thinlc of us as hiding behind barriers of mutual pretence. The conflict between their perspective and ours. many of us will be very cautious in our attitude to the dismantling of the barriers of privacy.TAOUGITT E X P E R I M E N T S Perhaps we have the potential to grow more robust. They might be far more concerned to avoid the reinstatement of the barriers of privacy than we are to avoid them being dismantled. But it is plausible that it would allow new and powerful social pressures for conformity. 5 The Two Perspectives I have suggested that transparency would not in itself threaten our identity. with their obvious threat to individuality. which will reappear in other contexts.

it's not British Leyland although I'm certain they will be keen to see the published resulls.the equivalent of half a day's lost production.' said Mr Cooper.5 million a year . Their feelingsand job performance will then be wmpared with those of workers who have received nothing.' said Mr Iiamilton Cooper. managing direclor of English Grains. Results in other countries arc impressive. Doctors who are hoping to start clinical tests next month are anxious to cast aside ginseng's reputation as a Chinese aphrodisiac.' If the results of the proposed tests should interest British Leyland.a little white tablet that keeps production workers happy. 'It is of lhe greatest help to people who are under pressure or who have monotonous jobs. claiming that its true effect is to reduce stress and act as a tonic. which is providing ginseng tablets for the test. supplying ginseng to the company's work force would cost about 54. The Japanese motor industry believes it is an important aid to its productivity and now workers at a British car plant are being invited to take a dally dose of ginseng. manufacturing chemists of Burton-on-Trent. And the &m involved?'Well. the others fake tablets. But what about those aphrodisiac rumours? 'We certainly make no claims about thls. 'At the moment the doctors who will be running the tests are talking to union representatives about the scheme. 'But it is common sense that if you feel good and are not shattered after a day's work then you are probably going to have a better sex lie. Two of the big Japanese car makers give free glnseng to their workers and what's their productivity . It is significant that many car workers 71 .' said Mr Cooper.Chapter 5 Mood 'HAPPY'PILLS ICBBP TIlE OUTPUTFLOWING It wuld be the answer that Britaiu's troubled car industry has been seeking . Volnnteers on the production ln and in the administrative offices ie will get daily ginseng tablets.about three limes ours? And workers at the great new Lada car plant in Russia receive it.

and many 6nd the implications of this disturbing. Perhaps some people have such a strong genetic predisposition 1 depression that it would come whatever happened in their lives. The fact is that a happy person makes a better worker. His other patients leave him little time for transforming society.which are worth separating out. There are various different objections. Many would still resist a society with widespread reliance on mood-changing drugs even with no exploitation for manipulative purposes.' GUARDIAN. But when.TWOUOMT BXPBRIMBNTS complain about this so I imagine t l ~ doctors will be interested in lhis e aspect. and the drug will probably relieve the depression. We might need to . in different decision repeated over and over again. we may start cases. If governments. and of social restrictions on their use. But 0 it seems likely that what happens to people plays an important part. he may become sufficiently depressed to seek medical help. whole popnlations might become malleable to a degree never before possible. lOJanua~y 1980 The remarkable growth in the medical use of anti-depressant and other mood-changing drugs is well known. There is not much else the doctor on his own can do. Psychochemicals have already made a great impact on people's lives. We would probably have to change our economic priorities. talcing seriously the eradication of unemployment and of family poverty. very carefully. The anxietiesare partly aboutthe power ofmanipulation that such drugs may confer. But concern about possible misuse ofthese chemicals by the authorities does not exhaust our anxiety. to be dealt with by doctors on an individual basis. His doctor may put him on anti-depressant h g s . the police or employers were allowed unrestricted use of them. 1 The Objection to Social Quietism If a man with a large family becomes unemployed. we see U~is 1 ask questions. And Ule resistance does no1 depend simply on worries about the possibility of h a d u l side effects. Those of us who do not wan1 to be at the mercy of the authorities are right to watch the developmenl of these drugs. An effectiveattack on depression might need social changes. We may question the adequacy of leaving these problems 0 in the 'medical' category.

are left to trouble others. Where drugs can give immediate help. For the objection could be met by leaving society as it is. A central feature of the objection is that the social problems. our moods are usually roughly appropriate u to the things that happen to us. Our responses are no doubt also influenced by our chemical state. This political or social objection to the psychological approach to problems is clearly important. This contrasts favourably with an alternative response. irritable when stuck in a trafficjam. and making moodchanging drugs available to all. and escape by using drugs to change their states of consciousness. People are cheerful when about lo go on holiday. where the members of a decaying community lose hope of reversing the disaster. this does not go to the deepest level of our resistance. to demand changes of policy or of government. As we go up the scale to more complex~emotioual states we h d that their sophistication is bound up with more subtle distinctions between the circumstances to which they are appropriate responses. That way. depressed on failing examinalions. But it is disturbing that they may be used.MOOD encourage people to take more control over their working lives. In a city or country hit by economic disaster. Rut in general we can give reasons for our moods that are intelligible to people with no knowledge ofourchemistry. Despite its importance. no one would be left distressed by the unsolved problems. We might need to stop housing people in unsuitable buildings. being left unsolved. Moods are perhaps the most primitive part of our emotional life. and to transform the nature of work. and take a long time. and to plan how future disasters can be avoided. Many of us have doubts which go beyond the objection that drugs only tackle problems on an individual basis. Grief is not just a freefloating mood in . and to create a less ugly environment. These social changes are all hard to bring about. not jusl as k s t aid. the political or social response may be for people to organize themselves to create work. but as a substitute for tackling the real problems. it is natural that they are used. 2 Appropriateness In the normal r n of things. Perhaps most of all (and this would need decper and more elusive changes than political ones) we would need to change the attitudes that cause neglect and loneliness.

' And part of our resistance to the massive and widespread use of mood-changing drugs is their tendency to weaken the Link between what happens to a person and his emotional response.) 1. So why are we disturbed at the thought of drugs changing our responses from those which. But sympathy. emotional states become no more justifiable or unjustifiable than the wealher is. No doubt the things that make an emotional impact on us trigger off chemical changes. The more complex emotional states involve beliefs. Those llnks set severe limlls la Spinm's attractive programme of eliminating subjection to unwanlcd emolkons by realdng thc irrationality of the beliefs they are bound up with. and highly amused at news of air crashes or kidnappings. In this way. Suppose I hear the news of the death of someone close to me just after I have taken a dose of a very powerful drng for inducing a mood of cheerfulness. The difference between inch states as embarrassment. one to do withmembership ofthe human community.However many of the appropriate beliefs I have (about how awful it is. irrepressibly chkerful at funerals. mood-changing drugs can alter our more sophisticated emotions too. are now considered appropriate? Two reasons suggestthemselves. perhaps aCharles Addams character. we can make psychological contact only because at least some ofour responses fit together. I cannot be said to be in a state of grief if my underlying mood is of irrepressible cheerfulness. appropriate. Like molecules made to hook on to each other. And if humans had a diierent set of neurochemical systems. which are at leant as reapanlvc to our chemistry ss to our bcllofs. friendship and love depend on our emotional reactions only varying within a limited range. shame and guilt is not a difference betweenintrospectible sensations. but also depend on the presence of some of the feelings and dispositions involved in the more primitive moods. At the extreme. how there will be a gap that can never be filled). This is not to deny that our normal. but is tied.THOUGHT EXPBRIMBNTS the way depression or anxiety can be. being standard. our emotional responses might naturally be IXce those that would now result from some drug. emotional states also depend on our chemistry. Thcrc we links betwoen complex emotions and mare primitive m&. My whole emotional state is inappropriate to what has happened. but depends on social conventions and on our beliefs about what we have done. to bereavement or other loss. . and the other to do with our sense of identity. (Thinkof someone. We do not always have the same responses to the same things.

some chemically based mood-changes are a threat to autonomy. Our emotional responses are too central to our sense of who we are for us willingly to accept sudden changes. For these chemical changes are dependent on the beliefs he has. If the managers have decided that 'a happy person makes a better worker'. But this is not the whole story.the sort d m emotions and attitudes I have. To that extent. The sort of person I a . and this mood change is no doubt bound up with changes in his chemistry. These may change over time. Ifyou tamper too drastically with my emotions. reflection had led him to switch his support to the opposing party. and depend a lot on my decisions and on my interpretation of what happens to me. the changes will be gradual. with no resulting loss of sympathy and understanding. depend on such factors as my chemistry and my experiences. his emotional changes are independent of h own beliefs and outlook. And the 'active role of my choices and outlook makes my life one of continuous self-creation. his control over the sort of person he is has bees undermined. Yet we may still resist the change.MOOD The importance of shared responses is a good reason for a single person being reluctant to embark on any drastic course of mood-changing. and have. and after forty years I may he a very different person with a very different outlook: But. but it may be unclear to what extent it will he me who has the kiends. before the election. without his agreement. The gradualness allows me to see myself as a continuous person despite the changes. his mood and chemical state would now be different. The fact that his depression has a chemical basis is in no way undermining of his autonomy. My sense of identity is at stake. friendship may still be possible with people similarly altered. The same man may work in a car factory. On the other hand. Ifa whole community went on mood-changing drugs. rather than just a sequence ofpassive changes of mood independent of my beliefs. If. Frequent changes in the drug used may produce a kaleidoswpe of different emotional states which are in no way related to his underlying character. everyonemight be changed in the same way. put mood-changing drugs in the water used for i making tea. He may feel depressed for a bit. in the normal course of things. Suppose a man hears that the political party he supports has just l6st an election. f -- .

. In part this objection has been met by the stipulation that the superdrug does not induce quietism. Although it induces a good mood and a sense of well-being under normal conditions. Its effect. on the contrary. I have already outlined my own sources of resistance. Also assume that no one puts any pressure on anyone else to take it. arld that it is not available to children or to the mentally disturbed or subnormal. It induces no tendency to social quietism. which will be discussed in more general terms in Chapter 12. which has no sidz-effects involving any risk or impairment to health. to deeper concerns with identity and autonomy. and they will reject the superdrug. and which is in no way addictive.) The superdrug is a test case of how deep someone's objections to moodchanging drugs go.been deliberately specified in a way that meets those objections.arilly. Some people will have more stubborn resistance. Although the superdrug is unobjectionable. But there is a residual objection about the unnaturalness of changing the sort of people we are. It does not lead to any blurring of awareness or to lethargy. but is only used by people to affect their own mood. its effect is not so overriding as to rule out different emotional responses where they are appropriate to the person's beliefs about what happens. But one plausible source of further opposition has to do with the unnaturalness of altering psychological states by means of drugs. rather than change ourselves to be more cheerful in the world as it is. Suppose a superdrug is developed for altering mood. Let us also suppose that the superdrug is never used to influence others' behaviour. its beneficial effectson our emotional life seem lilcely to be confined to a single dimension. is to make people more alert and invigorated.THOUGHT EXPERIMBNTS 3 The Superdrug We can iinagine a drug programme which would not be vul&rable to any of the objections raised. Mood 76 .and it is only taken knowingly and volunt. and is perhaps bound up with the thought that we ought to change the world to suit us as we are. ranging from obvious surface objections to do with bad side-effects. I can see nothing wrong with it at all. But assume that takiug'the drug involves some complicated procedure which will virtually neverbe gone through inadvertently. Everyone in the community is fully informed about its effects. The superdrug has . (This last condition raises familiar problems. I am sure I have not thought of all conceivable objections.

feeling of being in har. Peasants and primitive tribesmen may have a directness and warmth lost to many readers of Proust. 'mystical. depressed or irritable. We are cheerful or depressed.MOOD is at the primitive end of our emotional life. calm or irritable. compared to the morecomplex parts of our emotional life. however intense the experiences it gave. the superdrug could be very valuitble. It is also true that a more r d e d and subtle consciousness may involve losses as well as gains. It is better to feel cheerful or exhilarakd than to feel anxious. But. But. jus? as many people alive now have far less grasp of science than Newton had. or from limitations in what has been selected for portrayal. But it is a feature of moods that. Within this dimension. a drug limited to these general effects on our diffusely focused moods' would have only oblique effects on what is perhaps a more interesting dimension of our emotional life. we might feel greatly enriched by such experiences. and these moods matter to us and to people we Live with. or a deep. In a single person's life: simple feelings ofearly childhood. when all these warnings are kept in mind. relaxed or anxious. may develop into an emotional Life of Proustian gradation and subtlety. it is perhaps possible to see the outlines of a similar process in the history of the human race. many of us would take the drug.like anger and fear. We have in general only the evidence of letter-writers. But perhaps there is also. It is hard to separate limitations of experience from limitations in the skill of a writer or painter. Mood. and learn to see and think about things in new ways. so we have emotional primitives among us now. liking and hostility. poets. they are often rather diffuse and poorly focused.mony with the universe. And. so that some . is relatively independent of relationships and beliefs. talk to each other. And. while they can be triggered offby particular experiences or thoughts. a kind of progress. what is gained at one time can be lost again. it is hard not to see at least a fitful development in the direction of wider sympathies and more subtly discriminated states of consciousness. And a crude belief in emotional 'progress' will make us think that we are more perceptive about people than Rembraudt or Tolstoy. The reasons for caution are obvious. As with scientific progress. The contrast here is with the process by which primitive emotions become more diverse and subtle as people have new and shared elrperiences. as with science. And if large doses of it would give us ecstatic feelings of well-being. novelists and painters about the emotional life of people at other times. although we have to be very cautious in our interpretation here. and because of this.

Perhaps they are righl to be sceptical. change the less primitive parts of our emotional life. if they are to bring radical changes along other dimensions. The things we do together. . But. Many readers will be out of sympathy with the k~istorical speculalions vaguely gestured at in the last two paragraphs. But. even if changcs in relalionships and emotional life do not come near the progress we have made in our intellectual understanding of the world. and because they see things differently.T H O U G H T BXPBRIMENTS of Proust's readers have a more developed consciousness than any of Chaucer's contemporary audience. Other obiections to mood-changing drugs apply more generally to all techniques for influencing and controlling people. Drugs operating only on diffuse moods may give us certain kinds of intense and valuable experience. they will have to a c t our beliefs and our way of seeing things. it still seems that many of the most interesting emotional developmenh come because people live differently. and talk to each olher about.

and over who should have control of these techniques of persuasion. Bird: SociotcchnicalDesiqn Factors in Remote Instrumentation with Humans in Natural Environments Supposing it were possible to get houses built. which requires L grow and o develop itself on all sides. Much political conflict has been over the permlssibility of these different kinds of influence. Robert L. we are obliged to seek ways of building into our apparatus more precision. according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing. Incentives or threats either create new desires or strenglhen existing ones. and when.Chapter 6 Control A certain fascination and fear associated with observing and possibly controlling behaviour at a distance still exists among a substantial number of psychologists as well as the general public. and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it. If such techniques of instrumentation are to become more than experimental curiosities or science-fictionnightmares. and even churches erected and p r a y m said. by machinery . Schwitzgebel and llidhard M.by automatons in human form . John Stuart Mill: On Liberty Human actions are the product of desires. A person's ability to perform some action may be impaired or eliminated by takmg away his money or by sending him b prison. but a tree. causes tried.it would be a considerahie loss to exchange for these automatons even the men and women who at present inhabit the more civilized parts of the world. I-Iuman f nature is not a machine to be built after a model. Beliefs can be changed by spreading information. corn grown. or by propaganda and advertising. flexibility and aesthetic appeal. beliefs and abilities. People wanting to control the actions of others have always had techniques for operating on all three. It is not surprising . and who assuredly are but starved specimens o what nature can and will produce. battles fought.

in whose brain Jose Delgado implanted electrodes. It may be'that.) Behaviour therapy has varying success. such as an electric shoclc.J d M . or by generating or strengthening a countervailing desire. or to smolce). by influencing beliefs. 1973. When it was in full charge.but their applications seem fairly limited. Delgado says. electrical stimulation of the brain. forcing the bull to s b p and to turn to one side. p. and each of them seems to offer the prospect of controlling people by means of altering their desires more directly than has been possible before. plus behavioural inhibition of the aggressive drive. But perhaps the most dramatic demonstrations of power to control behaviour come from electrical stimulation of the brain. 98-104 . The psychological techniques involve encouraging some kinds of behaviour by reward.providing new kinds of behaviour control is seen as potcntiaUy dangerous. brain surgery can bring about irreversible psychological changes. or being made to vomit. Delgado's occount 1s cnhclzed In Elhot S. (The vomiting technique is vividly described by Anthony Burgess in A Clockwork Orange. we are not yet at the stage of being able 1. at least primarily. It is true that hallucinogenic drugs or subliminal persuasion arenew ways of altering people's beliefs. 11. say. All these methods are now being developed. pp. New York. and psychosurgery. and not. As well as drugs altering moods and desires. but when it works it does so either by eliminating a desire (to tight.TIIOUGHT E X P E R I M E N T S that Ule prospect of psychology and neurobiology . 'the result seemed to be a combination of motor effect.TowonlaPschocivflf~edSociefy. 168. it could be stopped by a radio signal stimulating its brain. The psychological methods which suggest the most disturbing prospects of control are various kinds of conditioning and behaviour therapy . on the grounds that the interference with the control of movement was enough to stop the bull. where Alex is cured of his aggression by this association. so that there may have been no direct reduction of aggressive desire. and discouraging other kinds by associating them with something unpleasant. The neurobiological techniques all involve direct physical or chemical action on the brain. The new techniques which are seen as most threatening operate by means of influencing desires and abilities. despite the reactions of alarm to such publicized cases. One well known case is that of an aggressive bull. Delgado: Ph~sidConlroiolUIeMind.the techniques arising from neurobiology and drugs which influence moods and desires." Delgado's interpretation of his study has been disputed. Valenstein: Brain ControL New York. 1969.

S. We are in no position to claim that these techniques will never lead to desires being switched on and offby remote control. to employ someone. certain drugs. Persuasion by offering a reward or other positive inducement is better than coercion by threat. Aversion therapy of the kind U. ~ n itd turn out that the brain works in such a way as to present insuperable obstacles in principle to any such project. ( .CONTROL to switch desires on and offby electrical stimulation. are all likely to generate in them new desires. 1 Some Questions Conditioning techniques. independent ofparticular ways in which they could be abused? Somemelhods of influencing people are moreobjectionable than others. they are alarming and controversial. Because of this. Remote-control brain-stimulation is moving on from the crude use of an electricalstimulus to the more subtle technique ofreleasing chemicals. l ' h o k pints come from Robcrt N h k : 'Caerciion'. . 'To marry someone.' 2.' Phibsophiml Review 1978. But all sorts of uncontroversial activities also alter people's behaoiour by altering their desires. 1969. to send someone to school.' In this way it is worse than conditioning by meansofreward. w d P.& t cure Alex's aggression can be seen as a kind of coercion: 'Be good n or frxl sick. but he might choose to have them altered by some positive inducement. Morgenbesser et al. A rational person would not choose to have his options altered by someone else's threats. and perhaps some ]finds of brain stimulation. In S. P h h p h # . New Y d . (4s. if any. we ought to make of such techniques.). We have hardly begun to explore the differenteffects that different chemicals have when released at different sites in the brain. So it is worth asking questions now about what sort of use. But those of us who are alarmed by some of the possible uses of such tecbniques have as yet no basis for the comfortable avsumption that such insuperable barriers must exist. Greenspan: 'Behnvior Canfro1 and Prccdom of Action. Solcnce alul Methd: ESSW~ in Honor of Rrncsl Naget. Why are brain stimulation and behaviour therapy more disturbing than marriage and education? Is it because the new techniques are more powerful? Or is it that they are open lo new and differentkinds of abuse? Or is it that there is something about them which is objectionable in principle. aU alter behaviour by altering desires.

Although many widely used drugs have drastic effects on behaviour. and manipulate other people by fear. An alternative would be to distinguish between unacceptably applying chemicals directly to the brain. For these are crude techniques. The outer layers are the most important now and in the near future. Rut there is a case for saying we have nothing further to fear from the invention of more methods of the same kind. The objections colne at different levels.p'-' S$<' . they are less urgent. like the layers of an onion.~ z ~~ THOOGBT BXPBRIMBNTS Other differences in our response to different methods have a less clear basis. although it is not clear what further reason there could be. In part. but they raise the deeper philosophical questions. There seem no plausible reasons to support this position. In the world as it is. while the implanted electrode can be stimulated almost regardless of the person's activity. The aim of this chapter is to separate out some of the different reasons for objecting to present or possible future technology of behaviour control. which manipulate their victims by inilicling horrors on them. there is a greater sense of horror at the thought of people being manipulated by brain stimulation. The avalable array of tortures and horrors is so great that adding to it may not increase the world's misery. so that brain stimulation would be acceptable when electrodes were replaced by chemi-trodes. They concern the relativ6ly immediate and very serious dangers of un. this may be because drugs have to be re-administered. scrupulous misuse. To take just two examples: we know how psychialric drugs have been used in Russia. It would be bizarre to object speci6cally to electricity. But it is hard to believe that this fully explains the different responses we have. which gives the person some opportunity to resist or escape. and acceptably doing so indirectly by an orally administered drug. and we know how knowledge of the effects of sensory deprivation has been applied in Northern Ireland. . The inner layers are objections even to the benevolent use of these techniques. A victim may be relatively indifferent between newer sensory deprivation and old-fashioned electric shocks.. 2 Abuse by the Authorities One obvious reason for fearing the development of behaviour control is the near certainty that governments will abuse it to make people obey them.

CONTROL It is the development of more subtle techniques which might enlarge the Powers of evil kWV'XInnents. despite the prospect that a community manipulated in this way might be without the major social sources of unhappiness. But this reassurance may not apply to all techniques developed for manipulatory deslres. the development n of effectiveand painless ways of moulding desires will raise the danger of ruling groups vastly extending their power over populations. the possibility of governmental abuse raises doubts whether research on such techniquescould be justifiable. rule by fear and tortnre must be a messy affair. Why is the prospect so disturbing? The first objections involve doubts about whether we redly would 6nd the resulti%g world an improvement. So is the temptation to eliminate the desire not to live next door to people of another race. It Would be much simpler if techniques edsted to make ~eople want to behave i thedesired way. There is the cunsoljng thought that some techniques (such as those involving the implanting of electrodes in the brain) could only be applied to people virtually enslaved already. From the point of view of these governprobments. in the distant future. The drawbaclcs of it in the hands of a benevolent government are less obvious. and are not the immediate problem: But the 11ior6 subtle anxieties start to emerge on& when we consider Ule benevolent use of techniques of control. We can conceive of the authorities. (Imagine a (schnique for stimulation of particular sites in the brain without any apparatus being implanted there.) The temptation to damp down or eliminate desires which lead to violent crime is clear. deciding to eliminate conflict. Where it does not. This thought is horrifying to most of us. For this reason. and to increase happiness. by controlling the desires people have. 3 Benevolent Control by the Authorities The drawbacks of behaviour control in Lhe hands of an ifl-intcntioned government are obvious. and an enthusiastically benevolent government could Find itself becoming in this respect increasingly interventionist. It would soon be seen how many problems and conflicts could be solved by changing people's desires. g e n e r a ~ g lems of its own. Can we rely on the effectiveness of the controllers in making us happier? So many well-intentioned social .

even if what we are made to do is only what we would have done in any case. this is another drawbaclc. even if our preferences are later going to be manipulated so that we will no longer object. Social harmony might be purchased at a great cost in regimentation and uniformity. Why should the# control us? In our present world we can dislike someone being in a position to make us do things. independent of whether life under a system of behaviour control would seem satisfyingat the lime. But this machine will itself be programmed in advance by the members of the community. that it is hard to feel optimistic about handing such power to a government. These objectionsto the benevolent use of behaviour control are perhaps enough to show that any scheme likely to be devised would at least have to have formidable countervailing advantages to stand any chance of being acceptable to those of us who hold them. which can be brought out by imagining a system designed to meet those raised so far. The prospective loss ofthis may now seem a serious drawback. The idea is that their desires will be monitored. by a machine.To know that they have the power to give us selfdestructive desires is to doubt whether any evidence about their present good inkntions would be sufficientlyreassuring about the future. and sometimes altered. But there are objections at a deeper level. They could switch off any desires we later had to re-assert our own control. 4 Voluntary Submission to Democratically Programmed Control Suppose the members of a community are considering a 'democratic' version of behaviour control. There is also the anxiety about whether we could trust in the controllers' continuedbenevolence. Another objection coa&rns equality. We now value having a huge variety of differentKids of people with very varied patterns of life. The 84 . If we dislike inequalities of power. And handing over this power would be irreversible unless the controller8 decided otherwise. Other objections could be made from our present standpoint. despite the fact that no regrets may be felt later because the preference for variety could be eliminated.plans depend on predictions that turn out to be mistaken.

It is hard to imagine how a programmed society would strike us. Or. both within each person and between people. A system of this kind could be guided by various different principles. while the machine can alter desires. and that parent?' wishes for their children always harmonised with children's wishes for themselves. .) Other changes would be in people's relationships. a lot of presenl misery and frustration would be eliminated. (Assume that. or else some arrangement where no one fell below a certain level. so that it knows more about them all than any one of them does. But the elimination of conflict and frustration are large gains which might not easily be outweighed. according to the outlook of those setting it up. And the instructions they give il are to alter their desires where this will lead to greater happiness. regardless of whether some people are much happier than others. No doubt cross-cultural comparisons pose many problems. if technology had not eliminated all unpleasant jobs. but we might get some idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the two patterns of life. The difficultiesmight be of Ule same order as comparing the success in India of western-slyle marriages and of those arranged by parents in the traditional way.machine will have fed into it a huge amount of infomatiori about the psychology of each person. And. they would slart to seem pleasant to people given the right desires. we might start to compare the kinds of life they had with those of other societies. Conflict would be replaced by harmony. it cannot alter abilihes. The alterations 10 desires could take several forms. The aim could be the greatest total happiness. Some would only involve matters internal to a single person. . The machine would ensure that love was always mutual. It is likely that everyone would feel some benefit. would have his desires changed accordingly. No one w8uld be at the mercy of anyone else's changes of outlook. There would be no inequality of power. but who would be much more successful as an engineer. The person wanting to be a painter. If the machine was given enough knowledge of people's psychology. questions of distribution could also be brought in. The aim might be equality of happiness. Whatever system was chosen. This democratic system of behaviour control would bring these benefits without being open to the objections against versions where some people control others. If a lot of communities opted for behaviour control of this kind. Those now bored by accountancy would start to find il as interesting as some Rnd stamp collecting.

And suffici:ntly many fail-safe devices would remove anxieties about the machine itself going wrong. there is something repugnant about the scheme. The changes of belief and outlook in the history even of a single culture make us see the future as unpredictable and open. we might be opting to stay forever within the limitations of our present outlook. at least a1 first. An anxiety about a community submitting to behaviour control. Perhaps the democratic version can be designed in a way which meets Ule previous layer of objections to behaviour control. life and thought might become static. We do not want to rule out fundamental change in human life. ~f the people setting up the system disliked regimentation and uniformity. are socially disruptive. We can recognize that we might all be much happier in such a society. We have another layer of objections. they could draw up a programme to favour the widest variety of desires and ways of Me. But suppose it is only adopted where it has unanimous support. The unpredictable unfolding of human consciousness can seem the most remarkable process we know. At the most fundamental level. It may be thought that we could programme the machine to favour fundamental changes ofoutlook. is that this might end Ule further development of consciousness. 5 A Closed Society One source of our reluctance may he the value we place on keeping open the possibility of change. Some of the pleasure of being human is to he part of this open-ended development of our species. In handing ourselves over to it. New kinds of life. abovc all. But it is thennot clear how far this would 86 . and new ways of seeing things. or in our ways of seeing it. There would obviously be problems where a majority wanted the system and a minority did not. and yet still feel that.THOUGHT E X P E R I M E N T S its plans would not turn out wrongly. may depend on allowing free play to desires which. lacking an omniscient grasp of all possible future ways of thought. from our present standpoint. And. even of the most benevolent or democratic kind. it would be voluntary. Yet a great deal of resistance remains. A benevolent machine. and damp down desires and attitudes of disruptive originality. Would probably play safe.

Some are too trivial to matter. This is why behaviour control. Or they may be so different from any I have now that the main plans and projects of my life are changed unrecognisably. although they play an important role in my life. It may be objected that this makes our identity a more rigid matter than it usually is. If I am told that I will he happier after a radical transformation of my desires and outlook. But the fact that the central core changes does not make its defence less important to our identity. The facets of my outlook that I now look on as part of the central core may seem much less important in ten years' time. but it matters to us that this should come about by a gradual evolution of a relatively self-directed kind. The new desires may be ones Ulat I now would disapprove of. In part. and any attempt by other people to bling about substantial changes here would be seen as a threat to our identity.CONTROL differ from ordinary life. This is not to say that all our present desires are imporlant to our sense of identity. even worse. this will alter the way my outlook evolves. And others. I may wonder to what extent the happier person will be me. But for most of us there is a central core of desires and attitudes with which we identify. the changes will result from external factors: if I go and live in C m d a . 6 Identity The desires we have are a central part of our picture of who we are. Our desires and attitudes can conflict with each other and. even of the most benevolent kind. and in twenty years may all have been abandoned. these desires and attitudes to a great extent determine our picture of ourselves. People who seek behaviour therapy to rid themselves of their addiction to smoking or their deviant sexual tastes are indicating that they do not identify with these desires. and 87 . and would prefer to be without them. more importantly. they often change over time. c m threaten our identity. We know our desires and outlaok may be very different in twenty or thirty years. But it matters that the resulting outlook will come from my responses to Canada. In this central region. how far it differs from handing over to a machine that we have not programmed at all. or. may be ones I do not identify with.

or imagine it somehow guarded against. One danger would be of other pcople taking control of the stimulating equipment. or switch off a desire to eat. and 6nd it easier to realize lheir deeper commitments. Using brain stimulation to switch desires on and olf would itself always be determined by other desires. This is what we give up when we hand over to others. Although we rarely think of it except when it is threalened. at least in part. so that . In these cases the desires representing stable. or to a machine. to mould ourselves. But it would be equally wrong to deny that our present decisions have an important influence on the sort of people we will be in future. and switch off temporary desires which. long-term commitments and projects dominate the decision. Everything would depend on the extent to which h e person had developed a stable outlook. we ignore this possibility. Another is that people would have a stronger sense of being selfdirected. 7 Self-Modification Suppose people were given the ability to switch on and off their own desires. this project of continuous self-creation is a central one in our lives. It would be an absurd exaggeration to say that we can be any type of person we choose. Living our own Lives involves being able. at a deeper level. A man who wants to be faithful to his wife might switch off a desire for another woman. The person who wants to be Jazy or to eat might switch off his desire to lose weight. A person who wants to be healthy or lose weight might switch on a desire to take some exercise. for theoretical purposes. with a relatively permanent central core of desires strong enough to dominate the decisions about the use of the self-modifying techniques. by electrical or chemical stimulation of particular sites in their brains. But the alternative is also possible. we do not identify with. and so gaining overwhelming power over them. would giving us this power of self-modification be a good thing? It is hard to be sure what the impact on our life would be.THOUGHT EXPBRlMBNTS also that the decision to go or stay is mine. Our desires do not have such power over our nature. One possibility is that people's emotional lives would become trivial and shallow. But if. the power to wipe oul our presenl desires and to create new ones.

as he will eliminate the longer-tern desires whcn they threaten to impair his immediate pleasure. For such people. Having the ability to switch off desires that lose the contest seems likely to make us more sharply different from each other. this would count in favour of these new powers over their desires. as they will be eliminated. and who has either no long-term commitments or else only ineffective ones.resemble the present. The strong-willed person will be even less iduenced by distracting desires.CONTB0. For. and put this power to bad . and who succeeds in regulating all other desires.L his enjoyment would be undisturbed by guilt or self-criticism. In this way. The technique of brain stimulation would just give us the power to eliminate whichever desire loses the contest.) In our present-day life. Most of us are at points on a continuum between these eqemes. the new techniques would help rather than hinder self-creation across a lifetime. The outcome depends on whether the central desires the person identifies with are stronger than the immediate and distracting ones at the timeofthe decision. The implications of self-modification would in this way vary for different people. (It may also be easier to switch offa desire than to continue resisting it over time. our position with thenew technology would . wiU gain further power over others. At the other extreme is the person whose actions are always dominated by immediate impulses. being relatively strong-willed about some things and quite a hit at the mercy of immediate impulses about others. whether or not I eat more than I should depends in our present world on whether my immediate desire to eat is stronger at the moment of decision than my longer-tern desire to lose weight. 8 Conclusions The gregest and the nearest threats from new techniques for controlling desires and behaviour are that some groups of people. There is the person whose central projects effectivelydominale his life. The man who wants another woman might switch off his desire to be faithful to his wife. perhaps govemments. so that they fail to divert him from the acthilies he has decided to be most imporlant. But for those with a reasonably coherent dominant outlook. The impulsive person will become even more so. there are two extreme possibilities.

We also fear an imposed uniformity. for important social purposes. . Whatever the quality of the world in which we are wntrolled. and partly to do with lhe inequality between wntrollers and controlled. but also in the context of the sort of world we will end up with if each piecemeal extension is allowed. At present. not only in terms of whatever immediate advantage it otfers. Many of us are also alarmed by the benevolent use of behaviour control. and no longer choosing what sort of people to be. (One person having the ability to switch off another's aggression might @ve great protection to many who are now victims of acts of violence. this central feature of our lives is lost. such as the threat of prison.ends. we t ~ to influence y people's desires and behaviour by crnde and only partly effective techniques. our project of selfcreation may survive or even be helped. Our objections have partly to do with the danger of the controllers making mistakes. we are reluctant to purchase it at the cost of no longer directing our own lives. When lhe techniques of manipulation pass to others. and with the irreversibility of their power over us. But there is a deeper objection which remains when these first ones have been met. None of this is to say that manipulating other people is never justifiable.) But any proposed extension of behaviour control has to be assessed. When ted~niquesof self-manipulation are given to us. And it may be that sufficiently large social gains could justify the use of more intrusive techniqques. Pew of us need reminding of this.

It seems to be one1 was visiting when I was a child. without any warning.a man's voice and a woman's voice calling. . for example.Chapter 7 Dreams ( I ) 'Yes.The period oflucidilymay exlend to severalminutes. she exclaimed 'Yes.'Nothing. New Scientist.. 24 September . and at the same time knowing so. having 'freewill' and possessing 'critical faculties'. and feel. It is like being awake.' When she was asked how she could kll the calling had been 'along the river'.. It is late at night. I heard voices down along the river somewhere . after removal of the electrode: 'I just saw lots of big waggons that they use to haul animals in. she said. The quality of the visual imagery is sometimes reported to be even more detailed and vivid than in waking life. in . Objects and people appear to he. . which delects REM sleep and automatically gives electrical impulses so as to 'trigger' lucidity. Several subjects have successfully undergone 'lncid dream h~duclion' the laboratory. conscious insight emerges within the dream state. during which the dreamer observes his dream environment as he realizes that every intricate detail of the scene is purely an internal construction of the brain. I have devised a portable 'dream machine' . While Ule electrode was held in place. I hear voices..' Three minutes later. but being in a totally artificial 'other' world.' Then. around the carnival somewhere .' Warning without stimulation . taste and smcll a wine.some sort of travelling circus. stimulation was carried out again probably near 13. 'I don't know. Keith 1981 'Conlrol Your Own Dreams'.' Wilder Penfield: The Ewizcitable Cortex in Conscious Man In lncid dreams. solid and the lncid dreamer is able to converse with the dream characters. AU the senses through which we perceive the world may hc involved such that thedreamer can.

By asking what changes. But most of us would not choose to be plugged 1. it may be possible to bring out in more detail what we value. As an entertainment. My aim here is to make it clearer. We value seeing things as they are. Slat8 and Urnpia. free from distortions of wnsciousncss. pp. 42-5.Where drugs Lhat change moods or desires also blur or reduce our awareness of things. would make it acceptable. This idea has been discussed F o time to lime by philosophers. l The Experience Machine The extreme case is one of a machine developed to stimulate the brain in such a way that the person has a sequence of enjoyable experiences. usually in the conha rm of snob mnchines bdng a possible objection U. such as during a painful operation. Some of us wonldbe prepared to try the experience machine for brief periods. which is often obscurul by other more visible dangers of altering m & and behaviour. and to raise some questions about it. it might be like an improved version of the cinema. . the only diEference from real life would he that a different set of experiences would be had: there might be more experiences of swimming or of makIng scientBc discoveries. and no experiences of going to the dentist or of being dismnlssed from a job. of exchanging reality for contehtment. this is an additional objection to them. This objection to some kinds of psychological technology IS a deep one. l barmw thc t m o ' w d e n c o maehioe'lrom hLm.' These bear no more relation to the external world (apart from the machine's programme) than dreams do. for lhose periods where we now choose to opt out of reality. 011~f Lhc most inmsting o recent diseusslons is by Rob. Subjectively. as Robert Nodck suggests. we are uneasy if the price of wntentment is diminished contact with reality. The strategy will be to take an extxeme case. Because we value clear-headed awareness. But the experiences would be an improvement on most dreams in that they would be iudistinguishable from the equivalent real life experiences. that all the time you are floating in a tank with electrodes attached to your brain.Noalck: Anarchy. if any. The value placed on contact with reality is also less simple than it seenrs at Brst. utUilurianlsm. The reality behind these experiences might he. repugnant to many of us. It could also be a preferred alternative to anaesthetic.

as our resistance remains even when the machine is modified to meet them. as some of us do about the traditional picture of heaven. Forget them. The primitive objections miss the point. In the first place. No doubt there would be many such problems. The reproduclion of experiences is stipulated to involve no loss of quality. 2 Some Primitive Objections The primitive objections to the experience machine are those which suggest that it would not even be satisfying from the subjective point of mew. we have great psychological resistance to the idea that the machine's reproduction of experiences would be perfect. But neither of these sources of resistance is theoretically interesting. What are they7 .In ordinary life there is for most people a surplus of distress. or how costly in energy it would be. over and above that required to flavour the rest of experience. (The . that a ] e designed to provide perpetual M blbs would become vew boring. The experience of success will only come after the experience of a bit of failure. Even if this is an exaggeration. The experiences have the ideal amount of variety to suit each person.into the machine for the rest of our lives. so that things are Camter. When we try to imagine being on the machine. or the colour is not quite right. Yet the intensity of our resistance seems to need explaining. The experience of a hot bath will sometimes be preceded by the experience of being cold and wet. the programme will include just the right amount of misery and discomfort to add the required savour to the other experiences. IS not pleasurable expt?rience a lot of what we seek in life? Some people think this is all we ever seek. we find it hard not to imagine some loss of quality. or how it would be maintain&. Each can be dealt with by stipulating certain features of the machine. But life on the machine will still dfler subjectively from real life. such as whether it would break down. The same holds for certain practical objections to the experience machine. Then we also think. And. and would be appalled at any suggestion that we should he compulsorily plugged in. there surely have to be some strong reasons for turning down a lifetime of pleasurable experience. frustration and failure. if pure pleasure becomes cloying. or assume them overcome.

is in that way a tragedy. We know about the posthumous recognition of Cbzanne and Frege. but available to us. Nor would most of nschoose a lifetime on the experience machine. and even when the experiences would be subjectively very satisfying. we still object to a lifelime on the machine. two years afkr their death. and who both died just as the children were reaching adult life. If we think that how a kind of life seems from the internal ??~spective is all that mattersabout it.) The point is that even without worrying over the practical problems. we are adopting the internal perspective. These other considerations may be information not available to the person. and a disaster to their project does not wreck their lives if it happens when they are past kuowing about it. we can adopt an internal or an external perspective. there may be no difference in the information available from the two perspectives. Consider a couple whose whole life centred on bringing up thcir children. a life like that of Cbzanne or Prege. There are as many differentexternal perspectives as there are differencesof information or attitude. h internal perspective involves swing things from the point of view of the person concerned. If we say that the air crash came too late to make the couple's lives. Suppose. less good. we will 6nd the experience machine a fairly cheering prospect. not an election manifeslo. and trying to evaluate it. 3 Internal and External Perspectives When we @rethinking about a kind of life. We know the children were killed in the air crash. hut a difference in attitude. To adopt an external perspective is to allow in consideralions other than how things seem to the person involved. The life of an extremely cheerful mental defective is not one we would choose. ending in death without recognition. From an internal perspective. all the children are killed in an air crash. On this view. what matters is how they saw things. Or. Why not? . We may think it a mercy they did not live to see this.THOUGHT B X P B R I M B N T S expcricnec machinc is a thought experiment. But most of US do not take that view. however satisfactory from the internal perspective. as between an enthusiastic jockey and someone who loathes horse racing.

it is still appalling. even for the more sedentary of us. that many would be put ofE you have to reject psychological egoism. and never again make contact with others. but only makes us think they are satisfied. Psychological egoism says that we are only motivated by our own interests. Another point important from our external perspective is that one person going on the experience machine may be bad for others. If you think. because our desire is to have relationships.4 Other People To most of us an essential ingredient of a happy or worthwhile Life is contact with other people.' psychological hedonism and psychological egoism. as I do. If you hold this view. a4 it allows that we can have i n k r a t s other than pleasure. not to think we are having them. The experience machine would be everyone's utopia if this were so. having the experiences of a rich and successful tilm producer. This is enough to rule it o n t It may he said that we will think we are meeting other pepple and having relationships with them.There are two theories. S Activity We prefer'active lives to passive ones. but from our external pcrspeclive. This may be enough to make the experience machine subjectively satisfying. Life imprisonment in a cinema seat is not an agreeable thought. On the experience machine we inhabit a private world. Suppose a man with a boring and badly paid job decides to spend the rest of his life on the machine. but it too rules out altruism. The experience machine does not satisfy our desires for others. They lose his company. Psychological hedonism says that people are only motivated by pursuit of their own pleasure. which would make us surprised that concern for other people's interests would put someone off the experience machine. you will think people will never he put off the experience machine because others need them. -. (His wife will not get the social security benefits given to widows. 95 . and they lose even the low income he brought in. and may have problems over getting his unemployment pay. The effect on his family is likely to be disastrous. This is a broader theory than hedonism.) Such considerations would put many people off the project.

THOUGHT B X P B R I M B N T S We like to be physically active partly because of the pleasurable sensations and other experiences involved. 'which produces in lhe world any result you would produce and injects your vector into any joint activity'. and never put any decisions into effect. but that we become merely passive consumers. 43. 3. 44. and these could he duplicated on the machine. Stnk nrul Utopia. . There are four quite separate reasons lhat could be given for thinking of going on the machine as a kind of suicide. who sees the importance of aclivity as an objection to the experience machine. What is terrible about a lifetime in the cinema is not just the lack of exercise. woulcl 2. p. He points out that we would not think our objection met by the addition of a result machine. and that what we did made a contribution. p. witty. ibid. As Nozick puts it. and conh'ol of behaviour and mood. The first. Our concern to be active is not always just a concern with the results of that activity. It matters to us that we are in control of what we do. Naeick: Anarchg. But really.' Our concern that we should make a difference is not just a desire that a dserence should be made. There is no answer to the question of what a person is like who has long been in the tank." This Identity objection is really a cluster of different ones. It matters to us that what we do makes a difference to lhe world. We would take no more decisions. Is he courageous. 'Someone floating in a tank is an indeterminate blob. These lhings would all be absent from life on the experience machine. Plugging into the machine is a kind of suicide. we would he passive consumers of the machine's programme. This is brouzht out by Robert Nozick. 6 Identity Objections As with the abolition of privacy. and that it stretches us. and was quite hard. and most radical. A scientist who fails to solve a problem may not be quite consoled by hearing that someone else has succeeded. We like to be active because it keeps us healthy. We would think we were active. one of our concerns about the experience machine is its threat to our identity. and this too could be taken care of. loving? It's not merely that it's diB?cult to tell. there's no way he is.. Our preference for activity goes deeper than these benefits of physical exercise. intelligent. kind.

the argument goes.nothlng can even ratc as an exprlmce. I have "01 here been able to pursue the Lnterosling issues raised by thc latec stages d the q u m o n t . if I cannot ascribe exportonce8 to myself. uldmately derived from Kant. you need to be aware of the contrast between yourself and the rest of the world. 103). Strawson in particular argues only against the view that 'a possible experknu. the contenla of a consciousness. while there will be a person on the machine. no attempt is made to separate Ulc conhibutions of Kant and Shawson. You know that there are many other angles from which it can he seen.. withoul tzs. Kant: Critique 01 Pure Weown. witty or loving. p r o the suggcstian is that. Waking across Bodmin Moor. 1966. Inndon. It also involves some selfconsciousness: some idea lhat the stream of experiences is not merely happening. could tllcaretlcally consist of a succession of intrinsically disconnected scnsory data somehow linkd by memory and cnpectution' (p. It is not clear that he would regard the oxpcrianees on the machine as 'inhiosicdb dlscon~tecbod'. t h e y will be no dlStlncUon betwoon what is expe~lemed and my rero~nitionofiZ and. you do not interpret your experiences as an impersonal awareness of a series of changes in a fluid world. 1 hove d r a m an the discussion ofKant's argument in P.. ~h~ second is that. chapter 2. intelligent. but belongs to you.' is that the existence of a person involves more than just the occurrence of a series of experiences. . You recognize that the moor is something stable. The objection is lhat it would not be possible for someone who spent all his Life on the experience machine to form this concept of himself. he will not be me. kind. pp. P. 97-112. but that you see it from your own changing point of view. And for this. 'Transcendental Analytic'. such as being courageous. discussed in the previous two chapters. I do not know how fur either of them would tbmk the objocllon appitos to the c-ence machine ns described. for my characterislics to be a1 least partly dependent on my own decisions. The suggestion. existing independentlyof you.and choices. 7 The Kantian Objection The first line of thought is that a Lifetime on lhe machine is not compatible with being a person at all. And Ule fourth has to do with the desire. The third has to do with my desire to havecertain characteristics. For the machine gives us no contact with any world independent of our 4. Shamon: The Uaund~ olssnse. In the 'Kantian ablcctioo' proscnted here.be lhat life on the machine would not be that of a person at all.

and so it might be expected Ulat I should build up all the beliefs and concepts that I would build up on the basis of similar experiences in theordinary world. distinct fmm what he experiences? It is tempting to say that the suggestion is absurd. 1982. But the suggestion is that the experiences the machine provides wonld not alone be e11vugh to generate such an idea. 98 . But even if this extrapolation from our own conceptions is too quick. As a result. we may start to wony about whether a long' time spent on the machine will erode the distinction. Perhaps those who had formed the idea of themselves in the ordinary world might retain it after the transition to the machine. hut Imight still acquire concepts and draw distinctions on the basis of them. see Hllary Putnum: Rmon. as we can so easily imagine spending time on themachine. if this sequence of subjective experiences would have been enough in the ordinary world to generate thedistinction between himselfand the world. Por the person on the machine has exactly the same snbjective experiences that he wonld have had if he had grown up in part of the ordinary world that had the features selected by the machine's programmer. nuth a d History. and we can imagine retaining our sense of identity just as much as we do in the cinema. chapter l . The heart of the Kantian objection is the way it applies to the extreme case. there may still be something wrong with the Kantian snggestion. that we have built up in our present state.why should the same distinction not be generated by the same experiences when produced by the machine? It is true that. But I do not know this.=Perhapsmost of my beliefs wouldhe false.THOUGET BXPBRIMBNTS own experiences. As Strawson points out. And. between ourselves and the world. if we accept this. But this objection is too brisk. And. So we will not be able to make the necessary contrast between changes I our experiences and changes in the world. n we will be unFwar2 of any Erontier between ourselves and the world. with our history. and so unawhk of ourselves as having a distinct existence. my experience is not caused by the activity of any sheep that really exists. where someone is on the machine from birth. Nothing follows about what the person permanently on the machine can conceptualize. it is not enough to show what we. Par a dUTerent view. Cambridge. can imagine. when a sheep runs across my path in the Bodmin Moor of the experience machine. The view that someone brought up entirely on the machine would 5. Is it really true that he wonld never be able to form a conception of himself.

people can change drastically. And. . I an ordinary lifetime. Itheca. 196% h r e k Pa& 'Personal Mcntlty'. But this objection suffersfrom the obscurity ofthe idea of personal identity. then I have survived in a different body. the question 'Will it still be me? does not be admit ofanall-or-none answer. The Identities ofPer8ons. Others say that mental criteria. and does not have much plausibility.1973. Yet others say that. On thee issuca. 1980. that embodied person will still be me. and particularly memory. n but we do no1 normally have worries about whelher they are still the same person. chapter 4: Amelie Rorty ( . such as lobs of memory. Philosophers have tried to make us articulate our concept of personal identity more clearly by presenting us with a wide range of imaginary cases. The answers given to the questions raised by these cases vary. the person on the experience machine will be me. London. but my m ~ o r l e and outlook can be transferred unimpaired to some other body s and brain.never develop the distinction between himself and what he experiences is unproved. if 6. Outside philosophical discussions. PhUoJophical Revicw 1971: Bernnrd WtLUoms: Probbmr olthc SeK Cambridgo. we need hardly worry about the effects plugging into the machine would have on those of us who have already developed a robust sense of our identity. 1976: David Wiggins: d) : Sarnellcss adSubsfance. if that anxiety is not a serious one. and no doubt they will arise if snrgcons start to offer us brain transplants. chapters 1 and 4: Anthony Quloton: The Nature o Thlws. personalsu~ivalmay B matter ~ f d e g r e e . in these puzzle cases. are central: if my body or brain cannot survive. Berkeley. or transfers of memories from one brain to another. It is this that makes plugging into the machine seem a kind of suicide. On the other hand. ~ If the bodily continuity view of personal identity is the right one. these worries only arise in rather extreme cases. Oxford. Some say that bodily criteria are the central ones: so long as my body has an uninterrupted path through space and time. involving people maliing amoeba-style divisions. f 1973. 8 Will It Still Be Me? a The second identity objection Ls the fear that the person on the machine will not be me. whatever changes in memory and personality I have had. ohopter 6. see Sydney Shoemaker: Sel/-Knowledge arul Sal/-Identity. On this last view.

not just to have experiences as though rescuing someone from a burning building. going on the machine will frustrate thwe desires. this is just another case where we cannot give a yesor-no answer to the question 'Will it still he me?' So il is not at all clear that going on the machine would be the cnd of me. Surely one would not use the transformation machine to become as one would wish. it is doubtful if the idea of combining it with the transformation machine is really coherent. Can a visit to the transformation 7. 04. it is not clear what sea of person I am. . clt. whether or not the person on the machine will be me depends on the answers to questions such as how much memory is left of my life before being plugged in. and thereupon plug into the experience machine1 So something matters in addition to one's experiences and what one is like. some of us would feel more filled with dread than we would if we knew that somc unknown person was to be subjected to this horror. 44. op. My desire is to be courageous.the last view.psychological criteria are the ones we ought to invoke. And. where what is produced is pure nightmare rather than pleasure. And this thought is perhaps bolstered by a negative version of the experience machine. Nozick suggesls that this identity objection cannot be the whole source of our resistance to the experience machine: 'Imagine a transformation machine which transforms us into whatever sort ofperson we'd like to he (compatible with our staying us). or as though being given the George Medal. 9 Personal Characteristics The third identity objection has to do with our desire to have certain characteristics. If I want to be courageous. Our inclination seems to be towards the view that we do survive the transition to the machine. p. at least to some degree. although I will not realize it. This idea seems to presuppose thal what you are is quite independent of what you do." But. Threatened with a lifetime on such a machine. kind or witty. while Nozick is surely right that concern to be a certain sort ofperson is only part of our objection to the experience machine. If I am a miser who would like to he generous. and so use the transformation machine and then go on the experience machine. where I have many pleasurable experiences as though of giving away money.

. I have experiences as though I were taking decisions. The reality is one of passive consumption. the experience machine. and what I am depends on what I do. despite the fact that I never really perform a single generous act? If this doubt is right.DREAMS (I) machine turn me into a generous person. they are not the bf my decisions while on it. The fourth identity objection is that. is still open to objection on the grounds of the sorb of characteristics we want to have. even if it is allowed that I have these characterislics when on the experience machine. For. at most. And this objection is quite correct. even supplemented by the eansfonnation machine.

Chapter 8 Dreams (11)

Sooner or iater some eminent physiologist will have his neck broken in a super-civilized accident or find his body cells worn beyond capacity for repair. He will then be forced to decide whether to abandon his body or his life. A k r all, it is brain that counts.. .

J. D. Bernal: The World, the Flesh and the Devil
Many scientists as well as philosophers have indeed often used the lerm 'real' in an honorific way to express a value judgement and to attribute a 'superior' status to things judged to be real. There is perhaps an aura of such honorific connotation whenever the word is employed, despite explicit avowal? tv the contrary and certainly to the detriment of clarity. For this reason it would be desirable to ban the use of the word altogether. Ernest Nagel: The Structure of Science The objections so far to the experience machine which are worth taking seriously are about other people, about activity, and about identity. It is possible to develop the idea of the experience machine, and, in doing so, to go some way towards meeting these objections.

1 The Dreamworld
Let us first turn the machine into one which allows the person on it to choose between alternatives (the active experience machine). The world presented Ulrough the machine would be like one of those films where evevthing is seen from the perspective of a participant, whose angle of vision is that of the camera. But unlike a film, the sensory , experience would not be limited to sight and hearing. Watching a h I am passive: the camera's movements are independent of my will. The

DREAMS ( 1 1 )

active experience machine would be different. I could decide where to go, and where to look, whelher to listen or to block my ears, what to touch, smell or taste. And my decisions would be followed by the appropriate changes in my experience. (I experience myself controlling what I do, but not having magical control over the rest of the world.) In the subjective world of the aclive experience machine, I control everything I do and say, to the same extent as in the ordinary world. Let us call the experiences offered by such machines 'active dreams'. In an active dream there are limits on what I can do, just as there are in the ordinary world. Because the point of an experience machine i i to provide experiences Ulat are as a whole more satisfactory than those of ordinary life, the Limits on what I can do may be less restricting than they are now, but the constraints are still there, even if set in different places. Exceptional achievements by the standards of the active dream will require exceptional effort, determination or concentration. Let us next have different people on different machines, which are all contmlled by a synchronixer. The function of the synchronizer is to coordinate the different active dreams. You have a part to play in the experiences I have, and I have a part in yours. Our decisions d e c t the parts we play, not only in our own dreams, but in each other's. The synchronizer ensures that when you, in your active dream, come and see me, I experience a visit from you in my dream. Let us call the world presented in these synchronized active dreams the dreamworld. The synchronization involved in the dreamworld sets limits to the kinds of possible improvements over our ordinary world. This can be seen by asking the question whether people in the dreamworld would be able to act in ways that harm each other. If the answer is 'no', we are back with the drawbacks of behaviour control. We have lost a large range of possible choices, and have correspondingly lost some of the role our choices play in creating our own characteristics. (Being considerate, for instance, would no longer be a characteristic we could freely choose from among other possibilities. The difficulties parallel those in theological discussions of how far God could have made a better world while allowing people freedom.) But suppose the answer is 'yes': that people would still be free to do normal things to each other. We can then*see that many of the drawbacks of ordinay life would persist in the dreamworld, in a way that they would not in the simple



experience maj)hine. Although this sets limlts to the improvement of life in the dreamworld, it does not rule out the possibility of life still being much betler than in the ordinary world. In the theological debate, even if we accept the arguments about human freedom offered by God's defence lawyers, we may still want to press questions about why He created earthquakes, diseases and other evils which are independent of human activity. And in creating the dreamworld, it is the experience of these independent evils which would be eliminated in order to make life there more attractive. Suppose each person in a community is plugged into one of the machines and enters a dreamworld. How far does such a dreamworld meet the objections to the primitive version of the experience machine? It is tempting to say that all of them are met. The case for this is simple. I am, in the important ways, active. I lake decisions in the dreamworld, and put them into effect there. The activity can be quite demanding, becanse of the constraints on what I can do. And it is not futile, as what I do makes a difference to olher people, whose experiences will be affected. When we all enter the dreamworld. I can continue having rklationships with the same people as before. There will be no need for a result machine, as I can do in the dreamworld all the things for others I intended to do in the ordinary world. If we retain memories of life before, and a reasonable continuity of character, entering the dreamworld will not be a kind of suicide. Since what I do in the dreamworld will depend a lot on my decisions, there will be scope for having particular characteristics. I can be intelligent or stupid, brave or cowardly, generous or mean. The decisions I take will largely determine the character I have. When the case is put like this, the dreamworld seems merely to be a different environment, and the idea of having deep objections of principle to it seems no more sensible than having such objections to living in Madagascar. But it may be said that this representation of the dreamworld as a dierent environment in which I still do the same things is misleading. The objector will say that in the dreamworld we are not really doing things, but only having a kind of collective hallucination that we are active. He will say that the dreamworld, like lhe simple experience machine, is excellent from the internal perspective. But, from our external perspective, we rejected the simple experience machine becanse we prefer really doing things to having experiences as if we were


while we remain within the conJines of the dreamworld. another one (as the 'world' of a film or a play depends upon our everyday world) is not taken to be real. the causal dependence of the dreamworld on the normal world.j 2 Is the Dreamworld Real? The question of whether the dreamworld meets the objections to the simple experience machine depends on whether we count what goes on in it as really happening. there is no yuestionbf us making empirical discoveries about the ordinary world on which the dreamworld depends. We might not regard either as unreal. I we do. Your thoughts would be communicated to me. we could come to think of the normal world and the dreamworld merely as alternative environments. The suggestion is that the dreamworld falls under the same objection: a flexible shared hallucination is still no adequate substitute for realitj. the objections about activity and identity are not all met. How should we decide whether or not the events in the dreamworld really are taking place? Our normal tests for reality pull two ways here. In the dreamworld. But. then the objections about activity. and we could think critically and theorize on the basis of the results we seemed to be getting. and mine to you. We could have experiences as of being in laboratories and carrying out experiments. makes us inclined to think ofthe dreamworld as unreal. On the one hand. we would be in contact with other people in the sense of centres of wnsciousness.doing them. A 'world' that is created within. But. But if we think that the dreamworld is just a shared hallucination. f identity and othcr people are all met. The limitations imposed by this causal dependence seem particularly striking when we ask whether or not our projects in the dreamworld could include scientific research. who say their experience fits with ours. on the other hand. Our 'research' might consist in . combined with the possibility of one day 'waking up'. ~ f ' t h e arrangement included memodes of how we entered the dreamworld by hooking up to the machine. and dependent upon. and of our life before that. we usually regard something as real if our own senses agree (it looks and feels like a briclc wall) and if we have the support of other people.

should they be given equal time? Or is there something wrong with diverting anything from the original children in order to be fair to Ingrid and Ingmar? Compjred with the simple experience machine. partly because of the coherence of different people's experiences. Adam. discovering things only 'true' in the dreamworld: solving puzzles set by the programmer. and they remember which things happened before they did so. Benjamin and Rebecca can share experiences and communicate with each other. 6nds his experiences Rt exactly with those reported by Ingrid and Iogmar. Adam. fed in by the programmer. That inclination is further redueed by thoughts abont having children. andwhich. and Adam and Ingrid both want help with their homework. but not known to us. The couple decide to have more children. The causal dependence they illustrate makes us reluctant to concede the reality of events in the dreamworld.things came afterwards. When time is short. On any of these interpretations. no less real than the ordinam world. At best it might consist in theorizing on the basis of true empiricaldata about the ordinary world. But supposethe parents and two ofthe original children are unplugged. The dreamwodd provides 106 . They are products of the programme devised in the ordinary world. Or it might consist in \A. the dreamworld h& a superior claim to reality. and this reduces our inclination to think of the dreamworld as real. the remaining original member. Benjamin and Kebecca. Suppose a couple and their present children. and soon the family has been augmented by Ingrid and Ingmar. dreamscience seems a poor substitute for science. The whole family knows about having entered the dreamworld. Being able to communicate with each other. Neither the science nor the children have any independent life of their own. Benjamin. they may take the view that Ule dreamworld is just an alternative medium.THOUGHT ~YPERIMBNTS discovering things about the o&inruy yorld already known to the dreamworld's programmcr. and so leave the dreamworld. But he may find this less than completely reassuring. I said that our tests pull both ways here. The points about dreamscienceand dreamchildren illustrate the central weakness in &c dreamworld's claim to be real. not themselves plugged into a &chine. The parents sometimeshave slight feelings of unease abont Ingrid and Ingmar. with no relevance to the ordinary world. all decide to enter the dreamworld. These feelings might be related to the thought that Ingrid and Ingmar are only dreamchildren.

thinking abont the question. say friendship. Aqd this is so unlike anything we have experienced before lhat we do not have a ready-made answer to the question of whether it is real. the various tests we use to Rnd out whether something is real rather than hallucinatory. there is nothing more to know about its reality. We tend to assume that whether or not something is real is a fact. Rut the dreamworld divides these tests. when we are given the subjective experiences that go with the thing desired. from my point of view. perhaps of a profound kind. and have a strong preferencefor the reality over the pretence. Perhaps in this sort of case. it may be more fruiful to ask what it is that makes the reality of things important to us. Ernest Nagel's inclination to ban the word 'real' has point. In ordinary life. I can separate the two possibilities. So. Yet. It is not like seeing a film from the cinema seat: it is like being a conscious paticipant in a film where the other characters are conscious too. A secckd. etc. Rather than hying to settle the issue of whether the borderline of the word 'real' should be drawn on one side or the other of the dreamworld. im But other reflections push us the other way. It may be that. it does not follow that we have been given what we want. related. these ekbriences are explained by thcir dependcnce on our ordinary world. On the other hand. In doing so. subjectively indistinguishable from the reality. and abont its causal dependence on the ordinary world. normally converge on the same answer. imaginary. Someone's brilliant and sustained pretence that he is my friend may be. this is not just a matter of wanting to have a (possibly false) belief that we have friends. it casts doubt on whether 'being real' is a unitary matter. we are reluctant . But perhaps there is no fact about the realily ofthe dreamworld beyond those results.coherent experiences that different people share. when we know abont the intersubjective coherence of the dreamworld. for which the results of our tests are evidence. the dreamworld seems no more real than the world of a fl. This preference is very common. and What We Want When we want something. point is that in general we prefer not to be deceived. Where the world is not as we would wish. 3 Deception. When we focus on h i s dependence.

my ambition is not realized by going on an experience machine which happens to be playing the 'Einstein' cassette. or that it goes against my desire not to be deceived. Perhaps some people would rather not know that their illness is falal. and so for them the dreamworld . And the satisfaction involved depends on my having a whole system of false beliefs about being Einstein. ~ is not clear that what gnes on in the it dreamworld is unreal. cost of our beliefs becoming divorced from reality. there may be no false beliefs involved. This is b e c a u . Whatever the explanation. which may underlie criticisms of its 'unreality'. Many of our desires are not satisfied by it. In the dreamworld. where I have full knowledge of having entered the dreamworld. and ofmy life previous to that. But these cases. 4 The Objection That the Dreamworld is Mind-Centred Another source of resistance to the dreamworld. or at least ignorance. But it is doubtful whether these points have any force against the dreamworld. And so it may be that my desires to do various things are being realized. the resistance to distorted beliefs seems an important part of our psychology. where 'human kind cannot bear very much reality'. If I want lo make a substantial contribution to physics. and there is no room for anything having any value independent of its contribution to the life of some conscious mind. And. is that it is totally mind-centred. despite my being in the dreamworld. So unless there is some independent way of establishing its unreality. There are cases where some of us do prefer deception. These two points count against the simple version of the experience machine. things only exist for consciousness. there are things whose value is not in this way mind-dependent. especially if the dreamworld is an 'open' one. and even more by the importance of true beliefs in guiding effective action. Perhaps our general concern that our beliefs should not be divorced from reality is partly explained by our wish to avoid unpleasant shocks later.THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS to make ourselves more cheerful at the. I may not be entitled to object that the dreamworld fails to satisfy my desires in general. if so. For many people. only show that some fears or horrors are sufficient to override our normal preference for our beliefs being true andas complete as possible.

Shth Pdltion. Sec also Book 1i1. as far as may be. chapter 14. can ever see and enjoy tho beauty of the one or hate the foulness of the other. even so. to do what we could to produce it rather than the other? Certainly I cannot help thinking that it woulk and I hope that same may agree with me in this extxeme instance. It is worth looking briefly at this line of thought. the sea. but it can be generalized to cover minds of any sort." And G. trees and sunsets. And then imaginc thc ugliest world you can possibly conceive. stars and moon. chapter 4. is it irrational to hold that it is better that the beautiful world should exist. Henry Sidgwick supported a version of the mind-dependence view when h e said. the mind-dependence issue remains. Well. The disagreement is not a new one. while Moore tells us what he cannot help thinking. containing everything that is most disgusting to us. Imagine it as beautiful as you can: put into it whatever on this earth you most admire . live in either. pp. E. Such a pair of worlds we are entitled to compare: they fall within Prof. Moore took a strongly opposed view in his comment on Sidgwick: Let US imagine one world exceedingly beautiful. apart from any possible contemplation of it by human beings. but each contributes ta incroase the beauty of the whole. The Methods 01 Ethtcs. Sidgwick's meaning. And both Moore and Sidgwick discuss the issue in terms of rationality. than the one which is ugly? Would it not be well. Imagine it simply one heap of filth.b D R E A M S (11) fails to accommodate all they care about. in any case. can. . 1903. which adds an extra complication. 8 3 4 . and at a n opposed one. And Moore's thought experiment is problematic. The only thing we are not entitled to imagine is that any human being has. If we feel disgust when we imagine the world full of filth. without one redeeming feature. 2.mountains. and the comp~wiison Is highly relovant to it. so that no one thing jars against another. and the whole. for whatever reason. 'No one would consider it rationatto aim at the production of beauty in external nature. secllons 4 and 5. supposing them quite apart kom any possible contemplation by hnman beings: still. Principla Bthim.\.' (Moore puts the point in t e r n s of hnman awareness. or ever. which can be called the minddependence view.) It is hard to see how to argue for or against the mind-dependence view when presented with Moore's alternatives. we may not be 1. 1901. Imagine all these combined in the most cxqnisite proportions. When that is eliminated. by any possibility. Book I. Neither Sidgwick nor Moore gives us much of a n argument: Sidgwick tells us what h e thinks no one would consider rational. rivers.

I saw a man leaning out of the f window into the darkness. the value of anything ultimately derives from its contribution to the lives of conscious minds. Take the children in the dreamworld. by them (experiences we are having) rather than by the possibility of a n unseen heap of filth. I should not be able to prove him irrational. there is 'something it is like' to be Adam. and we may not all agree. Benjamin or Rebecca. like Sidgwick and Moore. but to suggest that our discrimination between the differentpotential objects of our dislike may be too crude for t h e thought experiment to be reliable.T H O U G H T RXPBRIMBNTS quite cclai. Minds have experiences."Che question is about what we value. 5 The Mind-DependenceView The mind-dependence view is strongly opposed to Moore's position. If. Benjamin or Rebecca. They know from 'the inside what it is like to play a game or think of a good joke. because painted walls are better than unpainted ones. Moore spraying the walls of the tunnel with paint. But I should not accept his offer-of the use of a second paint spray. Perhaps neither Sidgwick nor Moore is irrational or ~nfused. things can be good or bad because of thieir contribution to the lives of Adam. The 6rst feature is only important as a condition of the second. My sympathies are strongly on the side of Sidgwick here. minds are the centre of the universe. I might wonder what he was doing. I have no argument to prove the other attitude wrong. E. This is not to make some Berkeleyan point about the impossibility of imagining onperceived things. even if no one ever sees them. That is.what this is a reaction to. On this view of value. There is nothing more to them than their contributions to the experiences of the others. But there is nothing it is like to be Iugrld and Ingmai-: they have no 'inside'. On the mind-dependence view. To use Thomas Nagel's phrase. But. Two features of minds are relevant here. being quite unmoved by any of the excellences of universes eternally empm of conscious life. If it turned out to he G. . travelling in a train through the middle o a ten-milerailway tunnel. It is important that minds have a subjective side. except possibly out of politeness. If our imagining it involves having images. And minds care about things. we may be disgusted.

D R E A M S (11)

But, because Ingrid and Ingmar have no subjective side, mere relationship to them cannot alter the value of anything. On this view, having subjective experiences is necessary for being a source of value, but it is not s a c i e n t . Minds above a very primitive level have altitudes and responses to wbal they experience. It is because of this that they are sources of value. Consider a mind that never rose above mere consciousness. It might have a series of visual experiences, but no kind of attitude or emotional response to what it saw. It would be like a conscious television camera. There seems no reason why merely being observed by this mind should confer value on anything. So the mind-dependence view makes minds that care about things the centre of all value. From this perspective, the rest of the body is a support system for the brain, and the brain is only important because of its connection with mental states. The ordinary world and the dreamworld are alternative media through which minds communicate. What matters is that there is some shared world, upon which minds can acl, and through which they can make contact with each other. To some peoole this will seem to involve a n absurd downgrading of the body. To them it will seem a view that would only be put forward by some sedentary philosopher, who cared about thinking but not about physical activity. But this is a misunderstanding. The mind-dependence view supports no preference for the passive over the active. An athlete may opt for the dreamworld if the experiences involved in athletics are what he values. And the same applies to sex. A couple, having entered the dreamworld, would share all the experiences they now share. The issue is not the crude one suggestedby opposing mental and physical activity. It is the more subtle question of what it is we value in activity of either kind. The mind-dependence view should not be confused with an egoistic version of it which could be called 'moral solipsism': the outlook which puts other people on a par with physical objects, so that they are only of value because of their relationship to my mind. This would put Adam, Benjamin and Rebecca on a par with Ingrid and Ingmar, all only of importance because of their role in my experiences and activities. To say that all value derives from the experiences and activities of minds is a variant of the view that, unlike things, people are ends in themselves. And this view does not single out any patticular person as more important than others.



The mind-dependence view is not the mere platitude that things can only be valued by minds: that we care about things while trees and rocks do not. It is a claim about what things are of value, not about where valuing takes place. It is a claim that G. E. Moore disagrees with, while he has no need to deny that things are valued by minds. His mind values episodes in uninhabited universes, while some other minds do not. My own sympathies are closer to the mind-dependence view than to Moore's view. I would not attach any value to spraying the lunnel walls. This is because of a belicf that some contribution to the life of a conscious mind that cares about things is a necessary condition of anything having value. But it does not follow that states of wnsciousness themsolves a c the only things of vdue. It is possible to believe that what r matters is a set of conscious activities and relationships between minds, in a certain context. This c m be brought out by considering a version of the 'mind-centred' objection to the dreamworld which seems persuasive.

It matters that the dreamworld is causally dependent on our present world. Dreamscience would not be as good as science, and for the human race to settle for dreamscience would be like someone sticking his head into a bag for ever. The claustrophobia we feel at this prospect is because of thc value we place on the open-ended quality of human history and human thought. We are part of a universe larger than ourselves, rather than one of our own creation. ('And so they tell us that Anaxagoras answered a man who was raising problems of this sort and asking why one should choose rather to he born than not - "For the sake of viewing the heavens and the whole order of the universe." ") Thereis so much more to find out, and so much more to afEect our lives in ways now unpredictable. We cut off all this if we retreat to a world of our own making, where our present limitations become the permanent boundaries of our world. The importance of being able to transcend our present limitations, of having an open-ended future larger than ourselves, is not a value very near the surface of our consciousness. This is because we do live in a
3. Aristotle. Rlulcrnion Rlhrcs. 1216 a 11.

mainly unexplored and only partly understood universe. This value fits our actual position so well that we are not challenged to articulate it. It is a value brought to the surface by a threat such as the dreamworld. Things are good or bad because of their contribution to the activities and relationships of beings who are conscious and who care about what happens. So the development of consciousness has a central value. Perhaps when we have eliminated misery and horror from the world, the expansion of our consciousness will he our most important project. But this development of consciousness is not something private and passive. which could come from drugs or from the simple expelience machine. It is bound up with contacts between people and with activity. It is not something enclosed, which could be provided by the dreamworld. It depends on our growing understanding of a world larger than we are, and on a future not limited by the way we see things now.

And yet it may be true that the economic problem is not the permanent problem of the human race. If the economic problem is solved. Yet I think with dread of the readjustment of the habits and instincts of the ordinary man.if we looh'into the future . bred into him for countless generations. Will this be a benefil? If one believes at all in the real values of life. or at least within sight of solution within a hundred years. And those of us in relatively advanced countries are at least partly aware. in BJWS in Pm~aslon (1930) . His prediction was carefully qualif~d: 'Assuming no important wars and no important increase in populaliou. Keynes: 'Bwnomic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren' (1930) We are the grandchildren of Keynes. J. the economic problem may be solved. some of the time. mankind will be deprived of its traditional purpose. we find it hard to share his though1 that by the year 2030 mankind will be in sight of solving these problems. When writing about problems of prosperity and technological advance. This means that the economic problem is not . which he may be asked to discard within a few decades.for the purpose of solving the economic problem.the permanent problem o the human race. When we look at the economic pressures on most of the people in the world. M.Chapter 9 Work Thus we have been expressly evolved by nature . 'Rconomic PossibUilics for Our Grsndchlklren'. it should perhaps be said that we now live in a world wheremany people have lheir lifespan halved by poverty. If we can avoid nuclear war and 1. of the catastrophic effects of economic deprivation in most other countries. This is no criticjsm of Keynes as a prophet.'' f We know well what has happened to those optimistic assumptions about population and war.with all our impulses and deepest instimcts . thepmpect at least opens up the possibility of benefit.

teaching. People would not be redundant if they wanted to contribute. as we bluntly say. so that people are liberated from labouring to earn the necessities of life. we are still at an early stage of our history. This worst outcome is made more likely when power is divided between companies concerned to make profits and unions concerned to defend the interests of those already employed. This might become the pattern for most of us. scientificresearch. And with luck we have most of our history still ahead of us. Whatever the problems 115 . We can envisage a society where the remaining work would be shared.other catastrophes. The issues raised apply more generally to the whole process of liberation from the struggle to stay alive. and more to doing things with their family or friends. and a way of sharing what we have so that deprivation is unknown. it is not hard to see the outlines of a better response to the replacement of human labour. The worst result of this would be a world where some people stay in employment. despair goes beyond the evidence too. We may in time 6nd a way of handing over physical and mental drudgery to machines. This chapter is about some values involved in one aspect of escaping from the economic problem: handing over work to machines. with work taking up more of their life than they would ideally choose. And people in work would devote less of their Lives to their jobs. whle others are 'redundant'. we would plan to increase the numbers of people t r h e d in medicine. Although most of us are unclear about the practical steps required. is not an attractive one. And. A society where some sacrifice too much to their jobs. Part-time jobs are needed for the liberation of mothers who also want to work. as the numbers of jobs on assembly Lioes or in low-grade clerical work declined. . The present phase has to be cantrolled to avoid a different kind of disasler. while others have no job because machines have replaced them. The fist part of the industrial revolution distorted people's lives by forcing them into mindlcss labour. and contribute to the liberation of many men too. andother Relds where having more people can improve results. If great optimism about this today seems unjustified. After only two hundred years of putting science to serious use. sections of the population in advanced countries feel little economic pressure. We may in time find a way of matching resources and population. Most people's work could largely or entirely be replaced by machines now in existence. Then the kconomic problem will be over.

People are diCferent and not everyone wants the same from their worlc. There is Lhe production of goods and services we want.THOUGHT B X P B R l M B N l S of bn'nging all this about. it matters that work should not all be broken down into isolated components. or should provide. the first two aims of work are realirkd. We do not all envy the tranquil job ofa lighthouse keeper. and in which the worlc left is shared. Let us. intrinsic satisfaction. Even a sculptor or composer may be glad to work near to others so that mutual criticism and encouragement is possible. One ingredient of this is that companionship is something WC like. what is now for most people the sharp barricr between work and private life may become much more blurred. But part of the pleasure f of many other kinds of work is cooperation in a shared enterprise. Another aspect is the importance to people of gaining the respect of others doing similar work. utopi. We have the needed goods and services. as a thought experiment. it is hard to be satisfied with a society where overcrowded classes. And people take pIeasure in the shared success of a collaborative enterprise. we take the decisions about our work ourselves. Because lhese things are important to us. work serves (or should serve) three functions. It is also important to our sense of our own autonomy that. And work provides. The third demand we make on work will come into prominence: the requirement that it should be intrinsically satisfying. But this is not all. But we do have some idea how to answer the question: what makes work satisfying? 1 Cooperation and Expression Some people like to work on their own and perhaps the calm absorption o a composer or a sculptor requires isolation. or long waiting lists for medical treatment. as far as possible. Jn that society. At present. coexist with substantial unemployment. and everyone has an adequate income. The case . The response of sharing work is not enough. There is the provision of an income for those who work. So both unemployment and poverty are unknown. as sharing work is often more satisfying than working while someone else stands beside you making conversation. suppose we have created a society Nwhich machines have taken over the drudgery. The fruits of that work are also shared.an by present standards. As a result.

Although in many of us there is the countemailing drag of laziness." I say.' . carpenters. ''Lover. Always I have my head inside the car. Harmondsworth. It is rather that. And tied in with this is the hope that the difference will somehow express our particular characteristics. 1977. 2 The Journey. civil servants. but I never m s that hole.. through our work. Wo~?%mg. OneSwing AI I was one of the best.Not the Arrival self-expression requires that work makes demands on us. or the greater its complex it^. 117 .'^ And. to make some difference to the world. They'd say. As John Rawls puts it.WORK for workers' control. but work is one of the areas where it is most important. Einstein or Picasso. We care ahout autonomy in most aspects of our lives. I didn't care haw little it was.?quotes someone with the apparently unpromising job of a parking-lot attendant: 'I may pull myself up and brace from the wheel. I didn't care where the htker was &am. and for smaller units. builders. never park a cdr with the door open. And never ude the door open. This is not to say that most of us have grandiose fantasies ahout making a difference on the scale of Mao Tsetnng. .. Studs Terkel. for decentralization. 'Human beings enjoy the exercise of their realized capacities (their innate or trained abilities). We often hope. This is because satisfying work is not just productive. p. so we should recognize the importance of this for many other kinds of people. A Theory oflustcc~. Self-expression may be just as central to the work of doctors. we often prefer more demanding to less demanding activities. 1972. . Iienry Ford. 426. "When I miss. loaktn' from the backview mirror. is I make that ono swing. nurses. I slip and I don't slip often!' I didn't care how big the car was. teachers. as Rawls 2. in his book Working.you coulda bet money on me. gardeners. with one hand. The importance of these things for making work satisfying is obvious. no two honds. is a familiar one. just as we are familiar with the way in which the work of even a minor artisl is selfexpressive. and this enjoyment increases the more the capacity is realized. That's why they call me Lovin' N the Wtzard. hut is also a means of self-expression. Odosii. indusMalists and chefs. I never missed my swing. you nevor miss.. and needs no further emphasis here. lawyers. Rawls points out that Aristotle ond Will m & s h b rmarks. 3.

His collecting has been so successful that he has made the transition from being a collector to being the owner. it is amistake to think even of those activities which give little room for the expression of personal style only in terms of results. the robot levers override yours.THOUGHT I l X P E R l M E N T S also indicates. but whose job is saved by the union. not the arrival. 3 Results and Replacement Although the results of work are not everything.of a complete stamp collection. matters. But constraints which demand effort can be as important here as the complexity needed to give scope for personal style. the Ilemulen appears again as a very miserable character. Most of the time your decisions agree with those of the robot. The new arrangement is that you sit operating the levers. This work would seem intolerable because it transparently makes no difference to the world. they can still be important. 'Ihere is an illustration of this in Tove Jansson's agreeable series of children's books about Moomins. It would be frustrating rather than exciting to have dibine or magical powers. not just at . The saying that the journey. Finn FMily Moomintroll. We often care that what we do makes a difference to the world. but the robot operates an identical set. In the next book. in a mildly cantankerous way. We lmow that there are machines able to out-perfom us. so that a gesture could bring about anything we wanted. like a sport. There would be no satisfaction in something wbich. and is at the same time not sufficiently interesting or demanding to be done. We may feel aneed to be stretched. as well as our tastes <andstyle. may apply to them too. demanding no effort or skill. about to be replaced by a robot control. Becauseof this. so that our commitment and determination 6nd expression. This ruins his life until someone puts hi on to collecting plants. but where they do not. One of the characters in the early book Comet in Moominland is a Hemulen who regards everythmg else in life as a series of tiresome intemptions to his main activity of collecting stamps. 13s absorption keeps him happy. gave nothIog to push against. greater complexity allows greater developnient and expression of personal style: chess allows for more ofthis than checkers (draughts). Think of being a train driver. for its own sake.

We could do the work. (Although the physical presence of the computer makes a psychological dilTereuce. but in much of science. we will adapt to the idea that the exercise of skill is something done for its own sake. but after a while the spectators might start to lose interest. so we might decide not to make such machines. but also at many complex ones.WORK simple skills. when we have become replaceable. Lhe position is essentially the same if we know how to make it. we do it ourselves. The 6nnl point is where the machine turns out to be better thau the human brain even at having the ideas and thinking up the research programme. The fact that most scientists are unworried by their replaceability is encouraging. but decide not to do so. (In all this. would be left for our intellectual sport. it is clear that so far we have handed over only a fraction of the mental tasks where they could replace us. but. Perhaps the whole of science will become a field where we are redundant. but it will be a kind of sport.) 119 . People who try to improve their tennis are not worried by the thought that some tennisplaying machine might be much better thau they are. (Two such machines might keep up a rally fur ever. (Iuterpreting X-ray pictures of DNA as a double helix is a case in point. replaceable by other people. andleaves a team of computers to do the research. and so do not worry about giving them a fair share of interesting work. but the computer sitting next to us would be quicker and better. while theoretically more absorbing fields with less urgent applications. Perhaps. We enjoy research. Some people argue that the highestintellectualfeatscouldnever be duplicated by amachine.) We may keep a lot of intellectual activity for ourselves. as we 6nd it enjoyable. such as astronomy.) We can imagine the stage where discoveries come more quickly if a scientist just thinks up the ideas. Some of the scientific discoveries we take most pride in migbyhave come more easily to suitably programmed machines. Whether or no1 this is true. The computer could solve a problem. This kind of redundancy might not seem important. I assume we do not consider our highly intelligent'machines to be conscious. We can imagine a mixed policy. if one team had not found something out. where discoveries urgently needed for eliminating some disease would be made more rapidly by machines. the overwhelming probability is that some other group would have done. Some great feats of the scientific imagination may not be like this.) Must scientists are now. as individuals.

Some painters.ibution. even down to apparent memories. some people are tempted by a very strong form of belief in irreplaceability. For many others. releases other scientists to do different work.TBOU4HT BXPEIIIMUMTS Our concern to make a difference. Then the claim about making a differencewill have to be scaled down to the more modest one that the end is desirable. this is already mealistic for most of us. We will still be able to contribute in the limited sense of doing something which is wanted. will have to be cnn6ned almost entirely to relationships. What I contribute means that less work is needed from the others. because they will not be me. in every. which could have 'owned' a totally different set of physical and psychological characteristics. even if our doing it is replaceable. This is the thought that. In the case of the replaceable pieces of scientific research. duplicates of existing people. sadly for this most ambitious form of the desire to make a unique contribution. Confronted with +is possibility. If I help some friends shovelling snow. Aud. the claim must be that my doing it. whether or not it could be brought about without me. But. This rests on the idea that I arn a disembodied self. Yet. If our desire to contribute is partly to make a contribution which is in principle unique. So the science:fictiou duplicates of me. is not always threatened by the possibility of replacement. and yet it can still seem satisfying enough. of being irreplaceable in principle. But this will no longer apply when all the work can be done by available machines. having all my physical and psychologicai features. poets. perhaps reproducible. I can still feel the satisfaction of making a conb. to contribute something to the world. The more grandiose pictum.our contribution to the world depends on something other than our. Our present machines' great-grandchildren will only make this far clearer. detail. while not lightening anyone's burden. the whole line of thought . empirical pattern of abilities and character traits. the work they do could be done by someone else. although I am replaceable. . musicians and a few others are in their professional life irreplaceable. novelists. will not be able to substitute For me in relalionships. everything I contribute would have been brought about by theothers if I had not been there. It also presupposes that this self contributes something additional to the contrlbntiou made by the set of empilical characteristics that belong to it. outside relationships. our unique contribution is threatened if we conternpiate the science-fiction possibility of producing new people who are. even in relationships.

whose job is reduced to'acting redundantly in parallel with the robot. delaehable from all empirical characteristics. and not a redemption. There seems little reason why we should ever want to produce duplicate persons. The train driver. just as a result of having no empirical features. may rightly feel that his working life has bewme pointless. We do not as a result class their work with that of Sisyphus. What is the difference? Variety is important to us. It starts to resemble the circular life of Sisyphus. variety is only a mitigation. The work of the train W e r and of Sisyphus have a special futility. Even if we could understand the idea. Work and relationships overlap. The sphere of our uniqueness will be relationships. but. rather than becauseourparticipation isessential. Replaceability aud futility are not the same. were doing what we could now make a machine do. it is clear that our conception of ourselves as making a unique contribution will need to be modified. condemned for ever to MU a stone to the top of a hiil. It will be done for its intrinsic enjoyment. apart from this. in discovering the structure of DNA. But there are obvious reasons for producing machines which match qr surpass our skills. is irredeemably obscure. Part of what is terrible about Sisyphus is the extreme narrowness of the circle he is conhed. But where the fundamental activity is pointl'ess. Perhaps Watson and Crick. almost all work will be in the sphere of replaceability. or if he is on the Circle Line on the London underground. could make no detectable impact on the world. Itssatisfactionswill be all those which do not depend on inflated beliefs about our own indispensability. with . to. setting them apart from many other jobs where we could be replaced. such a self. And it makes a difference to the train driver's life if he is on a varied and beautiful mountain route with many complex junctions. But activity may not become meaningless simply because of the possibility of replacement. The work of Sisyphus becomes more tolerable if each hill is a new one. The theory of the disembodied self. 4 Circles Part of the anxiety about replaceability is the fear that it may make our work meaningless.is misguided. where it rolls down for him to start his labour again. If we think of this possibility only.

He suggests that our lives are like that of Sisyphus. Cambridge. and so on. 122: . 5. But this is an unsympathetic description. As Thomas'Nagel has pointed out. From an unsympathetic perspective. This is not part of a larger project. New York. . our lives would not seem to have more point if we discovered that other beings were rearing us for food. 'The A b s d . Taylor at first seems sympathetic to the view that this does not give any more point to what is still the same endless cycle of futile activity. and to go on doing it for ever'. h Godand Evil.THOllGHT B X P B R l M B N T S obstacles needing new kinds of ingenuity. But the larger context is not always necessby. not any larger project will do. This line of thought has been developed by Kichard Taylor. But later he says that this version of Sisyphus should not he dismissed so briskly. And. anyone's life can look like that of Sisyphus. 1970. some great cause. even where an activity is given point by its contribution to something larger than ourselves. and what it leaves out is our wanting to do many of the activities that come up in the circle. In many cases. This suggests that perhaps what stops activity being futile is simply that we want to do it.st what we were put here to do.' I-Ie suggests that we co&der a modifkd version of the life of Sisyphus. Sticking stamps on thousands of envelopes may not seem a task for Sisyphus if we know it is helping the Church or the Party. 'at the same time. and we work in order to earn money for food and rest. We eat and rest in order to be able to work. reprinted In his MorW Questions. A family spends a few days cycling on Romney Marsh. Sisyphus has a compulsive desire to roll stones. But it Would still be discouraging to be advised to take it up as a career. The circles of our lives may seemto differ from those of Sisyphus only in complexity. that the point of an activity must ultimately come from our own desires and interesls. 1979.' The larger context has to be one we can identify with or 4. is right. This idea. the criticism that what someone is doing is pointless can be met by the reply that he simply wants to do it. chapter 18. the strange meaningfulness they possess is that of the inner compulsion to be doing j. but that. In this. ' It also makes a diEference if what we are doing is a contribution to something larger than ourselves. It is quite enough that it is something they want to do. Work may have more point if it fits into. Journal oJPhiksophy 1971.

I have often said that the sole cause of man's unhappiness is that he does not know haw to stay quietly in his mom. while necessary.i~why men am so fond of hustle and bustle: that is why prison is such a fearful punishment: thal is why the pleasures ofsolltude are so incomp~ehensible. nor that anyone imagines that true bliss comes from possessing the money to be won at gaming or the ham that is hunted: no one would take them as a gilt. giving rise to so many quanols and passions. war and high office are popular only as a distraction from thoughts of death. . looklng for the particular reasons for all our unhappiness now that I knew its general cause. . A man wealthy enough for Ufe's needs would nevcr leave home to go ta sea or besiege some fortress if he knew how to stay at home and enjoy it. Sometimes when I sel to thinking abont the various activities of men. 5 Negative Circles That our wanting to do something may not save it from futility can be seen by considering the melancholy account of human motivation given by Pascal. the dangers and troubles which they face at Court. But our desires. He said. Tha1. We have other motives too. It is not that they really bring happiness. nor the burdens o f o ~ c ebut the agitation that takes our mind off it and diverts us. Pascal is persuasive about our preferring the hunt to the capture. . 1966.. Harmondsworth.. and perhaps hustle and bustle are partly means of avoiding slaying quietly in our room. nor the dangers or war. war and high office am so popular. Kraibheimer.. He is less convincing that gaming.~ . are not snlEcient. P a d Penslcs. or in war. I found one very cngent reason in the natural unhappiness of our feeble mortal condition. l. so wretched that nothing c m console us when we really thii about it . daring and often wicked cntcrprises and so on. What pmple want is not the easy peaceful lifethat allows us to think of our unhappy condition. That is why gaming and femininesociety.endorse. That is why we . Isolaled actions or larger projects are only saved from futility by our wanting to carry lhem out. Iranslatd by A. The only good thing far men therefore is to be diverted from thinking of what they are . feminine society. But let us thi& what it wonld be like if Pas@ were right in saying that the onlg good thing for men 6. pmfer the hunt to the capture. But after closer thought.

These activities wonld he as desirable as taking an aspirin to deaden a headache. Without developing the illusion that lhey are able to escape from their highly specific and idiosyncratic position. hut only to deaden the pain of consciousness. But he may not identify with the desire. we have only a more subtle version of a negative circle.THOUGHT BXPBRIMBNTS is to he diverted from thinking of what they are. We would hnnl.'~ 7 Nagel. he will perhaps think his activity worlhwhile. and that we should not know how to defend without circularity. So the fact that we want to do things is not enough. modified by the compulsive desire to roll stones. they can view it sub specie aeternitatis . we wonld be no worse off unconscious. clt. but only to kill time. but the desire itself is one we would as soon be rid of as satisfy. What we do may seem as pointless as in the cruder version. He says that 'humans have the special capacity to step hack and survey themselves. op. may no1 feel as optimistic about his life as Richard Taylor does. Where we are motivated by a positive desire. He may try psychoanalysis or behaviour lherapy to get rid of it. with that detached amazement which comes from watching an ant struggle up a heap of sand. make love. We need positive desires. If he is happy to have this dominant desire. tight battles or compete for office. rests on responses and habits that we never question. which controls our choices and supports our claim to rationality. .and the view is at once sobering and comical. . Our only motives for action would be negative. not the negative aim of avoiding something disliked. and to which we shdl continue to adhere even after they are called into que~tion. To avoid futility. and they must be ones we can identify with. or even dead. We would want 10 do all the things we now want 10 do. One such line of thought i 2 expressed by Thomas Nagel. Sisyphus. Our state would he on apar with that ofsomeone for whom we might now think death a mercy: a person in such paln that his whole life is devoted to maintaining his supply of a drug.' Nagel explains how this sceplicism about our lives arises: 'We step hack to 6nd that the whole system ofjustification and criticism. The desire must be positive. There is the view that even thts is not enough to silence doubts about whether our activities have any point. positive desires are necessary: hilt they are not sufficient. That kind of life is pointless. If the circles of our life were only molivated by negative desires. and the lives to which they are commitled.


It is true that justifications have to come to an end somewhere. Every one of our beliefs, whether about what is worth doing or about what the world is like, can be questioned. And, in defending it, we have to draw on the resources of other parts of our system of beliefs. If you question my belief that smoking causes cancer, I will give you some evidence. If you doubt that the issue should be settled by evidence. I may have to pxplain the role of evidence in science, and mention Ule success of science in telling us what the world is l i e . But if you share none of these beliefs, either about the world, or about how to investigate it. evidence and reasoning will make no impact on you. I will be unable to convince you. Scepticism abont all the beliefs someone holds gives him no possibility of defending his system. The same applies to doubts about our beliefs about what is worthwhile. If we construct a detached perspective from which to view those beliefs, we will be unable to defend them against scepticism from that posilion. But perhaps this should not worry us. This perspective has been ' constructed precisely by eliminating all beliefs that anything is worth doing. It is a possible perspective, just as scepticism about all our scienti6c beliefs is. But the mere possibility of a sceptical perspective need not move us at all. A painter may know some philistine person who thinks all art is rubbish. This gives him no reason to weaken his own commitment to painting. We need defer to some other view only where it reveals some limitation or bias in our own. This holds for the sceptical view of our activities only if our own commitments are IMtations or biases. The case for seeing all our concerns as being limited or biased by comparison with an attitude of total detachment needs more suppurting argument than it has ever been given. We can escape from a negative circle by having some positive desires. that we identify with. And a life which escapes in this way from being merely negative need not have its point undermined by the possibility of a totally detached viewpoint. But it does not follow from this that any such liEe will seem worthwhile from our own present position. This can be seen by considering another variant of Sisyphus. The original Sisyphus had a life of hell, condemned fur ever to roll stones. Sisyphus Mark Two was not so straightforwardly in Hell, as he wanted toroll stones. But he was still trapped in a negative circle if he would haie preferred to give up both the desire and the activity. Sisyphus Mark Three escapes from a negative circle. Genetic engineering,



or behaviour therapy, has made him the kind of person who both wants to roll stones and is pleased to have this dominant desire. Although he escapes from the negative circle, his life is not one which we, with our values, need admire. Prom our point of view, there is still nothing much to be said for trying to become like him, and much to be said against it.

6 Systems
We have seen some of the values implicit in the idea of worthwhile work. They are cooperation, self-expression,being stretched, and making a c o n ~ b u t i o nto the world. Underlying these is the idea of activity performed for its own sake, motivated by a positive desire with which we can identify. The.?e values c m play two roles in decisions about o u ~ future. They can be just an uplifting irrelevance, like tak about 'improving the quality of life' tacked on to a political manifesto. Or they can be taken seriously,in the belief that whether human activity can avoid being futile. is of some importance. If taken seriously, they change the debate about the aims of an economic system. Some familiar issues about economic growth have been at the centre of that debate. Critics stress the social and enviromnental costs of growth, and the pressure put on scarce resources. They sometimes also question whether more goods lead to greater happiness. Defenders of growth say it is necessary for better housing, for better standards in health and education, and for the elimination of poverty. The debate often takes place at a primitive level, because it is assumed that the only choices are to be 'for' or 'against' growth. The 6rst step towards a more sophisticated discussion is to distinguish between different components of growth. I cars are made to last only f half their present lifespan,,twice as many may be sold. Thisis growth, but there may be no benefit to anyone. But growth can also include the mass production of equipment needed for medical diagnosis, which may make us healthier or save our lives. As one of the aims of an economic policy, growth directed towards what people want is more defensible than random growth: The second step is to recognize that some of the hopes people place in economic growth are self-defeating. This is because, as Fred Hirsch


lias argued,' the value to us of some of the things we want depends on not many other people having them. The value of a weekend cottage in the counhy depends on how much the view is spoilt by other people having weekend cottages. I higher education is partly valued as f a route to the best jobs, ils value will be reduced if it is made available to more people. This 'social scarcity', as H h c h calls it, applies not only to the products of an economic system, but also to other things people want, sbch as high status. (Imagine the project of expanding Who's Who to include everyone:) Hirsch argues that, as well as material goods, there are 'positional goods': those which in this way depend on what other people have. The suggestion is that many of the thingspeople want from economic growth are unrecognid positional goods, and that this is why the results of growth often seem less satisfying than was hoped. As Hirsch puts it. 'if everyone stands on tiptoe, no one sees better'. So, in deciding what to create more of, we have to avoid self-defeating attempts to give everyone benefits which are positional. Once a system is set up, it can be rational for each person to compete within it. If a PhD. is made a requirement for the best jobs, each of us has a motive for writing a thesis we might otherwise think pointless. And demand for graduate places creates pressure for more to be fuuded. Although each of u s h a s a reason to participate, it would be better if the whole cycle had never started. We are worse olT when we all end up on tiptoe. It is possible for an economic system to avoid self-defeating goals, and to be directed towards giving people what they want, and yet to be open to the criticism of futility. This is made more likely when the system not only satisfies desires, but also shapes them. We can imaginea society where people in their role as producers are persuaded by hancial inducements and by 'personnel managers' to want to produce goods. which the same people in their role as consumers are then persuaded by advertising to want to buy. (Imagine?) This production-consumption circle is one where most activity would have merely instxumental value. Working for money, and buying things because we think they will impress the neighbours, we would come close to what Bertxbd RusseU once called 'worldliness'. He wrote, in a letter to Colette Nlalleson, 'I want to stand against worldliness, which consist8 of doing everything for the sake of something else, like marrying



8. SacWMmifs to Growth. landon. 1977.


even where those in a society identify with their desires. If we reach the stage where.THOUGAT EXPBRIMBNTS for money instead of love. this may not be enough to persuade us. I Rmald W.we will not thereby have eliminated the economic problem. We will be able to choose whether to prolong or to transcend that problem. even if we understand about social scarcity. Otherwise they are in a negative circle. as Keynes saw. it is possible for the whole future of our spccies to centre round thecycle of production and consumption. That will require a further decision. we 9. and to make activities and relationships the central focus of life. n . We may slill regard it as a case of Sisyphus Mark Three. viewing it from outside. 436. Hmandsworth. in material terms. 1978. lhat lhe system is a good one. Clark: The hfe of Bertrand Russell. Or. And there are requirements beyond this: the desires must be ones that people are glad to have. unsatisfying tasks would be given to machines. and so demand production of more of the lhings which leave us still frustrated when we have them. The essence of life is doing things for their own sakes. Both can (at least) keep us back where we are now. may stop us solving the economic problem. like Sisyphus Mark Two. 7 Transcending the Economic Problem Wars and over-population. everyone has an acceptable life. The alternative is to relegate goods to the background. that what people do has some justification beyond being a contribution to a negative circle. But at least such a society satisfies the minimum condition. with most of the human race having lives below any acceptable material minimum. we can prolong the economic problem by locking ourselves into a system requiring the endless generation of new desires for goods. we can still prolong the economic problem. Evcn if we avoid war. A satisfactory economic system must at least avoid this kind of 'worldliness': there must be some things and aclivities desired and chosen for their own sakes. We may fail to see positional goods for what they are. Quoted p. But. although machines could replace us. Because we can always create new demands for goods. limit our population. And.. The boring. and find abundant resources.

Economics would be largely about arranging things so that people could express themselves in freely chosen work. But if we do take that decision. and the liberated stage of our history will begin. Rather it may slowly emerge as attitudes change. The decision to shin the emphasis from goods to activity is not the kind 10 be taken by some government on a particular day. the obsession with 'standard of living' will then be over.would not hand over those things which we Mce doing for their intrinsic satisfaction. .

Chapter 1Q Thoughts on the Thought Experiments The thought experiments have some obvious limil'dtions. They may be inkluenced by your belief that doctors take inaccurate notes. To wntrol for these factors. To rule out the possibility that a study of the effectof a drug is being biased by the age. and have the same kind of artificial exclusions as those that take place in science. Attitudes to privacy will vary according to whether there are governments. it is neces- 130 . All this has been left out. as well as by the machinely for taking social and political decisions. Thought experiments are experiments. There has been a high degree of abstraction from social context. The values that influence the choices are themselves the product of a given society at a particular time. This also holds for responses to the technology of altering desires. There are wmplicated relationships between social. political. if so. whether people are afraid of them. And all the choices will be influenced by prevailing systems of belief. or by your fear that the Home Office might gain access to the records and use them for some illiberal purpose. It would be a devastating ob'jtion if they had been intended to provide a plan for a future utopia. scientists use a ~ontrol for these features. The thought experiments lack the historian's perspe -tive. As a result. economic and technological changes taking place at the same ti he. your answers may not tell me what I want to know. and on which aspects of us the educational system tries to draw out. moods and experiences. and. If I try to 6nd out the value you place on privacy by asking you about some actual proposal. The point about the artificiality of the thought experiments is quile correct. But the aim has been different. such as a Nalional Health Service data bank containing medical records of everyone in the country. the thought experiments may seem to have the thin unreality of science fiction. sex or medical group matched history of the people who take it. The kinds of activity found satisfying may depend on whether 'work' and 'Leisure' are still distincl compartments of life. The criticism is that real choices are not about single technologies in isolation.

Or perhaps I care more about autonomy than you do. It has been suggested that a set of values does emerge from them. This is not because of some inadequacy in the technique.agreement on what the tests should be for a consensus to emerge on the issue in question. and ultimately such questions as how 131 . and the conclusions drawn can be seen not only as anexpression ofmy attihdes. it is not clear what could be meant by the suggestion that one of us is closer to the real rank ordering. The& is no reason to expect unanimity on these issues. but the values reflect my responses to these possibilities. And. People in disagreement o n a scientiEc matter rightly suppose that at least one of them must be wrong. where we disagree.such that. But people whose values conflict are not in the same position. and your responses may often be different. In this way. but because people's values differ. psychology is an empirical subject. The thought experiments have not beenused in an attempt to demonstrate that certain values are shared by us all. it may not be that one of us is in some way mistaken. only rarely coincide with other people's. (This is not to deny the point. There seems to be no external reality to appeal to for adjudication. I hope the position is not as bad as that. or that they would be shared by all fully rational people. smoking both does and does not increase the risk of lung cancer. The parallel with science should not be exaggerated. If you t h i i equality is more important than liberty.THOUGEITS O N T H B THOUGHT EXPEBIMBNTS s a y to describe an imaginary case which excludes them. I I f had thought my responses were so idiosyncratic that they would. the discussion &n be seen as a kind of a priori psychology. 'Perhaps you are mnch more opposed to intervention to change people's m r a l brain chemistry than I am. Thought experiments are designed to elicit people's values. that the evidence.) The use of thought experiments to elicit people's values may lead to no such consensus. The norm in science is for issues to be resolved by objective tests. and there is usually enough . The world cannot be .of observation and experiment may often admit of different interpretations. seized upon and mnch exaggerated by some philosophers of science. while I disagree (to present a crudely oversimplified case). for a given population in a given environment. Of course. but as aconjecture about those of a fair number of other people. Bare and abstract description is the way of controlling for the biases which would be generated by the details of more realistic accounts. there would have been little point in giving them.

who are neither mountaineers nor pilots. taking the children to school. Some of these values are in most of us rather deeply buried. We are not going to have the experience machine next year. What I hope has emerged is a set of values centred on people (in a brood sense which may include members of other species. But it would he absurd to say that. and to bring them into sharper focus. as they are in some of the thought experiments. arranging a holiday in Italy. oust as most of us. but this is subject to all the qualificationsabout disagreement that have been expressed. or on both physical and mental activity. and so we are hardly aware of the value we place on genuine contact with other people. the ones discussed here. before psychologists have done their studies. We see how other people act. Because of the conjecture that a fair number of people will have responded to the thought experiments in ways that overlap with the responses given here. we know nothing about the values of ourselves and others. or our revulsion against cruelty. And the picture which has emerged is one in which our values turn out to be very different from the simple materialism often presupposed by schemes for economic advance. Three aspects of people's lives have 132 . People have this central position because they a r e consciousand care ahout things. Fmm day to day we may be busy with a job. and perhaps only readily become articulated when they are threatened. And the studies of psychologistsmust partly consist in asking us about our values.) The aim of the thought experiments has been to bring these unnoticed background valu%q into the foreground. only value the oxygen in the air we breathe on rare moments when we think of it.'TIIOUGHT I3XPBRIMBNTS many people share all or some of these values. and inhabitants of other planets). are highly visible because the present world is one in which they are affronted daily. The thought experiments have not been designed to bring out all our values. are less subject to immediate affronts and threats. and we talk to them. or political liberty. There would he samething absurd about constantly thinking about grand p@jects of self-creation across a lifetime. such as justice.. how ditrerences of value come about. Some of our values. but only lhose Ulat are particularly relcvant to deciding what use should be made of hiotechnology and of intelligent machines. But other values. and how people's values chahge. I shall write of 'our' values. And the values that have emerged are far from being the constant preoccupation of our lives. or getting the plumbing mended. are to be answered by empirical investigation. or ahout the need for self-exprossiontn work.

But it is not just a matter of wanting to have certain characteristics. we need control over what we do. and do not want to hand over to benevolent coutrollers. whelher they use brain stimulation or drugs to alter our desires or experiences. A desire we would as happily eliminate as satisfy plays no part in our project of self-creation. To express ourselves. however great its other advantages. whatever . is also bound up with self expression. this alone is enough to rule out the simple experience machine.THOUGHTS ON T H B THOUGHT BXPEBIMENTS been suggested to be both important and threatened by some of the possible technologies. wanting to have skills or personal qualities some of which we could not have on the simple experience machine. at least in part. These are: self-development and self-expression: certain kinds of contact with other people: the development of consciousness. We do not wan1 individuality to be curbed by the sorts of pressures that could arise in a world where we were transparent to each other. this is a reason for welcoming technology giving us greater control over our own desires. that the positive desire is one we identify with. fop some of us. And the activity has to be wanted for its own sake rather than part of a negative circle: there is little self-expression in taking an aspirin to avoid a headache. This is why work is important to us in ways that go beyond its economic results. 2 Contact and Variety We mind about having contact with other people l o such an extent that. whelher human or mechanical. We want our development. At each stage of life. This project of self-creation is exprarsed in activity. to be a reflection of our own choices and values. and particularly ones that mark us 08k-om other people. On the other hand. This is something we value. And. And the further requirement. in a way that is impossible for the passive consumer of a programme on the simple experience machine. we are partly the creation of our earlier selves. 1 Self-Development and Self-Expression We care about what sort of people we are.

But we also want their projects very often not to overlap with ours. is the product of other people's work. We want a world transcending ourselves because of the opportunity it gives for the development of our awareness and understanding. Even if conditions down mines have changed. 3 The Development of Consciousness Consciousnessis central to our system of values. So many people think the universe centres on what they do. We do not value an uninhabited world.T H O U G H T EXPERIMENTS reservations we have about a world of transparenl relationships. in ways now unpredictable. Blissful states of consciousness are not all we care about. of whatever size and complexity. Even the dreamworld seems stifling because we want a world bigger than ourselves to explore. literature. We resist the simple experience machine because we do not want to have beliefs that are systematically false. where we can wntribute to each other's projects. George Orwell's point remains true: . The possibilities of professional deformation and self-deception are obvious. Sometimes it seems that interest in philosophy. And our relationships with each other depend on the interlocking of our individual responses (shared or contrasting). but is focused on a world outside itself. or the more theoretical parts of science is a luxury: the product of a material comfort not shared by most of the people in the world. We are not attracted by cloning. perhaps even to conflict with ours. some of us can see real advantages in the shared understanding it would bring. (As the writer of this book on philosophy. I feel unease about a value system giving such prominence to intellectual activity. Relative freedom from material worries. because we want many diEferent styles of life and ways of seeing the world to exist and be expressed. So we are wary of drugs designed to 'improve' our emotional stab in detachment Erom our beliefs and our perception of things. bul also activity that is shared. or by any world where psychological technology has increased conformity. which lets people write books. the arts. But consciousness is the centre of value. We value not only contact with others.

at least while you are watching.understand that there is such a loss. Some of the values relationships between men and women. not from. relationships change with ways of thinking and seeing. when we consider handing over wntrol of our brains to machines designed by us now. But I hope that some of the considerations suggested by the thought experiments will partly check this tendency.' Writers. shelter and health have been satisfied. new kinds of activity and understanding. This line of thought tends to push intellectual activity low down List of priorities. that accepting this offer would have been a disaster far beyond anything they could imderstand.but are central to some of the values that give life a focus and a centre.. These activities are not a dispensable fril1.) Suppose Stone Age men had been given an opportunity to have the happiest life they could imagine.THOUGHTS O N THE T H O U G H T E X P E R I M E N T S In a way it is even humlllatiig to watch coal miners working. Though this too may be selfdeception. It raises in a momentary doubt about your own status as an 'intellectual' and a superior person generally. But we want to be liberated for. author of Marxism for f Infznts . with lheir throats full o coal dust. but at the cost of giving up any chance of further intellectual or emotional development.) We may think. 'Down the Mlne' (1937). So. (The choice wnld not have been put to them in these terms. 135 . and so we are reluctant to accept any modern equivalent of the Stone Age offer. perhaps something is given back.all of us reall# owe thecomparative decency oi our Lives to poor f drudges hnderground. we cannot tell what expansion of consciousness we are giving up. if writers and others do interesting work. which can be of a quite unintellectual kind . parents and children. And. We hope that machines will liberate us from the cycle of production and consumption. and the poets and the Archbishop o Canterbury and Comrade X.are at least as important. Por it is brought home to you. driving theb shovels forward with arms and belly muscles of steel. that it is only because miners sweat their gnk out that supcrior persons can remain superior. blackened to the oyes. the n 1. But even here. but this does not affect the point. philosophers and artists eat food that others have grown and use energy lhat others have worked to provide. from our perspective. Harmondsworlh. You and I and the edltor of the Tlmes Uf. 1962. But we can. once basic needs for food. as the marginal luxury of the comfortable. in Inside the W o e and hl Other Basoys.Supp. and perhaps do not think enough about the value of what is given back.

. Below these obvious surface objections is often a conservatism aboul human nature. brain stimulation and other such techniques. This applies to devices where we operale directly on the brain to alter our own desires.to certain kinds of relationships. Suppose we give up this idea that any major change in what we are like is to be resisted. and to the development of our consciousness and underslanding. We may not like some of these possible worlds. I1 is not just any aspect of present human nalure lhat is worth preserving. Yet there is a remaining source of unease. which was rejected in the discussion of genetic engineering. These. are our values. perhaps. Genetic engineering may involve mistakes or large-scale accidents. we can be guided by them in welcoming or opposing the developments scientists will offer us. We then open up possibilities of behaviour control. But genetic engineering and the other techniques open up the possibility of producing a world of people with very different values. there are many obvious surface objections and dangers. whether genetic enaneering or the developments in the thought experiments. We may for once have some idea of what we do and do not want before the technology is irreversibly with us. But their inhabitanls might prefer them. though1 reading. Brain technology may involve exploitation by bad governments or for profit. Kather it is especially those features which contribute to self-development and self-expression. And some of these f e h r e s may be extended rather than threatened by technology. To what extent should decisions aboul future generations be taken in the light of our present values and outlook? This is the question of the last part of the book. If these are some of our values.THOllGHT R X P E R I M E N T S 4 Beyond Conservatism about Human Nature With each of the technologies considered. It is by loolcing at the deeper reasons for the mixture of fear and occasional hope which these inspire that we wme on values whose defence is not mere conservatism.

As psychological insight advanced. due 10 mental malnutrition and poisoning.part Three: Values It was recognized that the whole pre-revolutionary population was atllicled with serious mental diseases. the same kind of interest was aroused by the old psychology as is wakened in modem Europeans by ancient maps which distort the countries of the world almost beyond recognition. Olaf Stapledon: Starmakcr . with endemic plagues of delusion and obsession.


These doubts were given their most forceful expression. It was said that the horrors imposed by his rule on that generation of Kussians were justified by huge benefits to later generations. will be the best possible society and then setting out to institute it. if at all. to the opposite opinion that we need give future people no consideration at all. Obviously genetic engineering willaffect only future people. How far should this alter our thinking about these issues? How much. Do none of the reasons that make you smile at this apply to us? Kobert Nozick: Anarchy. The supposed causal connections linking extermination and terror with the future benefits were only apparent to the eyes of the faithful. In the days of Stalin. long before Stalin. so the reaction against Stalinism has led lo scepticism about any sacrifices for future generalions. And. should WC take account of the interests of future generations? If we do give some weight to their interesls. State and Utopia These technologies. part of the propaganda for his activities appealed to the future. by Alexander Herzen: . and the applications of nenrobiology will be greater when the brain is better understood than now. will affect future people more than us.Chapter 1 I Generations I1 is helpful to imagine cavemen silting together to think up what. for all time. So that defence of Stalin is rightly discredited. in what ways should we do so? l Stalin and Herzen Attitudes have varied all the way from the view that the interests of future generations should largely override those ofpeople now alive. rather as a proper revulsion against Nazism has often spilled over into hostility to all policies of eugenics or euthanasia. with their threats and promises.

the benefib are deferred for ever. translatd by Moura Budberg. or what people then will want? Applied in every generation. Prom the Other Shoro. whichever generation they belong to. only recedes. it has the danger of the paradox which Herzeu pbihted out. as the toilers appronch him. policies of heroic self-sacrifice by present people are open to obvious criticism. lbst came auoss Hereon's ideas thmugh the writigsofhis distinguishcdmodem follower Isaiah Berlin.. heroic self-sacrifice is likely to have little support. So. dragging a barge filled with some mysterious h a s u r e and with the humble words 'progress in the fu-' inscribed on ita bows? Those who arc exhausted fall in thetr tra&s: others with fresh forces take up the ropcs: but them remains. as you said yourself. In practice. 1979. eangivebackonly the mockinganswer that after their death allwill bebeautiful on earth. instead ofrewardingthem. Like many athers. This alone should serve as a warning to people: an end that is inRnitely remote is not an end. equal weight. 2 The Equality Principle This principle that people's interests should be given. is a rejection of one kind of dis1.' The view that the interests of present people should always count for less than those of future people has IitUe attraction. It would be perverse to make the weaknesses of that policy the centre of discussion. where people have a normal amount of selfishness. One such alternative gives equal weight to people's interests. for whom are we wark'mg?Who is this Moloch who. 36-7.Ifprogress is the end. a trap .Do you truly wish tocondemn all human beings alive todayto thesadroieofcaryaUdssuppotimg a floor for others some day to dance on. up to thcir knees in mud. . decisions are more likely to reflect the view that future generations have little or no claim on us. Onlard. . The serious debate is between that view and some alternative more plausible than endlessly repeated self-sacrifice. and as aconsolation to the exhausted. if you like. because progress is infinite. just because we live now rather than in two hun&ed vears' time? I1 involves a n absurd degree of confidence in our predictions: how do we know whal the world will be w e in a few generations' time. or of wretched galley slaves. regardless of their generation. . but. It is unfair: why should our lives and happiness matter less. But. pp.doomed multitudes crying 'rnoriluri tcsalutant'. as much ahead as there was at the beginning. quite apart from Stalinist associations. lhat if every generation makes the s a ~ r ~ c e s . .

4. In deciding what we ought to do. Some of Hare's critics disagree with his claims about moral language. The present generation cannot do as it pleases but is bound by the principles that would be chosen in the original position to define justice between persons at differentmoments of time. Oxfad.. Hare. Oxford. or should be treatcd equally unless there is some relevant difference between them. In his well-known theoretical model. and says. F r e u l o q n d Rwson.p. 3. 'We can now see that persons in different generations have duties and obligations to one another just as contemporaries do. He thinks this procedure would generate a 'just savings principle'. in which everyone's interests are given equal weight. Hare argues that this property of moral beliefs generates an impartial utilitarian morality. 1963.' who appeals to the concept of justice. M. if the use of moral 2. the impartiality required by justice is secured by working out the terms of the contract which would be agreed between self-interested and rational people Ignorant-of which position in society they are to occupy. It is sometimes said that this impartiality is built into either the concept of morality or the concept of justice. 293. I am logically committed to holding that anyone else in relevantly similar circumstances ought to do the same thing. Ibld. Hare's theory depends on linguistic intuitions about the meanings of words used in making moral judgements. especially soctian 44. but do not know which one it is. And others say that.'* Both Hare and Rawls derive their couclusious from more general theories that are controversial." who claims that universalizability is a logical feature of moral judgements: if I believe that you ought (morally) to give away half your income. of one way of departing from impartiality.GBNRBATIONS crimination. Others disagreewith his derivation of irn~artiai utilitarianism from the universaljzability of moral judgements. Rawls applies his model to the case of justice between generations by stipulating that the people making the contract all belong to the same generation. whichever generation they belong to. A Theory ~jfusthicc. One such argument is found in the writings of K. 141 . A rather similar conclusion is reached by John Kawls. The belief that people should be given equal consideration. we have to place ourselves in-turd in the position of everyone affected by the different courses of action. has been argued for by varipus thinkers in different ways. 1972.

Rawls sees this difficulty. It might be enough for contractors to be from different generations. As the contractors all belong to the same generation. in P. Oxford. The policies the contractors agree on fur conserving or depleting resources may determine how many generations there are. Mcthnl and Poirlt. 6.cvels. Previous generations will already either have saved or not saved for them. To $ve the intuitively correct result. to deal with this issue.^ Rawls bases his theory on claims about what he calls 'reflective equilibrium': a state where our theoretical views and our intuitive responses to particular cases have been adjusted to each other in such a way that they form a stable system. Some critics of Rawls reject the whole model of the original position. but not know which they belonged to. 5. But the terms of the 'original position' in which the rational contractors reach their agreement &e also adjusted to bring the results close to our intuitive ideas of justice. And there is something elusive about a contract agreed by a group whose composition depends not every generation need be on what the contract says. Others think that. p. there seems no reason why their agreement should include any provision for future generations. Nither way. 1981. The general theolies of Hare and Kawls raise too many issues to pursue here. . But it is not clear how much saving this ad hoc device would generate. it needs to be altered more drastically. 1971: and from D. R s l (eds. perhaps by including members of every generation among the contractors. These eammenb on ibwls derive Dam FJrian k r y ."erhaps represented.language commits us to utilitarianism. Hacker and J. it is not in their interest to put anylbing by for future people. Our intuitive beliefs about what is just are in part to be corrected by the results of the theoretical niodel. they will abandon it and use uon-moral terms to express their nonUilitarian values. Moralill) and Society. he alters the original position by adding ties of sentiment between successive generations. Clayton Hubin: 'Justiceand Puture Generations'. Hare discusses this last objection h M o r d Thinbng. Oxford. But this interpretation has problems of its own. Its I. 1st. And the equality principle can be supported by reasons which do not require any such theoretical superstructure. 'Jusbcebetween Generations'. Philosophy and Public Allairs 1976. M. and whose authority ultimately rests at least in part on claims about the meanings of word^. There is scepticism about an argument ruling out all systems of values but one.): law.

The consigner might make various excuses. they have a claim on our 7 In the b&t discussion known to me 01 practical issues involving future goncrations.'A GENERATIONS One line of thought makes a direct appeal to our intuitive responses. and the drivers change.43 . Their intended paeallel with the nuclear *ask problem we are leaving for future generations does not need spelling out. and so have a claim on us in a way future generations do not. Nobody would suppose that getting on at a later stop rather than an earlier one deprived people of any claim to consideration. If it breaks. without requiring any complex theory. perhaps the bus will have crashed and killed everyone first. Routley to shed light on some of the issues in the nuclear power debate. Iwtriry 1978. It is not certain the gas will escape. and the consigner knows it is unlikely to survive the journey intact. simply because it is done to people who are not on the bus at the time the container is put aboard. The Routleys plausibly claim that none of this adds up to a good defence of the consigner's action. so that quite dilferent people are on board at different stages of the journey. He further tries to justify his act by pleading economic necessity: his business will crash unless he sends the container on the bus. Barly in the journey. and V. It may be replied that all the people who get on at later stops are now alive. This is that the harm done does not matter at all. Would this make the act perfectly acceptable? It may be said that these children have lives overlapping with us. An imagined bus journey is used by R. There is one defence o f the consigner's act whose serious use is almost unimaginable. and that the passengers killed by the gas were young children born ofter consignment. But the' supposed importance of this distinction is hard to believe in.' The bus carries both passengers and freight o n its long journey. destined for somewhere ncar the end of the route. Or perhaps the passengers on the bus at the other end of the journey will be people of a different type who do not mind being killed. Suppose the journey was very long. Sending the container of gas on the bus seems an appalling act. Because we will have relationships with them. It is always crowded. If it does. 1. some of the passengers will probably be killed. taking the bus several years. The container is very thin. a container of highly toxic and explosive gas is put aboard. but passengers keep getting on and off. 'NuclearEnergy and Obligations to llle Future'. .

if accepted. which says that this is how the moral rules of various societies did in fact develop. and moral rnles. When our moral thinking reaches the adult stage. the only defensible moral principles are those that would be agreed by people R . serve this function. whether parental or religious. It is terrible if people are killed or maimed. but at least for their grandchildren or great-grandchildren. To make this point is not merely lo use a slippery slope argument. I. And another is a cluster of approaches which limit claims on us to people with whom we feel natural sympathy or identification. 1976 . Many perfectly defensible views require boundaries with some element of arbitrariness. There is an empirical version of contrBclarianism. however existing moral codes are to be explained. One is contractarianism. Another is what is sometime8 called the 'person-affecting' view. Contractarianism answers both these problems by saying that we invent right and wrong: We have a common inlerest in keeping society afloat. which says that. there is a problem about what they are based on. resulting from tacit agreements. or how long before. cE J. Whether the bomb was set before the date of their birth. And there is a rational version.concern. while we must not harm the children of those now alive. The time-bomb case is designed to suggest that the attempt to draw boundaries is mistaken in principle. Our response suggests that people's moral claims h e are not reduced by when they live. if we do not want our own children to be upset. Mackle: EtJtlcs: Inwntinglltghtand Wrong. to show the difficulty of drawing the boundaries this kind of view requim. And there is a prior problem of explaining what they can mean. IIarmondsworth. wb could quite lcgitimately leave a time bomb which would kill or maim some of their children. suggests that. any more than they are by where they live. is quite irrelevant to our wudemnalion of t act. This argument.. we could leave the bomb. and claims about right and wrong are no longer based on appeals to authority. Contractarianism is a powerful analysis of morality. And that is the equality principle. not for their children. Or. 3 Some Views Incompatible with the Equality Principle' There are several influential attitudes to ethics which clash with the equality principle.

We can atfect them. young children and the handicapped have no bargaining power with the rest of us.GBNBRATIONS striking self-interested bargains with each other.'O) This feature ofcontractarianism applies strikingly to future generations. at least as a complete account. But we have seen that Ulls vcrsian has problems of Its own in dealing with fuhlre generalions. animals. . A dislurbing feature of contractarianism is the way it ties people's moral claims to their bargaining power. and 10. minorities. and perhaps the chances of being handicapped are too small to weigh with us in selfinterested bargaining. Old people may be given righb because most of us will one day be old. The rational version claims not only to make morality intelligible. ' & to cantmctsrlanism does not uppli ta the vemlon heloped by Iobjection * Ruwls. Losers will include foetuses. An explanation of our 'values loses plausibility. (I am not here arguing that abortion is wrong. and perhaps womcn. on the contractarian view. So they have no bargaining power on which to base a contract giving them moral claims. Those of us who accept the equality principle think that this issue brings out a deficiency in contractarianism. the handicapped. they have none. And none of these groups has any threats to bargain with. Good reasons can be given for a very liberal m position on abortion. So. Aborted foetuses do not retaliate. This approach removes moral prohibitions that protect those who are weak and have little bargaining power. but they cannot affect us. but also to explain how we can have a motive for being moral. children. A second approach which conflicts with the equality principle is the 9. Phlloso~hy Public AlJaLrs 1972. d Mlchael Taoley: 'Abortion pnd Infanticide'. But foetuses. so we arc likely to see such rights as being in our long-term interest.' What I a arguing is that it is unsatisfactory to say that foetuses have no moral claims because we can kill them without fear of retaliation. the podr. We have passed the stage of being foetuses or young children. babies. A tough-minded contractarian might prefer to argue that the equality principle is based on some kind of illusion or error. wlqre those striking the =U-lntorcsted burgtmin are Ignorant of whether or not they belong% onc or mare of these vulnerable gmups. when it ends up having to explain so many of them away. Those with weak powers of retaliation m a y h d they are in no position to do the deals which would give them rights and other claims. But he will have to say the same about all those values which are not generated by self-interested bargaining.

" different social policies lead to different people being born. pp. They am also delended in on IntorcsUng g . Those repelled by this may prefer the personaffectingprinciple 'make people happy'. On the personaffecting view. And the issue of future generations is such a case. They also seem to have disturbing consequences avoided by person-affecting principles. And impersonal principles convey an air of treating people merely as means to the production of abstract entities such as Health or Happiness. For. They express our sense that people are the centre of value. 4650. war or unhappiness. had it been chosen. and in N s book Morality nnd ~ ~ l i Balfimom. which does not have this implication. Philosoph# and PIBI~E Afldm 1982.VALUBS view that all moral beliefs should take a 'person-affecting' form. My discussion ol personalfecting views deriuos h m Parflt's ideas. But it is a feature of any moral system containing only personaffecting principles that such a system gives generations beyond the immediate future-little or no claim on ourconcern. Person-affecting principles seem attractive. At first sight. How can we promote health without making people healthier? In most contexts this response is right. 'khw Goneratiom: Further Problems'. But in some cases there is a big difference. or to eliminate poverty. 146 . Mind 1967. But 'person-affecting' principles tell us to make people healthier or happier. And it is likely that opting for one economic policy or energy policy rather than another will largely or entirely change the composition of a future generation in a country. As Derek Parfit has pointed out. being victims of war. Person-alfecting views are advacated by lan Narveson: 'Utilihldanism and New GcneraHons'. or but for a decision to build a university or college somewhere. If our principle is 'maximize happiness'. one way af doing this is to create extra people who will be happy. they would not have been. it will not be possible to say'of the members of that generation that they arebetter or worse off than they would have been had the other policy been chosen. Impersonal principles may tell us to promote health or happiness. an action is only right or wrong where there are people who are better or worse off than they would have been on some alternative. or to rescue people from being poor. or being unhappy. Many of us have parents or grandparents who would not have met but for a world W&. 1967. If so. the distinction may seem purely scholastic. unnublislld paper by Bric R&owskI: 'Obligations to Achlsl and Potential Persons'. There will probably 11.

And thbse of us against killing even our remote descendants will find purely personaffectingsystems inadequate. Where. We care more about a friend injured in a car crash than about thousands of people killed or injured in an earthquake at the other end ofthe world. The supporter of such a system will reject the equality principle. Morality influences us because of its roots in our emotional life. we realize that distant people (in place or time) would evoke our concern if we could meet them. . And. We do not have to accept the supposed consequence that our values can never go beyond these naturalresponses. while some may have their origin in the social conditioning which helps hold human communities together. we are considering generations which purely person-affecting systems give no moral claim on us. It is possible for thought to cast doubt on some of the moral boundaries which come naturally to us. the importance of these responses in motivating altruism is'hard to deny.GRNRRATIONS be no people in distant generations who would existwhichever policy we choose. we have no reason for being motivated by consideration of their interests. because we do not identify with them. But we may not trust this difference of response as a good guide to what should be done. or none of the imagination needed to see things from their point of view. it is hard to see how we could be motivated by anything except our own narrowly self-interested desires. Our lack of concern seems caused by our limited imagination: the bias @wards here and now. But. The suggestion is that we do not have any natural feelings of affection or concern for people living in two hundred years' time. As with contractarianism. If we had no capacity to feel sympathy with others. there is a direct conflict with the equality principle. whatever the balance of genetic and environmental factors in a particular case.there are no people able to claim they are better or worse off than Uley would have been. Some of these emotional reaclious may be explained by the evolutionary usefulness of the behaviour they promote. And this applies equally to our relative lack of identification with people living in the future. We can accept that our emotional responses play a key role in the development of our moral beliefs. So our indifference can be seen as a kind of illusion of . A third approach which conflicts wilh the equality principle stresses that moral claims are rooted in our natural responses and in our ability to idenlify with other people. When we thidc critically.

with the possibilily of genetic and neurobiological technologies being applied. but now we' often have to take decisions affecting peoplc remote from us.VALUES perspective: a limitation we should try to overcome. 4 Practical Constraints on the Equality Principle There are obvious practical constraints. The limits of practical predictability need no emphasis.. 148 . These limits do not only apply to predicting the long-term consequences of what we do. especially if we consider 3. But. with. onlyfor it to turn out that this set of intellectual skills is largely irrelevant to dealing. alternatively. But our confidence goes down steeply when we are thinking instead about our impact on the lives of people in two hundred years' time. Or we may conserve fossil fuels without anticipating scientific advances making them unnecessary. We may be a bit sceptical about how far people in the eighteenth century could have anticipated what things we find desirable. cit. that they will need a healthy biosphere for a good life: that like us they will not be immune fmm radiation: that their welfm will not be enhanced by a high incidence of cancer or genetic debcts. by the destruction ofresources. p." 12. The Routleys have warned of this: We do have excellent reason to believe. their problems. They also apply to predictions about the tastes and values of future people. And it is not obv~ous that our intuitive feelings of distance are a better guide to action than the equality principle. 154. we have reason for being even more doubtful about how far the outlook of our descendants in two hundred years will be like ours. that what people there are in a hundred years are likely to have material and psychic needs not entirelyunlike our awn. It is possible to exaggerate these limits to prediction. We often have a fair idea of the likely effects of our actions on people now alive.000 years o f history. op. Or.or the eliminatianfrom the face of the earth of that wonderful variety of non-human life which at present makes it such a rich and inmresting place. what we leave our descendants may be the cause of quarrels and wars which would otherwise be avoided. We may decide to use genetic engineering to raise their IQ. It may have been harmless in the Stone Age.

called the 'open society': 13. New York. Support far Almander Gmy's view cun be found In P . Our views on how to give our descendants a good life may be roughly right. able to use genetic engineering. cancer or genetic defectsresulting from our nuclear waste policy does sound like the klnd of feeble excuse given for sending the container of gas by bus. One critic has said that 'no utopia has ever been described in which a i y sane man would on any conditions consent to live. 1966. said that if the Victorians had been. John Mackie. B. One obvious consequence of this is that we should not plan utopias for them. They reflect the imaginative limits of their creators. We need to remember the limitations of our own outlook This is a reasan for valuing what Karl Popper.GENBRATIONS The Routleys here make a strong case for the view that we have good reason to avoid inflicting on future generations things that we now would regard as a disaster. but are very iilceiy to be roughly right. When considering our powers of prediction it seems plausible to say two things. 5 Against Utopias Future generations are unlikely to share all our values. Aleran@ Gray: The Socioli8t Tradition. if he could possibly escape'. quoted i llohon Nozick: n Anarch#. Utopian planning. The claim that our descendants might not mind any nuclear radiation. Manuel: Uloptas and Utopian Thought. even when intended for the immediate future. while we should be concerned to avoid harm to future generations. Our views on what would bring disaster to our descendants may be wrong." And the drawbacks are even clearer when we think of plans aimed at several generations ahead. Boston. arguing once in a discussion against some optimism of mine. StaB nnA Utopia. If these two points are correct. New York. 1974. in his criticisms of utopianism. they would have aimed to make us more pious and patriotic. . but are very likely to be wildly wrong. Utopias are always tidy and boring. So. it seems that the equality principle has strong implications for the issue of nuclear waste. but weaker implications for altempts to enhance the lives of future generations. we should avoid utopian designs for their lives. 1968. has been much criticized.

Poggcr: The Open Saclcty and its Enamies.one where. the greatest and most urgent evils o society.landon. if at ail attainable. even at the level of fundamenlal values. and thorcfon: also the living. The &st is where utopian plans (largescale. His position relies heavily on two contrasts. it is most important. It is t e diEwence bctwoon a reasonable method of improving thc lot h of man. Popper's version of the negative view is the broad one: he allows that people have 'a claim not to be made unhappy' and 'a claim to be given all possible help ifthey suffer'. K. In fact.'the piecemeal engineer will. Fnfth &Illion. is far distant.) This ncgative view of our concern fur the future closely resembles what I h r l Popper has called 'piecemeal social engineeringf. for there are no institutional means of making a man happy. have a claim: perhaps not so much a claim to be made happy. where it can be avoidd. Each of these contrasts 14. rather than searching for.ils greatest C ultimate goad. 158. criticism and the possibility of change are kept alive. A broader version says that we should also. but a claim not to be made unhappy. may easily lead to an intolerable increase in human suffering. detailed and rigid) Are contrasted with the smaller. . . and lighling br. (A narrow vcrsion of this view is that our sole concern should be that we do not cause such disasters: w e must not be the people who leave the container of gas on the bus.'* He says. if really tried. and akkeve happiness and perfection on oarth.g. The politician who adopts this method may or may not have a blueprint of society before his mind. 1966. Bul he will be aware that perfection. and a mcthod which. 6 In Defence of Intervention The drawbacks of utopianism are familiar and obvious. where possible.R. This diflerence is far kom being merely verbal. more flexible measures that count as 'piecemeal engineering'. accordingly. And there is the contrast between eliminating a n evil and promoting a good. adopt the method of searching for. help future generations avoid disasters not of our making. But it is often too readily Ulought lhat these drawbacks show the truth ofthe negative view: that we should limit our planned influence on future generations to the avoidance of disasters for them. he may or may not hope that mankind will onc day realize an ideal state. neither of them completely sharp. They have a claim tobe given all possible help if lhey suffer. and fighting against. and that evory generation of men.

Popper's arguments for the negative view draw on the defects. And we can recognize that our great-grandchildren will live by their values rather than ours. intellectual or emotional. the case against utopianism need not rule this out. in ways we hope will enrich their lives. people of future generations have f in principle claims on our concern jusl as great as people now alive.) When we distinguish between the two contrasts. Our restricted aility to make accurate long-term predictions. without trying to realize some blueprint of the ideal life for them. together with the probability of changes of oullook. (Is icampaign for better schools the of a good. Where the avoidance of disaster for them depends on what we do. (This last point about the absence of institutional means of increasing happiness might be questioned. If genetic enginoering or other techniques can be used to produce future generations who transcend our limitations. without as a result wishing to confihe them within our own genetic limitations. set limits to prngramnles designed . The difficulty is the extent to which the case for the negative view depends'on treating the two contrasts as one. of utopianism: perfection is at hest distant. For. whether physical. and there are no institutional means ofmaking people happy. 7 A ~ossible Conflict I the argument of this chapter is right. this should have the same weight as if the disaster were 10 people now. we need not acccpt Popper's alternatives: either utopianism or only negative intervention.is a matkr of degree. Even if true it would be no argument against the possibility of using genetic engineering or brain technology to make people happier. rather than being marked by any clearly determined boundary. or their curiosity and imagination. rather than just assumed. as argued earlier about genetic engineering. such as ignorance and illiteracy?)But. there need be no plan for an ideal type of person drawn up by some committee. In bringing up children. or the elimination of a cluster of evils. and Popper's preference in each case for measures towards one end of the continuum rather lhan the other. we are able to understand the two dimensions indicated. we may hope to encourage their talents. that the same kind of non-utopian but positive policy is impossible at the Social level. even without sharp boundaries. It needs to be argued.

. ditrcrent positive programmes may become possible. And where we can choose between them. We could be guided by the aim of making future people happy. Or we could be concerned to give them the widest possible freedom of choice between differentkinds of life. there may be a conflict between two underlying aims. but some positivc programmes of this kind may be worth allempting. perhaps by making sure that their preferences and the kind of world they inhabit are as closely matched as possible.to confer positive benefits on future people. These two aims should now be looked at. As biotechnology increases our power to influence what people are like.

It would be liked because people have been taught to like it. One form of this temptation is Ule utopian plan of harmonizing desires and the world. some will be tempted to put them together to make future generations happier. most reinforcing. The objecffon to utopianism is met by designing not only utopia but also people who will like it. Genetic engineering allows a possible response to bolh these criticisms. or can be. Immanuel ICant If we have effective techniques both of behaviour control and of genetic engineering. and for reasods which do not always bear scrutiny.) Two suggestions made here go against all this. Skinner: Beyond Freedom and Dignity Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made. Our project of selfcreatlon would be destroyed. And the objection to external moulding of . A world that would be lilced by contemporary people would perpetuate the status quo. We should not plan utopias because future people will not share our outlook.ewho live in it because it has been designed with an eye to what is. Skinner says the problem is to design a world that will be liked by those who live in it. B. (Skinner's own aim involves adjusting people too. F. drugs or brain stimulation in the utopian plan would deprive us of control over the sort of people we are. And the use of conditioning.Chapter 12 Adjustment The problem is to design a world which will be liked not by people as they now are but by those who live in it. as a large part of the 'world' we like or dislike is other people. The utopian plan goes one stage further. It adjusts both the world and people's desires until they are in harmony. 'I wouldn't like it' is the complaint of the individualist who puts forth his own'su~ce~tibilities to reinforcement as established values. B. A better world will be liked by Ulor. F.

. . This psychological adaptability. We are very adaptable. and by making our desires 'realistic'. Combining genetic and edvironmental technology (the Brave New World strategy) in this way generates a kind of defence of the utopian project. We should adjust society to people rather than people to society. Many of us feel a strong resistance to this strategy of utopian adjustment. The danger is that social decisions will be guided by a one-dimensional utilitarianism. One strand of though1 is resislance to the idea of changing human nature at all: a form of conservatism which has been rejected here. This ties in with more general doubts about treatmg the satisfaction of desires as the only ultimate social goal. or as reducing the number of unsatisfied ones. On this version. Even without biotechnology. (The ditrerence between these two versions . it is better to take people as Uley are than mould them to fii. But this thought is vague. often by revising downwards our hopes. while social harmony may be desirable. we adjust to adverse or dreary circumstances. It arouses in extreme form the opposition we now fcel to 'personnel management' and other present types of manipulation. When looked at more closely. it turns out to have several distinct components.our desires and behaviour is met by designing people who place no value on self-creation. Our objectionmay be different. And a further line of thought is thal autonomy and selfcreation have a kind of importance not recognized in the ulopian's reply about designing people who do not care about them.) We may opt for having fewer of our desires salistied rather than accept such a loss of quality. 1 Quality and the Satisfaction of Desires We do not have to accept some general principle of conservatism abont human nature in order to resist the utopian plan ofadjustment. Anolher reason for opposition depends on behefs abont the quality of different kinds of Life. (Perhaps we are offered Brave New World or the life of Sisyphns M<wkThree. Contentment is not enough. We have the thought that.Supposewe areofferedafutureinwhich self-creation and the value placed on it are wiped out. carries with it the danger that we will settle for a world far less good thcm we could have. which is so useful and even admirable. the aim of increasing happiness is interpreted either as increasing the number of satisfied desires.

will yet find inadequate any v e which offers only practical iw objections to all schemes of utopian adjustment. Cambridge. This pluralism has been eloquently advocated by Isaiah Berlin: The world that we encounter in ordinary experience is one in which we are faced with choiccs between ends equally ultimate. The necessity of choosing between absolute claims is then an inescapable characteristicof the human condition. It seems to. It is a strength of utilitarianism that the value of states of affairs is not thought to derive from some mysterious source external to ourselves. . and claims equally absolute.' 1. o r the role they play in his or her life. although attracted by this linking of value with people's interests. One-dimensional utilitarianism seems to give no grounds for resisting a world of people like Sisyphus Mavk Three. Oxfoford. then the possibility of contlict . Phihsopki and Public Akin 1977: Charles Tnyior: 'The Diversity ol Goods'. Unhappiness and the frustration ofdesires are to be accepted only where there is a sulllcientlycompensating benefit to someone.. 198 1:lames OriEm 'Are TQm Incommensurable Vaiuesl'. The fxst is to identify utilitarianism with the one-dimensional version. the value of anything depends On its relation to the experiences or desires of conscious beings.in MoralLurk. For utilitarians. in Amartys Sen and Bcrnard WlUiams: Utilitarianism and Be~ond. 1982. the'ends of men are many. 'Two Concepts ofLtberiy' (1958). If. Seesisa Bemard Wiiiiams: 'CanfllctsolVaiuos'. the fact that someone wants something is a good reason for his having it. and not aU of them are in principle compatible with each other. The importance of desires is simply a function of their strength. 1969. other than contingent and precarious claims about practical obstacles. we have two options. We will be pulled both ways when we consider utilitarianism. . pp. It seems to. and to reject it in favour of a pluralist approach to value. me that the belief that some single formula can in principle be found whereby all the diverse ends of men can be harmoniously realid is demanstrably false. In the absence of conflict with anyone else's interests. as i believe.becomes importeuit when technology makes it easy to create or eliminate desires.. either personal or social. If we continue to reject one-dimensional utilitarianism. the realization o some of which must inevitably involve the sawifice of others f .and of tragedy .) What makes this version one-dimensional is that desires are considered in isolation. Cambridge. reprinted Ln Four nssays on Lihrt#. have no argument against any vcrsion of utopian adjustment. 168-9. without regard to the person's attitude towards them.can never wholly be eliminated from human life. Some of us.

while I would do a lot to resist any elimination of my pleasure in talking to friends. and so be given great prominence by the one-dimensional utilitarian. It might be argued that the one-dimensional utilitarian has been unfairly treated here. and that he too can take account of the psychological complicalions. may be a very strong one. His view is that the satisfaction of any desire is good. To do this we need a more complex picture of people's interests than the one-dimensional utilitarian has.VALUES The second option is to consider whether a more sophisticated version of utilitarianism will enable us to resst utopian adjustment while preserving the link between value and interests. but that the importance of satisfying desires varies with their strength. We have attitudes towards our desires. and sometimes would not exchange the satisfaction of one for any amount of satisfaction of another. In taking account of these other dimensions of our psychology. who tells me that he is going to torn me into Sisyphus Mark Three. that no amount of espresso coffee would compensate for having to forgo conversations with some of the people I Imow.) A version of utilitarianism which took adequate account of these psychological complications would not support the obliteration of all desires which could not be satisfied. and where the future desire is also at least as likely to be satisfied. Suppose I am in the power of some behaviour controller. but also vary in the role they play in our livcs. I reply that this goes againstmy strongest desire. It could resist the slide to utopian adjustment. it 156 . But there are grounds for unease ahout it. But I like talking to peoplc so much more. This reply has obvious force. And the elimination of the liking for coffee does not seem a worrying prospect. (I like talking to people and I like espresso coffee. it would come close to some versions ofpluralism. which is to be aperson with powers of self-creationdenied to all versions of Sisyphus. He could argue that the reason why autonomy and self-creation are important is that we mind about them so much. But the behaviour controller replies that my future desire to toll stones can be made much more intense than my present desire for self-creation. Where the future desire is stronger than my present desire to be a particular kind of person. even one with some unsatisfied desires. The desire to be a person of a certain kind. And it will be necessary to recognize that desires do not just vary in intensity. This will toke account of such things as our concern for autonomy and self-creation.

those of us in that region may often be unsure on which side of it we are. or on the other side into something not recognizably utilitarian at all. Many philosophers are sure they know what utilitarianism is. For the pluralist. on one side into the on&dimensional version. liltle room is left for this. therc is the problem that. If someone else plans my desires. pluralism is in danger of collapsing into complex utilit. Autonomy has been mentioned as an objection to behaviour control. and seems a possible objection to genetic engineering. and what sort of life we will lead.uianism. and easily take sides for and against it. Although even the most liberal usually accept that some actions are so harmful to others lhal . there is the problem of sceing wbcre the bounda~y comes between pluralism and more complex kinds of utilitarianism. For the complex utilitarian. Those who oppose attempts by Ule state to impose a particular outlook on citizens are oflen also unsympathetic to parents who try to impose an outlook on their children. But if we find the one-dimensional version inadequate. It might be said that the genelic supermarket is objectionable on grounds of autonomy. he has to give an account of caring about things that does not collapse into desiring things. We value being free to decide for ourselves what we are to be like. In thinking about biotechnology. which does not collapse. Until the boundary between pluralism and complex utilitarianism is more clearly indicated. there is the problem of defining a stable position. 2 Autonomy Another objeclion to utopian adjustment is on gmunds of autonomy.is not clear that the one-dimensional utilitarian has any remaining argu- ment against the change.) Many of the most interesting disagreemenk cut across the lines between utilitarians and their opponents. if he admits that his various goods are valuable because we care about them. complex utilitarians may have more in common with some pluralists than with one-dimensional utilitarians. since there can be different forms of complex utilitarianism. If valuing things is not ultimately different from desiring them. (And. And what they have in common is something important to defend: the belief that quality often should not be sacrificed to contentment. we may be on different sides of the boundary with respect to dXerent versions.

(The acceptabilityvaries according to the desires involved and the means used. belief in the value of autonomy requires either kind of intervention to be justified. relative to genetic factors. It is objectionable for parents to choosegenes with a view to impairing or eliminating abilities: say. or intervene in ways that make the children react against them. choosing to have children who areunable to read. be just as objectionable as a system where governments order people to take particular jobs. But the extrapolation is less justified than it may seem. acceptable for parents to encourage children to develop abilities and skills. Asystem where marriages are arranged by parents may. One complication here is that those who bring up children nnavoidably have a great influence on them. on grounds of autonomy. Reducing their abilities may prevent 158 . The aim will be for the children to decide largely for themselves what sort of people they are to be. parental influences are. although perhaps not for them to discourage the development of others. it is acceptable for parents to encourage children lo have some desires rather than others. their decisions still affect the nature of the children. This oppsition to people being stifled by being denied choices. Parents valuing autonomy will not have some blueprint for their children. to increase children's abilities.parental discouragement or state legislation are necessary. Applying this to positive genetic engineering. or to other envir~nmenta~ ones. or by having their choices overridden. The claim is the modest one that different parental policies have different results. does not depend on the fiction that upbringing has no causal influence. The onus of argument is on government or parents to show Ulat the harm avoided or the good done is enough to justify the intervention to mould behaviour or character. Even if parents intervene as little as possible. It may seem a natural extrapolation from such attitudes to object that the genetic supermarket gives parents too much power over the lives of their children. the restrictions generated fall a long way short of a total ban.) So parents acting on a belief in autonomy would be unrealistic if they aimed not to influence what their children were like.) It is also. On this more plausible view. A more plausible view stresses parental encouragement of autonomy: children being encouraged increasingly to take their own decisions as they grow older. (This is not to speculate about how important. But it is acceptable. and to opt for them to have one set ofdesiresrather than another. on this view.

and we have views about how we want them to we do not want to be altered according to some external plan. Autonomy is not of value merely as a means to contentment. are not adequate as a compl&e response to utopian adjustment. If we feel roughly clear about the distinction between environmental influences which violate autonomy and those that do not.ADJUSTMBNT them from taking decisions or acting on them. Once our lives are under way. Appeals.whether altering desires is quite separate from altering abilities. It may be tempting. It was argued earlier that this is not just an objection based on the inequality between controllers and others. There are complications here over. We have to say that the value of having an autonomous and self-creating life is independent of them. we cannot appeal. There are further complications about whether it is possible to increase some abilities without diminishing others. to the frustration and despair caused by lack of autonomy. That would require overriding their desires or decisions. I we value being in control of f our own lives. But this reply. and are not peculiar to genetic engineering. the people or potenlial people in question have no desires and have taken no decisions.to autonomy. And ruling out all parental choice of their children's genes is not a consequence of any plausible view about autonomy. And autonomy is not violated if we use genetic engineering to give people at the start of life a tendency to have a particular set of desires. The utopian's reply is that he will design people who do not mind about this objection. We make slavery acceptable by designing people who like being slaves. The utopian has eliminated those drawbacks. But the autonomy objection does have force against behaviour cohtrol. if accepted. At the stage of being genetically engineered. however impersonally devised. This is not different in principle kom doing the same thing by education or other environmental influences. while increasing their abilities does not. which takes away our ability to shape our own lives. But it does not override Uleir autonomy. and fmd the utopian reply inadequate. but applies also to mutual control through a democratically programmed machine.has the alarming property of silencing any. objection to anything. when we hold that autonomy has a value independent of its contribution to . although of importance here. It is another way in which parents affect the way their children turn out. the same line between different genetic influences seems no less clear. But these complications are problems of parenthood in general.

But on the maximizing view. becoming a nun. and to live their lives in their own way. The idea is often stated in terms of rights: people have the right to take certain decisions for themselves. involves absolute prohibitions on various kinds of interference in people's lives. Thelibertadan view seems not to rule out any genetic engineering.) On the libertarian view. to think that we can eliminate the need for controversial claims about quality of life. libertarianism moves away from appealing to autonomy. But this is implausible. rather than as an absolute constraint on what people can do to each other. Because we would not be overriding anyone's current preference or decision. Preventive interference would be a prohibited violation of autonomy. no one should prevent anyone doing any of these things. selling yourself into slavery. The second version treats autonomy as something which' should be maximized. (Examples are taking a highly addictive drug.VALUES contentment. The first version. Neither of these versions on its own provides a satisfactory response to utopian adjuslment. signing up for a long period in the army. A breach of autonomy now could secure greater autonomy later. It rules out giving a child a genetic disorder . The difference comes out over the question of whether people should be free to do things which will severely restrict lheir own future freedom of action. Nothing is said about some patterns of desires. and cite auton. These rights function as side constraints. there could be a case for intervention. with their associated kinds of life. But in doing so.al or social goals. The maximizing version of autonomy is almost equally unsatisfactory when taken on its own. Belief in autonomy usually takes one of two forms. limiting what olhers may do in pursuit of their own person. belief in autonomy gives us no objection in principle to creating only people who live like Sisyphns Mark Three. but it is silent about influencing which desires people have. being better or worse than others. sometimes known as libertarianism. libertarianism has nothing to say. Like one-dimensional utilitarianism. some of which might be violated by such genetic engineering. and becomes indeterminate until the rights are specified.my as the sole and decisive objection to utopian adjustment. Belief in autonomy tells us that people's desires and choices should be respected. A modified version of lihertarianism could perhaps escape this by appealing to some broader theory of rights. We could choose to have children who were genetically predisposed to disorders involving pain or mental deficiency.

the genetic supermarket may be a better system than having a central policy. and is not met by the utopian's proposal to design people who do not care about autonomy. that the genetic supermarket would lead to great variety. There is some departure fmm neutrality when the genetic supermarket is restricted to prevent parents giving their children what most of us think are serious handicaps. . It is likely. 2 . It rules out genetically engineering mental deficiency 011 the same basis. We may feel that similar departures from neutrality in genetic policy should not be ruled out absolutely. 1978. Some of us are pleased that the state departs kom neutrality tosubsidize education and the arts. in this context at least. the maximking version is an improvement on libertarianism. and certain views about treating people as equals. SmIaI I u W a In the Ubuol Stale. Public Cambridge. But it is implausible to treat this neutrality as an absolute principle. though not certain. but only to the extent that pain impairs freedom of action. A. But it does not rule out engineering Sisyphus Mark Three. neither version is adequate as a full account of what is wrong with utopian adjustment.l The belief that.): and Prlvate Morality. the objection about loss of qualily. rather than replaces. The importance of autonomy.in Stuart Hampshire (d. other lhings being equal. we should try to avoid an onicial government view on what sort ofpeople there should be. Subject to certain restrictions. never to be overridden. Another possible argument against utopian adjustment is based on a particular version of liberalism. The objection on grounds of autonomy is a powerful one. all contribute to the case for governmental neutrality between different versions of the good Ufe. Although. was used earlier to argue for many geuetic-engineering decisions being decentralized.This view is characterizedby the belief that governments should he neutral between differentconceptions ofthe good 1ife. as his narrow life comes from his narrow desires rather than from any limits of his autonomy. But it supplements. See Ropald Dworkln: 'Liberalism'.involving pain. 1980. and BNCC Ackemao. New Haven. the desirability of experiment8 in living. and to 'expenmentsin living' which contribute to the growth of human consciousness.

Because many of our deepest desires are bound up with auto3. whether governments or parents.The case for neutrality between versions of the good life is sometimes held to apply. And. £mm which are excluded only those characteristics that would be considered disadvantageous by every member of the generation already in existence. The second aim also appeals to values with a deep hold on us: our enthusiasm for human variety. in the case of Ackerman's genetic lottery. but'to anyone with power over others. op. This nptian. these aims are in partial harmony. These wnsiderations. I-le thinks that such decisions by any powerholders. Ackerman is clearly correct that severe restrictions on genetic engineeringfollow from the principle that power-holders should never depart from neutrality. are objectionable departures fromneutrality. Accepting that there is a case for neutrality does not commit us to being neutral at all costs. in so far as they are the least controversial.. especially when conlrasled with our present world. not just to governments. Bruce Ackerman has applied this view to parental choice in the genetic supermarket. What is less clear is that we should choose to accept these restrictions rather than abandon this swecpiug version of the neutrality principle. Fortunately. I 4 The Human Zoo The utopian project offers the tempting possibility of a world where all desires are satisfied. His solution is a genetic lottery. it only needs one person who thinks that suffering is ennobling for otherwise unnecessary genetic disorders to be included to blight the lives of future people. are prccisely what the principle aims to excludei) It raises an obstacle to public support either for the arts or for schools-which teach more than those minimal skills which would gain unanimous support in an educational referendum. cit. chnpter4. and our related wmmitment to autonomy and self-creation. Some doubts about the principle concern its implications for the quality of life. is not easily dismissed. But it conflicts with an allernative aim: lhat of creating a world with the widest possible choice between differentkinds of life.' He argues that parents have no right to use the power aven by genetic engineering to mould their offspring in one way rather than another. . (This is nusurprising.

But. writing articles about meaning. the two aims may come apart. Those of us doubtful about the quality of life there have an otijeclion which is not reducible to questions of autonomy and variety.nomy and self-creation. but one narrowly centred on developing the abilities needed for increasingly stupendous feats of stone-rolling. There are thousands of such people. Nearby is someone else. Imagine a world. his decision to do something else will not be frustrakd. In one place is Sisyphus. They are all autonomous. If he stops wanting to roll stones. which took account of the desirability of autonomy and variety. contented and different. How far should it be dismissed as the product of biases generated by our present genes and conditioning? . Sisyphus Mark Three does not lack autonomy. as WC haye seen. rolling stones. They are spending their lives building towers out of marzipan. we are more likely to be satisfied in a world where many alternatives are open. The problem is whether this objection about quality can be defended against Skinner's criticism that it is just a prejudice. and of his own choice. produced by utopian adjusters. knittinghuge maps of the moon. Call this world the Human Zoo. Utopian adjustment may then lead to kinds of behaviour control which go against our belief in autonomy. What is wrong with his life has to do with the narrow range of his desires. He may even have a project of self-creation. with the possibility of creating new types of people. hopping about in complicated patterns. For. But autonomy is not the whole case against utopian adjustment. contentedly.

It sets up an Archimedian point for assessing the social system without invoking apriori considerations. We have seen that one-dimensional utilitarianism does not rule out ways of Life with unacceptably low quality. Prom the internal perspective. life on the experience machine is very satisfactory. But all these opinions about the quality of different kinds of life raise obvious questions. the distinction was drawn between iulernal and external perspectives. But. in the way John e Rawls thinks there is for assessing their justice? Or do our views simply reflect the biases of our own genetic nature and our own kind of society? 1 External Perspectives In the discussion of the simple experience machine. from which the kinds of M in different social systems can be assessed. And there are some aims. John Rawls: A Theory of Justice Part of the case for thinking systematically about kinds of life as a whole is that piecemeal decisions may bring about a world much less good than we could create. What is 'quality'. Of two worlds with equal liberty. of exisling wants and interests.Chapter 13 Perspectives The upshot of these considerations is that justice as fairness is not at the mercy. one could be much worse than the other. whose ixi~usive pursuit can lead to a world less good than is possible. from .The long-range aim of society is settled in its main lines irrespective of the particular desires and needs of its present members. and reached by an equally libertarian route. and how can judgements of this kind be supported? Is there some Archimedian point. attractive in themselves. And t h e simple lihertarianism which says we should be concerned only with autonomy or liberty is inadequate for a similar reason. so to speak.

may unproblematicauy conflict over whether a certain concern I objedivoiy worth while or not. And we. if only they be reliably wilected. rather than with unproblematic 1. 'Truth. we can recover.PBRSPBCTIVES our external perspective. They suggest that the metaphor of perspectives is available only to those who think that there is some objectively true answer to these questions. Yet neither we nor Sisyphus need think we are reporting on different aspects of some objective state of affairs. Praceedlngs o the British Academy 1976. thinking that hislife is less worthwhile than ours. with our values and outlook. He says. Although it deals with very abnract issues. And where we are dealing with ditTerent commitments and concerns. Some beliefs distort or omit objective facts. think that these contrasting views from the different Some ~hilosophers perspectives should trouble us more than they do. we may find it unattractive. All the differentperspectives o a single array o objects are perfectly consistent f f with one another. has made a case for this. Given a set of perspectives.able and original lecture is relevant to the questtons discussed here. as the nan-cagnitivist has described them. have to decide about plugging into the machine. 351. J p. Prom the internal perspective such lirzs a e h e . If we forget~these think it is much more harmless than it really is that the so-called outer and inner perspectives should straightfot+ardly contradict one another. spatid relations. a unified true account ofthe shape. But other questions of belief may be different. His belief is just false. in the context of discussing the contrast between lives that have some meaning and lives that are fulile. N. it is written with an intense and scandalized pnssion. Aperson unaware that he is on the exMitterrand is showing him perience machine may believe that Fran~ois a Less messy way of eating spaghetti. Bradley. but from our external perspective we may think r them utterly futile. What the metaphor expresses can be stated in terms of beliefs. The same contrast arises when we consider the contented version of Sisyphus or the other people in the Human Zoo. and relative platitudes then we may dimensions of the objects in the array. 165 . So it may be wrong to say the conflict is over whether a certain concern is objectively worth while or not. Lmpeneh. David Wiggins. lnvenlian and the Moaning of Life'. samctlmes reminiscent of P.' s This is to take the metaphor of perspective rather too seriously. But there Is nothing whatever in the idea of a perspective to llcense this scandalous idea .no more than the truism that two perspectivgs may include or exclude di8erent a$peds will create the licence to think that the participant and external views. We may disagree with Sisyphus. This slimulating.

And he 6nds it worthwhile in itself. This is not to siy that internal adequacy is of no relevance to justifying a state of dairs.. cannot be surpassed. we are unlikely to find internal adequacy a sufficientjustification for choosing to create a particular kind of world. similar in other respects. We thinlc it better 10 have a life with some intense desires. as well as internal adequacy. or the life of a supremely contented Sisyphus. Where there are two worlds.) And lhe point about preference brings out the way internal adequacy is relative to alternatives. even if a lower proportion can be satisfied ('better to have loved and lost . having only a few simple and mild desires.questions of fact. Allhough his life may well be worth living. Let us call a way of life that seems satisfactory from the internal perspective 'internally adequate'.'). which are even worse. or an inhabitant of Brave New World. 2 Quality In our present world. but one is found satisfying by its inhabitants while the other is not. . Because ways of life can themselves involve filtering information or moulding people's preferences. we have to hold that other considerations are relevant. And he may have no conception of any different kind of life. contentment is not enough. . which he easily satisfies. as far as we can tell. obviously the internally adequate one has a large point in its favour. But if we resist the view that Brave New World. The experience machine is internally adequate. but we can see losses unknown to the person on the machine. are internally adequate. he prefers it to any alternatives of which he is aware. 'but the shaping of his desircs makes for satisfaction with a way of fife we 6nd futile. Sisyphus. Where someone 6nds a kind of life internally adequate. may know everything weknow. the limitations of internal adequacy are illustrated by certain kinds of severe mental handicap. and to have a wider range ofthem. Once again. Some people with these handicaps have lives which. most of us think it sad that he is so limited by his handicap. lhe idea of conflict between opinions is not such a scandalous one. Such a person may seem very content. (This last featureis meant to exclude the possibility of the test of internal adequacy being satisfied by a very grim life which is preferred to the only alkrnatives. .

we are justified in ascribing to the preferred enjoyment a superiority in quality. He said: Of two pieasureu. which it then satisfies. Now. Suppose I read Proust's novel about his life. And. which it then satisfies. it starts to attach electrodes to various pals of your body . It is well known that john Stuart Mill proposed a test for assessing the quality of different pleasures. I may Like many of the satisfactions that are available on thesimple experience machine. I. so far outweighing quantity as to render it. What counts as being competently acquainted with two pleasures? I enjoy reading people's accounts of their lives. irrespective of any obligation to prefer it. or losing contact with the real world. S. and a healthier kind of life'. so that you have an intense desire for this to stop. 167 .Should we say that quality is just a matter of the intensity and range of experiences and desires? Consider a machine which gives you thousands of different experiences. each generating a corresponding desire which is then satisfied. Mlll: UllltWfanLsm (1861). with desires we already have. I one of the two is. The whole encounter with the Horror Machine is one we would wish to escape from.. that is lie more desirable pleasure. giving ypu an intense desire to surface before you drown. even though knowing it to be attended with a greater amount of discontent.' . but still think that no amount ofthem would outweigh losing control over my own life. New desires and their satisfaction only enrich life where we are glad to have them. the importance we place on them or their objects is similarly relevant to assessing their contribution to our lives. if there is ono to which ail or almost all who have experience of both give a decided preference. It starts by banging your head against a wall. in comparison. Proustians 2. Another dimension is our attitude to them. The range and the intensity of desires are only two of the dimensions that are relevant. placed so far above the other that they prefer it.It is also well known that Mill's test has been criticized. Next it plunges you under water. chapter 2. There can in this way be a kind of lexical ordering of desires or of aspects of life: a set of priorities perhaps only ehcited by hypothetical choices between giving up this aspect or that.. but much prefer the more straightforward autobiography of Lord Home: "mgre facts to the page. It is called the Horror Machine. and would not resign it for any quantity of other pleasure which their nature is capable of.ofsmall account. by those who are competently f acquainted with both.

So long as only a small minority make the 'wrong' choice. these hooks will hardly have been looked at. There will often be questions of interpretation. One of the eminent philosophers. Sir peter Strawson. Loyik der Forschung. Imagine a house party consisting of people selected for their credentials as judges of this pleasure (perhaps Sir Alfred Ayer. Take the pleasure of reading the classics of phiiosophy. And there is also a problem about what counts as a 'decided preference'. hoth of how large a majority is required and of what the non-circular tests of 168 . they would keep Spinoza. at the end of the hnuse party. When he says of the competent judges of the more desirable pleasure that they 'would not resign it for any quantity of the other pleasure which their nature is capable of'. But there is a danger of circularity: that only those making the 'right' choice count as competent. may make the 'wrong' choice. asked to make the decision after spending the house party reading Wodehouse. reading the classics of philosophy passes the more plausible version of Mill's test (call this the 'elimination test'). after the Good Food Guide and some back numbers of Countru L$e. it aould notfoUow that the pleasures of P. Mill's test is satisfied. there may not he unalimity. Mill's elimination test will obviously often fail to give a simple 'yes' or 'no' to a question about whether one pleasure is of greater quality than another. Wodehouse. Sir Stuart Hampshire. on the grounds that Sploa. as he wisely does not require total unanimity. Even if this pattern of choice prevailed for years rather than just for one house party. he may not be thinking of choices on particular occasions but rather of the kind of lexical ordering already mentioned.m gives him the pip. P.VALUBS may object that I have not fully appreciated Proust. But Mill's test need not he interpreted as one of totting up favourable choices. the Critique oSPure Reason. G. G. Spinma's Ethics. The host (perhaps Lord Quinton) has thoughtfully left in the bookshelves such works as Hume's Treatise. S Kari Popper and Slr Isaiah i r Berlin). But perhaps. The most popular reading. if they had to give up one totally. and so am not competently acquainted with hoth pleasures. may turn out to have been John Le Carr6. The distinguished philosophers chose Wodehouse more often than Spinoza but. perhaps. and My Past and Thoughts. If so. Wodehouse are 'more desirahldthan those of Spinoza. It cannot just be a matter of the number of times one pleasure is chosen over another. and a hook called How to Develop a Super Power Memoru. Even on this version of the test.

not as a simple criterion of quality. but as one central source of evidence in support of claims about quality. lo the exclusion of considering other evidence from the general pattern of choice. But this view looks Wre mere conservatism. and sa it may be a mistake to concentrate entirely on the elimination test. the evidence it provides gives some basis for qualitative comparisons. it is an atiractiveproposal. when we try to give reasons. (And we may want to complicate the picture further by allowing that there are different dimensions of quality to assess. If we try to apply the test in these cases. Wodehouse rather than Hume may still feel that the fact he more often reads Wodehouse reflects something about the quality of Wodehouse. when we view different worlds'from our external perspective. But it is also perverse to treat as quite irrelevant the views of those who have experienced (and apparently appreciated) both pleasures. in view of our lack of any experience of the new world being considered. m Equnlity. it is tempting to say that the choice should be decided by our attitndes. . our status as competent judges may be questioned.1979. but with an account of what evidence makes it more or less plausible to say that one pleasure is of higher quality than another. If we arelo makecomparisonsofquality at all. And. we can reject these alternatives in favour of a world more like our own.PERSPECTIVES competence are. however internally inadequate they might prove to be. G. we are pulled towards something like Mill's elimination test. or the ordinary world to the dreamworld and so. If internal adequacy is not enough to show that a kind of world is one we should opt for. il is unsatisfactory not 10 be able to give supporting reasons.l We are clearly not dealing with a simple and conclusive criterion. Oxford. L 3 The pmblcms are dtsoussed by Vlntt Hdsar.chaplcr 11.) 'When we interpret the eliminalion test. We prefer privacy to transparency. This brings out a . unless we can give reasons for thinking that the changes would involve some loss of quality. Any single test purporting to give precise and conclusive answers seems nnlikely to persuade. A person who would give up P. So. when Mill's test for quality is applied in a suitably modest and flexible way. Liberty and Perlecllonnm.

Perhaps the newspapers and television in one wunlly support the government. either by social pressuresnot to seem out of daw or reactionary. pp. Suppose the economists' stronger claim is true: that those who undergo the transition will prefer the industrialized state. Old Stapledon's 'mental malnutrit~on and poisoning' may be affecting us. lived in mainly by tribal farmers.) 4. Perhaps their judgement is biased. In the one. they pour out stories of optimism and cheer. because of the possibility of other biases. it may be argued that. and he discusses argmonls of this sort applied to the lndustrlal Rcvolulian In England In 'Sour Grapes . while in the other they oppose it. 1982. They have experienced both states. 1979. or by a reluctance to admit mistakes. while in the other they are filled with gloom and denigration. in Ulysses nnd the Siws. even if those whose outlook has been moulded by tribal life will always hanker alter it. (Even here we only start to have evidence. they will be glad of the change. Does this mean that Mill's test is satisfied? There are groiinds-fordoubt.Utilltvrianlsm end the Genesls of Wants'. In such debates. opponents of modernization (sometimes the farmers themselves." Or. their children will feel no regrets. Thls U e of argument has been mlS&d by 10" Bter. 77-86. when they have fully experienced the benefits. Sen and B. but of whole kinds bf life. or by the tendency to think the grass is greener on t e other side. This suggests that we require h not only competent judges. n Cambridge. To compare fife in Switzerland with life in Austria. Only if there were a solid majority for one country &ong both groups would we start to have evidence in support of the superiority of that way of life. and prefer the second.VALUES more general limitation of the test when we use it to compare the quality. but also controls against various kinds of bias. Their judgement may be biased by nostalgia. The argument may be that. 170 . But on the other side it may be argued (perhaps by economists) that industrialization will provide resources for modem education and medicine. not of isolated pleasures. Williums: Utilitarianism end Beyond Cambridge. and would not choose to live in towns and work in factories. In A. or by a tendency to make the best of things? This doubt applies equally if their preference is for their old tribal life. it would be necessary to ask some who had emigrated one way and some who had gone the other way. whose benefits the tribal people cannot now understand. sometimes anthropologists) argue that the majority do not want their pattern of life disrupted. Consider a debate between supporters and opponents of a policy of modernizing a primitive country.

the results are unlikely to be so clearcut. and have a decisive preference against any permanent move into it. There are difficulties.) Perhaps those making the transition to lransparency would loathe it at first. in this ideal case. and so we will often (perhaps usually) obtain less than a clearcut answer. but come decisively to prefer it. In the ideal case. The problems of applying the test in less easy cases are serious. because of their upbringing. but this is whht the experiment is needed to establish. we have a good reason for thinking it qualitatively superior to the other. (The moral problems might be less serious if we had good reason to think their lives would not be made less good. In such cases. some of us malce the shift to the transparent world. in t e light of which we assess evidence of varying persuasiveness. h e regard the limits of the dreamworld as claustrophobic. But 171 . the test will function as an ideahzatiou.PERSPECTIVES Let us stipulate a vemion of Mill's elimination test which has built into it controls for bias produced by a person's present position. And. Suppose that. is this a powerful piece of evidence? Or should we say that. we have grounds for wouderiug whether our attitude is the result of some bias. In practice. from our external perspective. the preferences are symmetrical: both groups overwhelmingly prefer the same world. Using this test. about carrying out the experimgnt of briugjng up people with no privacy of mind. whichever state they are in. they have never learnt to appreciate the subtleties given to relationships by ambiguity and obliqueness? Where we compare two kinds of life. There is room for different interpretations here. And when we find evidence that our own preference for a way of life does not have the support ofthe symmetry test. Take the case of the dryamworld. and 6nd impressive evidence that one passes the symmetry test. Call it the 'symmetry test'. h Talce the comparison between our own world and the world where our thoughk and feelings are transparent to others. and at the same time a group brought up in the transparent world moves to our world. both moral and practical. The state of not having a headache would pass the test when compared with the state of having one. as they leave embarrassment and inhibition behind? Or are the social pressures of transparency creating a conforming cheerfulness about their state? And if people from the transparent world think our world is worse. we have evidence that one state of affairs is qualitatively superior to another where those with experience of both prefer it to the other. Are they becoming better judges.

They understand our objections about claustrophobia and f the Lack o scientj6c research. and where those who have entered the open dreamworld are glad to have done so. But to accept this is to remove all serious objections to the view that the dreamworld may be better for our descendants. Go back to the case where our world is the causally fundamental one. But our investigations may go the other way. At this point. And suppose that it is not easy to explaln away their preference by citing factors. The supporters of the dreamworld. and to mabe contact with 'reality'? I would like to find out a bit more before deciding. will have won the argument for the future. the advantages easily outweigh the drawbacks. as a result of a conservative bias against what has not been experienced. ('You are one of thousands of humans standing packed together in a small battery. I would stay here. This could result from our scrutinizing our own opposition more closely. but say they are overwhelmingly glad to have made the transition? The possibility is easier to imagine if we vary the example. where our ordina@ world turns out to be a dreamworld. we may ourselves decide to enter the dreamworld. We may think that we understand their case for the dreamworld at least as well as they under- 172 . Or people in thedreamworld (who have turned from it briefly to communicate with us) may persuade us that their choice is based on substantial advantages. being reared for food on a Martian farm. from their point of view. we might be persuaded that our resistance to the dreamworld is the product of bias or unfamiliarity. Or. It is then reasonable to ask whether our resistance to the dreamworld is exaggerated.') If things were very bad. we may prefer to stay in the ordinary world. as well as our doubts about dreamchildreu. causally dependent on some quitedifferentstate of affairs. But. Martian laws against cruelty to animals require the farmer to provide you with access to a dreamworld. while not altering our choice.that may bias their judgement. Suppose we are told that our ordinary world is a dreamworld. Would we be desperate to leave the world we are used to. If our opposition is undermined. while accepting that this is the result of bias in favour of the familiar. where they are not deceived about its nature and can relhember our ordinary world.consider those who have entered an 'open' version of it. perhaps with the help of 'reverse' examples. Suppose they do not share our attitude. by making an impressive case that their preference coexists with a thorough appreciation of our objections and doubts.

I am assuming here that we intend claims about the relative quality of different kinds' of life to be more than expressions of any preferences we happen to have. the test gives a strong support to the alternative preference. In one kind of failure. Someone with no such scruples will -say confidently that any world he dislikes is of poor quality. whichever they now have. Or there may be asymmetry. . and can say to Rawls that he is not interested in justice. But the symmetry test gives strong support to colour if almost all those who have experienced both prefer colour. but docs not in itself establish that it is biased or irrational. and that they are as likely as us to be biased. The symmetry test resembles Hare's universaluability or Rawls's original position. and those i n t h e other have the opposite preference.PBRSPBCTIVBS stand our case against it. neither preference passes the test. Someone with no such concern can say to Hare that he is not interested in malcing moral judgements. But the use of such devices presupposes that our values include commitment to some degree of impartiality. There is more than one way in which a preference may fail to pass the test.) But other ways of not passing the symmetry test create no presumption about a preference. i But. and so no p&nnption is created for or against either. where those in one state exhibit a clear preference. There may be no decisive view among those questioned in either of the two states. This creates a presumption that the preference for black and white is itself the product of bias or lack of experience. In the case of asymmetry. and if there is no evidence of biases affecting their judgements. The fact that our preference does not pass the symmetry test raises the question of bias. These claims about quality may be empty if they are in no way linked to anyone's actual or hypothetical preferences. in being a device which can be used to identify and correct the effects of bias. even when we have a commitment to correct for bias. liking some music because it reminds you of someone) seem so much the product of biasing circumstances that no claims about quality can plausibly be based on them. But some preferences and attitudes (not liking a kind of food you only tried when ill. (Someone who has never seen colour television may prrfer to stay with black and white. The rest ofus may be willing to detach judgements ofquality from our own preferences where the evidence is that the symmetry test gives strong support to alternative preferences. . the symmetry test allows only a partial detachment from our own point of view.

theory has to give way. we might welcome the discovery of an Arcbimedianpoint. and they should be discarded where they conflict with a well-grounded theory. . In this book various possible lheoretical approaches to the use of hiotechnology have been rejected on the basis of intuitive unacceptability. in ways that would not be subject to these limitations. (Questions about genetic engineering may.) And the symmetry test will never tell dccisivcly against states of atfairs (such as Brave New World) where people's preferences are adjusted to favour their present position. as by R. ils application has severc limitations. that analysis of moral language gives an acceptability test for moral beliefs. M. Theories about what we should do are criticized on the grounds that they generate intuitively unacceptable decisions. even our most satisfactory tests would still be silent or inconclusive. It may be thought that other tesls could be devised for ranking worlds in order of quality. But how sacred are these intuitions? On a favourable view. On a hostile view. when faced with many choices. such that 'the long-range aim of society is settled in its main lines irrespective of the particular desires and needs of its present members'. Por this reason. The anti-intuitive mew can be harnessed to various different theories. independent of intuitions. hut between person A in state X with person B in state Y. including all cases of asymmetry. the reasons guiding these choices will have to appeal to our 'uncorrected' values and preferences. inluitions are just a set of prejudices derived from a particular upbringing. Hare. 4 ~rchirnedes Neurath and . be of this kind. It may he claimed. In ethical writings.VALUES Its results are inconclusive in some cases. And it cannot be applied where the'comparison needed is not between person A in states X and Y. So even apart from the exlent to which the symmetry test is an idealization. If so. But it seems at least equally likely thal. often. where intuition and theory confiict. appeal is often made to 'moral intuitions': our varied responses of approval or disapproval of actions or states of affairs. And we can see how our descendants might find the limitalions of our oullookeqnally cramping. " We may be glad that our own way of life is not restricted within limits set by medieval people.

rather than change our whole attitude to life. Its supporters normally propose theories that do accommodate many of our intuitive values. But tbis is'too brisk. But there is the further problem of showing that He is not just one of Us. 'But you have got to accept the throne.' or. Suspecting the two jobs might be awkward to do together. But a strong version leaves open the possibility that most.Or it may be said that a contractarian account of moraIity is the external test.of our intuitive values might be incompatible with the favoured theory. there are the familiar difficulties of showing that God exists and showing that they know what God's views are. only have a baby to keep the royal line going.' 'Oh. then "morals" turns out not to be what I am interested in. Religious believers have thought that God's position is the Archimedian point. Slmng versions ofthe anti-intuitive view are implausible.The theory would be the Archimedian point from which the whole world of values could be moved. and so have to be discarded. I see.. The pro-intuitive view says that ethical theories have no basis other . Why should God% opinions carry such weight? Because He made us as part of His plan? (Suppose a king and queen. This view dismisses intuitions which do not have thc backing of the actual or hypothetical contract. That makes all the diference. he decides not to be a king. But is making judgements from a perspective that excludes all our attitudes intelligible? The doubt about the intelligibility of this approach can be illustrated by one traditional proposal.') What would count as showiug that our values should be adjusted to fit God's? What does it mean to say that His are the 'correct' ones? Correct by what standards?And how are those standards validated? Perhaps the idea of judging from an Archimedian point external to our own concerns and commitments is unintelligible. rather disliking children. This may seem to suggest that our attitudes cannot rationally becriticized or modified. or even all. The prince grows up wanting to be a psychoanalyst. Your being king was our only reason for having you. 'If that is the language of morals. (A person might say. For them.') The Archimedian point from which our inluitions can be criticized seems to require viewiug all our attitudes from an external perspective. 'Some things are more important than the terms of the hypothetical contract. But we could surely be justified in choosing to revise or bypass the theory.

but at each-point enough of the boat must be left to keep it afloat.vALuns than intuitions. by quoting Neurath's image of science and philosophy: we are like a sailor who must rebuild his boat at sea. It is a familiir poht that a theory in science is not just a catalogue of observations. Another problem is whether the 'moral intnitions' that have such authority are clearly marked off from other likes and dislikes which are not so sacrosanct. In epistemology and philosophy of science.taken as 6xed points to which theories must be adjusted. but theories modify our interpretation of observations. it is not obvious that we should adopt the policy that intuition~are all t& be. 1Rrst heard It applied la values by R e m a d Willlams in s discussion 176 . Nor is it plausible to defend the 'Archimedian' approach of Descartes. our attitudes display 5. Perhaps each part must be rebuilt. some of our values may be modified by evidence that they result from some bias. in a way that resembles the relation between theory and observation in science. It is not plausible to treat all observational reports as sacred. we do not in all cases abandon the theory. including attributing the observation to error or to some distorting factor not controlled for. Philosophical thought about values becomes a matter of searching for the precise statement of what is already believed and felt. And where theories conflict with observational reports. in thinking about values. who tried to combine scepticism about our whole system of beliefs with rebuilding the system from some external vantage point. If we have the degree of reflectiveness needed for a minimally coherent life. A s m n g version of the pro-intuitive view generates an extreme conservatism towards current attitudes. And theories must be conlrolled and corrected by these responses. few now deny the mutually modifying interaction of theory and observation. But this strong version is implausible in a way that can be brought out by taking up the parallel with science. Similarly. We often have a range of options to consider. If theory has no power to modify our responses. One doubt'about this is whether our unmodified intuitions are consistent with each other.l We do not just have a series of unrelated gut-reactions to things. These theories are an attempt to give a coherent account of our values. Philosophers often express what is wrong with this. which are only revealed by odr responses to things. Neurath's image-seems suitable for values to0. Observations modify theories. as we have seen. And. it is reduced to cataloguing them.

This is bccanse our values are open-ended.some systenl of priorities. this is inevitable. In rebudding the system. turn out to be in various ways limited or inconsistent. we must always keep part of it afloat. But we will not jusl create people who repeat our outlook. we are bound tq be guided by our values. They also include a bebef in people creating themselves and so contributing to the nnplanned development of consciousness. on examination. In taking decisions that will affect the lives of future people. If there is no Arcbimedian point. But only a person of remarkable natural consistency (or remarkable natural selfconfidence) will be sure that no reconstrucllon is necessary. They include a belief in trying to transcend our own biases and limitations. . This system may be partly conscious and may.

The voice of the inlellect is a soft one. Ultimately. which could be avoided. clean water or medical care.To someone lacking i food. (Imagine a town where a flood makes most people homeless. But much of the misery in the world. after endlessly repeated rebuffs.) Yet themore urgent concernsdonot make the other ones unimportant. But nevertheless there is something peculiar about this weakness. At least. but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing. This is one of the few points in which one may be optimistic about the future of mankind. it can seem Mvolous to be a novelist or a musician. or to someone facing torture or caught up in a war. . w n not he eliminatedin any ofour lifetimes.it succeeds. being part of the open-ended development of human consciousness -are of central importance to us. Sigmund Freud: The Puture of an lllusion It has been suggested here that some things . but it also matters what happens to them afterwards. and be right in doing so. this is so when we are sufficiently removed from misery to care what our lives add up to. human contact. Sigmuud Freud: Civilization and its Discontents We may insist as much as we like that the human intellect is weak in comparison with human instincts. or to work on the foundations of mathe- . In a world with so much avoidable disaster.Chapter 14 Some Conclusions The fakful question for the human species seems to me to be whether and to what extent their cultural development will succeed in mastering the disturbance of thcir communal life by the human instinct of aggression and self-destruction. People should be rescued. concern with these more subtle values may seem frivolous.. and the few living on highground go on discussing improvements to their own houses.self-development and selfexpression.

Haldane.) It is hard to get the right balance between immediate and long-lerm problems.matics . But the thought maystill be true. One such claim is that we should pass on these traditions. we may start to feel that we are coming up'agai&stthe in-built limitations ofour ability to understand the universe. But we have now little reason for confidence in the existence of these technological barriers. Perhaps the same is true of the envisaged applications of neurobiology. people keep alive traditions more fragile than we often think. . And it may bc found that much of our work ir beyond the scope of any future machines.or on the origins of the universe. In deciding which changes to encourage and which to resist. it may be right for some doctors to carry on with basic research. S. Perhaps positive genetic engineering in humans will be stopped by insurmountable practical barriers. It is expressed in a remark I have seen ascribedto J. It has been argued that future generations have some claims on us. 1 Transcending Intellectual Limitations A possible role for positive genetic engineering hould be t o raise our intellectual capacity. (It is not enough to rehouse those who lose lheir homes in the flood. if all that remains for them afterwards is life working in an insurance company. we may leave our descendants a world where the life of a contented consumer is the best any of them can expect. To ignore the urgent problems is to allow terrible things we could help to avoid. and not let 'the conversation of mankind' fade out. It seems worth considering the transformation of human life these developments would bring. B. One day. It is right to reply that these activities are worthwhile in themselves. and some views about what makes for a better or worse life. we need some view about the strengths and weaknesses of our present nature. The Kantian thought that our cognitive constitution may set limits to our grasp of the world is played down in some of the be& modem discussions of Kant. people will not stay as they are. perhaps remote from now. But it is not always wrong to give priority to the further future: at the time of a deadly epidemic. If we allow them to take place. If we do ignore them. But another reply is also relevant. And to ignore the subtle values can be philistine and stifling. By such choices.

But it does not folrow from this that our unmodified intellectual equipment is the most that can be needed in extending our scientific u n d e ~ standing of the world. But. our scientific theories are imperfect and incomplete. 180 . No doubt it would be hard to be sure that we were pressing against our limitations. The limitations of our sensory apparatus are real. And we might have some thoughts on what changes in brain functioning could make a difference. It is hard to see what this prbgress can be. Any programme of genetic engineering to modify our intellectual functioning would obviously have to be very cautious and experimental. it seems likely that some parents would choose to have children who would transcend our traditional limitations. At any particular time. and thers is no possibility of our being in a position to say anything about them. faced with a continuing lack of progress on very baffling problems. we might come to suspect this. Because our growing understanding of the world is so central a part of why it is good to be human. So the realm of unknowablc 'things in themselves' is one we are right to dispense with. Just as calculos is too much for a dog's brain to grasp. But. the stress on the limitations of our sensory and cognitive apparatus was accompanied by the view that we can never know the world as it really is: 'things in themselves' are in principle inaccessible to us.that the universe may be 'not only queerer than we suppose. and in some of the nineteenth-century Ccrman metaphysicians who followed him. In Kant. The relevant intellectual limitations may require deeper changes than merely boosting the cluster of skills measured by IQ tests. But the fact of scientific progress cannot reasonably be denied. but we devise instruments to monitor what our unaided senses cannot detect. This line of thonght is unfashionable because of its associations. if not the growth of an increasingly full and accurate understanding of what the world is like. To take this as a possible candidate for positive genelic engineering is not to make the widespread assumption that raising IQ is the obvious change to consider. so some parts of physics might turn out to be too difficult for us as we are. Such pessimistic metapliysics cannot easily survive awareness of progress in science. it would be very tempting for us to break through our genetic intellectual limitations. but queerer than we can suppose'. once it showed signs of working without bad side-effects.

To them. And this kind of stifling is something the human race has not known since we first woke up and started to ask our questions. hut with similar terrible effects. of course. We too may have a great deal of unused capacity. unknown to them. we may hope that our history of cruelty and killing is part of a primitive past. we know about them with more immediacy than was previously possible for those not directly involved. are at all like us. Or we compartmentalue our minds. We are familiar with the effects of napalm. and not surprised by the daily use of tdrture in mrmy parts of the world. But other kinds of limitation are closer and more obvious. disease and poverty. It is easy to think of each horror as a kind of isolated accident. our decision might mean escape from a i"nd of claustrophobia. it 181 . is one such case. O course each particular disaster has f itsown causal explanation. in England. Because of television. have unused capacity for mathematics and physics. Our limited capacity for altruism. Or. But the events of our own century do not suggest that this process has gone far. We know all about these things.S O M E CONCLIlSIONS I we do have such limits. sometimes extermination of whole peoples as a deliberate policy. we are used to our own passivity in the face of so much hunger. But there is a natural resistance to thinking in general terms about the human limitations these facts display. there is the thought that Hitler's policies were carried out by Germans. These i r e all shallow responses. f descendants may be glad. or Stalin's policies by Communists. and for the imaginative sympathy it depends on. sometimes of the inhabitants of entire cities in W&. In optimistic moments. But when they are considered together. Por the alternative would be to have an understanding of the world that was incomplele yet permanently slatic. neither of whom. or an Indian famine as the result of a flood or a crop failu&. to be left behind as civilization develops. Vietnam can be explained as due to a series of miscalculations. Primitive people have brains which. Less dramatically. We still know large-scale killing. or Cambodia as the result of the lunacy of Pol Pot. 2 Emotional and Imaginative Limitations It may be that we are still far from the limits of our intelligence. We switch off the television news and turn to something else. and do decide to transcend them.

even making allowances for this. But. there is no reason why the qualities we value should exactly coincide with those which have led to gene survival. unless we have a very crude form ofevolutionary ethic. and how easily it can be switched o& We acquiesce in avoidahl'e misery. disinterested altruism . more desirable potentialities. (Once again. (Lord of the Flies.) This is not to say ai that we should respond to social and political disasters by resigned contemplation of our limitations. William Gelding's response to the N z episode. partly because people unaffected do not care enough about them. we are to be explained. Our sympathies are limited and local. in terms of our values. with a few close people mattering more than everyone else in the world. is partly about this. And. But such action does not have to depend on optimistic illusions about what we are like. as survival machines for genes.VALUES is hard not to see the limitations of human sympathy. When we think of what we allow to happen. So it would not be desirable to spread our emotional involvement evenly over the whole human race. to the extent that we are the product of our genes. It is possible to speculate that many of us were born with the potential to become torturers. Darwinism explains our genetic nature. And. We need relationships involving special concern. we would not do the same things. given the same history and circumstances as these people. Perhaps. 'We can even discuss ways of deliberately cultivating and nurturing pure. something that has 182 .something that has no place in nature. Thousands of deaths in a faraway country do not stir us like one child run over down the road. not our nature. no questions are being begged as to the relative importance of genes and environment. But there seems as little reason for confidence that. in Richard Dawkins's vivid phrase. ~t the end of his book he says. We need not accept that acting to make the world a better place is bound to fail. Avoidable evils are not removed. it is hard not to feel that greater capacity for altruism and for concern at a distance would be an improvement.) Our genes are what they are because they were better able to survive than others were. bombers or concentration camp guards. It is clear that Dawkins is himself attracted to this view. the world would be a better place if people were more altruistic and generous than a perfectly calculated survival strategy for genes would make them. This line of thought may be reinforced by thinking igain of the Darwinian explanation of how our genes came to be as they are. This is not altogether bad. Most people realise other. this is not easy to doubt.

given our relative failure so far.war may need psychological changes which will not simply follow from political and social reform.p. we should at least consider the view that the abolition of. Our arrangements for avoiding war are so flimsy. we may. But. but we have the power to turn against our creators. the logic of the Darwinian theory is that any genes underlying a tendency to 'surplus' altruism are likely to be eliminated by natural selection. or what other values would be sacrificed. We are built as . take steps to cultivate it. in a natural enviran-. And perhaps these social changes will eliminate war. It may be that war is the product of particular social arrangements. Oxford.215.. and we have not yet developed thesense of urgency appropriate to our precarious position. alone on earth. as Richard Dawkins suggests.SOME CONCLUSIONS never existed before in the whole history of the world. If we cannot make these changes. But it is hard to see what this would involve. or else decide the price is too high. We. We have a tribal psychology well adapted to survival in the Stone Age. gene macl~ines . ment. We have &e desire to identify with a group: willingness to hate other 1. can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators. But. those with more altruism than is best for gene survival will by definition be less successful in propagating their genes than those with the optimal amount. this seems to require either massive control over the environment or else genetic planning. 183 . or abolish the nation state. Plausible contributory features of our nature are not hard to suggest. The only alternative would be genetic planning: direct intervention to make sure that the genes we value survive. Perhaps we can change our economic system or our approach to education. ThcScYishGena. on the Darwinian view. Nor have our attitudes sufficientlychanged in the ways that would help survival. Our emotional and imaginative limitations are especially appirent when we consider the psychology of war. 1976. which could be changed. For. We all know how here our technology has grown faster than we have. It is not clear that we will survive at all." If our values favour more altruism than is now best suited to gene survival. without having to change deep aspects of our psychology. They could he rescued from evolutionary oblivion by drastic social and environmental changes designed to give them a greater chance of survival.

Hut. even from our own perspective. Some of them may be more easily modified or controlled by social changes than others. Some of the envisaged possible applications ofneurobiology are . taking thought well in advance may help to ensure that the directions we take are guided by our values. This does not imply that there has to be a single collective set of goals.much at stake. with genetic engineeliug there is a lot to be said for decentralized decisions realizing a diversity of aims. but in some of us. we may be wise to change ourselves if we can.between our psychology and the threats to our survival. some of the time. and they may not contribute equally to war. 3 Values and Dangers If we do decide lo change ourselves. but intellectually we can see the 1inks. . we could not be justified in proceeding without clear aims. We may have an instinctive conservatism about human nature. though subject to some restrictions. the values guiding it will be those of the decision makers. As argued earlier. With so. But. And now they threaten the survival of our species. it gains a hearing. We cannot stand quite outside our own values. Thevalue we place on diversity may conflict with the goal of eliminating the more harmful and dangerous side of our present nature. The application of sciehce to alter genes or brains may change the shape of human life. If either environmental or genetic methods are available. flags and other symbols: the love of adventure and risk: the need for a simple framework of ideas to make sense of the world: and the desire to believe rather than doubt. But it does not follow that we should create for future generations exactly the kind of world we like. taken together. The voice of the intellect is a soft one. they have contributed to the catastrophes we all know. These aspects of our nature are not all entirely bad. It is likely to be a dominant political issue for the first generation to embark on positive genetic engineering.groups: obedience: conformity: aggression: the responses to being part of a crowd: the responses to stirring music. The objectivity which consists in standing quite outside our own values does not exist. Whichever way that debate goes. This conflict should not be slurred over. and to uniforms. we can recognize some changes as being for the better.

or some uses of selfadministered brain stimulation. Perhaps we are glad to have a private inner life.SOMB CONCLUSIONS attractive now: perhaps some mood-changing drugs. but wipes out any desire for them. we should be willing to change what we are like. A programme based on this outlook could succeed in harmonizing our desires and the world. It needs no emphasis that these dangers are unusually important with the technologies we are considering. Where we resist olhor applications. and for this reason we may wish to encourage experiments in lowering the barriers of privacy. We can feel this. The other great threat is perhaps less obvious. We may have shut down options more 185 . the programme wipes out all consciousness of other kinds of life. One of the worst fears is that we might never escape from these selfperpetuating states. and relieved hot to be transparent to other people. there is no certainty they will return. Sometimes. There are the standard dangers of any new technology: miscalculation and disastrous accidenla. We can make allowances for our own limitations herc. Some of the dangers are ohmons. In either case. The danger is that these technoloIjes will be harnessed to a benevolent utopianism which has too crude a View of what life can be. People could make profits frum selling genetic or neurobiological technology with short-term advantages. In an appropriately cautious way. and still see that people who had made the transition to trans~arencymight find the gains far greater than the losses. These technologies may fall into Ule hands of govkrnments who aim to enslave people. at the cost of obliterating the self-expressive and self-creative life we now care about. but I hope it has emerged in this discussion. Here. Sometimes it leaves awareness of other possibilities. without any thought ofthe world that would result. we can sometimes recognize m d make allowances for the bias of limited experience and understanding. Perhaps it would lock us into the pointless circular actimly of the Human Zoo. Once we have lost such awareness or desires. the countwvailing desires which come from other perspectives would be eliminated. And there are the deeper risks of social misuse. as in certdn versions of the experience machine. or put us all on to simple experience machmes. An example is the one-dimensional utilitarianism which aims in a simple way at the maximum satisfaction of desires. accidents or misuse will influence what sort of people there will be. Or the danger may come £mmshallow and thoughtless commercial exploitation.

Here a central danger is closing down possibilities: the dreamworld is only an extreme case of this. The parallel danger is that biotechnology will wme too soon. how much would have been lost if they had found a drug giving them contentment at the wst of any further intellecthal development. John Donne. A whole life passively consuming pleasure is a narrow one. This is a danger which is not confined to crude versions of utilitarianism. They will be with us for some time. and then all our life is hut a going nu1 to the place of execution. from the viewpoint of a more developed consciousness. another wave of problems will be upon us. We also like to think and tall<together.valuable than the contentment we have gained. said: 'We are all conceived in close prison. and we will shut ourselves into a world more cramping than we need. sharing and .' One claim here has been that consdousness is especially important: that all value derives from contributions to the lives of conscious beings. in one of his sermons. (We can see. It arises with any scheme which has utopian pretensions to finality. and we wan1 to experience things with other people. And this danger may have to be overcome in order to create the perspective from which it can be fully appreciated. to death. A broader view of the good life centres on activities and relationships. 4 Consciousness The problems we confront now are about ensuring our survival <andabout eliminating the causes of misery. we are never thoroughly awalce. in a way primitive men wuld not. to be a contented stupor. Prom the womb to the grave. But it does not follow that pleasurable experience is the only thing of value. as biotechnology advances. But. We mlnd about the kinds of things we do.) Our present wave of problems exists parlly because modem physical technology has come too early in our social development: before we have outgrown our tribalism and our wars of religion. Was any man seen to sleep in the cart between Newgale and Tyburn? Between prison and the place of execution does any man sleep? But we sleep all the way. We may fall into what would seem. It will be avoided if what prevails is belief in human variety and in keeping alive the possibililies of change.

In this way we express ourselves. contributes to the development of human consciousness. and partly create ourselves and each other. Each of us. .SOME CONCLUSIONS helping to shape each other's responses. As a result we. go throlgh :he more thoroughly awake. and our descendants. to a very small cxtent.


C.1034. 102 Bird. M. P. R. P.175 Golding. F. 81 Griffi. 28-9 C&anne.141-2. 1 3 9 4 0 Hirsch. M. 117 Ayer. A. M.1. 79 Bradley. I. A. 169 Haldane. l 6 1 3 Genetic supelmarket 47-50 Ginseng 71 God 45-7. 38 Kant. 71 Crick. 8 0 Burnet. 182-3 Delgado.R. 182 Craham. 142 Haksar. 29 Clockwork Orange 80 Contractalisnism 14&5 Cooper. W.24 Gray. 128 Cline. R. D. 114. 161. Home. D 68 . F. 94 Cherfas. J. 59. 142 Berlin. BraveNew World 18. A. 155. P. T. B. J. 168. 161-2 Aristotle 112.M.168 Bernal. 168 Barry. 118 Binstein. R.Ackerman. 121 Darwin. B.168 Hare. 17 Dawkins. 3 9 4 0 Dworkin. A. 155 Hacker. F 126-7 . H.I. N. M. S. V. 91 Hemulen 118 Herzen. R. A. 40 Davis. C. l. F.173 Ihrne.179-80 Keynes. J. R. 186 Douglas. N. 97-9. S. 80 Descartes. R. L. S.19. B. A. W. 179-80 Hampshire. 174 Burgess. 154.169 Jansson. Lord 167 tIormr machine 167 Hubin. 142 Hume. M. 27 Graham. l. 23. 29 Circle Line 121 Clark.l. C. 128 . M. 140. 176 Donne. 165 Brandeis. 36 Kaka. K. 149 Greenspan. H. I. 166. D.153.

109-10.141-2. 77. 122. Moomins 118 Moore.176 Wilson. D. B. S. 1.124 Tennis119 Tcrkel. 145 - Parfit. L.A. 143. 74. 15. 66. 69 Schw~tzgcbel. 167-74 M~tterrand. B. M. 142 Rembrandt 77 Warren. K. 156. 99. 153. 29 Sartrc.1'. 123 Penlield.Mackie. 170 Strawson. 79. 121 Who's Who 127 Wiggins. 170. 146 Nenrath. 146 Bawls. 54. 53 Wodehouse. B. 1. 117 Tinbergon. N. R. 149 Maps of the moon 163 Maynard Smith. S. J. G.148-9 Routley. 0. 0. 68 Watson. B. 154. B. 155. B.145. F. 37.1. 99 Routley. C. 124 Narveson. M. A. 127-8 Rutherford.118 Stapledon.146 Pascal. 165 Wllliams. 112 Morgenbesser. P. 117. 2 3 4 . 81 Muller. S. B. 32 Tolstoy. 127 Mannel. J. 174. 144. 28 Shoemaker. C. J. 99. 165. 109-10 Sisyphus 121-8.]. 97-9. E. 143. W. W. 1 7 6 7 .168 Rakowski. K. 3 4 5 Medawar. P. 24. 137.168 Positional goods 126-7 Proust.-P.60. 98 Quinlon. W. 170 Shockloy.R.77 RorLy.163 Socrates.166 Skinner. L.45. 69. 168.173 Raz. P. 1. 102. 155.107 Nagel. A. C. J. 99. H. 150-51. 13.167 Putnam. D. J.27 Mldwich cuckoos 35 Mill. A. D. L. 23. Scn.24. 99 Sidgwick. 163. J. 17. 149 Malleson. R. 117. A. P. 1 3 9 4 0 Stamp collecting 85. 160.148-9 Russell. 0. 99. S. 168 Slalin. 91 Polymarphism 27-8 Popper. 59. 81. 16 Spin-.164. 169 .79 R. T. J. 77 Tooley. E.168 Supercows 39 Taylor.122. B. 0. 110. S. R. H. M. B. 165 F. V. Newton. 57. D. 16. 67. 155 'Pay1or. 32 Nagel. 14. V.

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i . .. . . * X:- . > ' . c:-.*-. .. . . . s' . . . CQI-blR-...F.. ni 1 looks critically at the sources of our hostility to various forms of +. : ~%~ I ' .. .... - Developmentsin neurobidogy and psychology now greatly increase our ability to alter people's experiences and to control their motives and actions. ~. . ..... ... ' .. t .... . .%. ... - .~ ... .< L... . >. . :. . .. .. . S. . -.:. 7 : < I '3 *! . . . brain technology.~. ~ . ' -- . P . : :. . .3... .. -. ..~ i.. :.# . . R~thereisadisamiondgenerationstoeome. Techniques for choosing people's genes ... . . . ... ... . ....... .... .. . . : L . -. .Horbr .. ~ - ': .. .... ..! . . '3 ~ . . . :. ...- . ... . i~. L. >A >- *: . I .& . -. .. of usinggenelic engineeriltgto modify human nature.. . i. . .. : .. .....- / ....:: . 3 . :. ..F'... ".. ~ . . . . ". m@&kLur#fiirrcllcdcrsake4dJvllrl . >L..I -.. . .. . . : . . . C. C i+: 2' ~~..: S ' . decidingwhat sort of future we want He considersthe desirability i-. . { &: .. may be with us sooner than we care to think Here Jonathan Glover examines the moral dilemmas invohred in .... .. . He then . . present i&late He proposes a set of values to replace our resistanceadtoeidemred&. shouldwe shape the$ lives according to our own values? . . . . ..* . K ..