Justice, fairness, and enhancement

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Dec;1093:321-38. doi: 10.1196/annals.1382.021.


This article begins by considering four traditional definitions of enhancement, then proposes a fifth, the Welfarist definition. It then considers fairness-based objections to enhancement, using the example of performance enhancement in sport. In so doing it defines sport and the values proper to it, surveys alternative theories of justice, considers the natural distribution of capabilities and disabilities, and draws a distinction between social, psychological, and biological enhancement. The article advances a new argument that justice requires enhancement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Enhancement / ethics*
  • Cognition / ethics
  • Humans
  • Social Justice / ethics*
  • Sports / ethics