University of Oulu

Huttunen, H., & Sivula, O. (2023). Moral adherence enhancement and the case of long-distance space missions. In Technology in Society (Vol. 74, p. 102278). Elsevier BV.

Moral adherence enhancement and the case of long-distance space missions

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Author: Huttunen, Henri1; Sivula, Oskari2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, FI-90014, Oulun, yliopisto, Finland
2University of Turku, FI-20014, Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-22


The possibility of employing human enhancement interventions to aid in future space missions has been gaining attention lately. These possibilities have included one of the more controversial kinds of enhancements: biomedical moral enhancement. However, the discussion has thus far remained on a rather abstract level. In this paper we further this conversation by looking more closely at what type of interventions with what sort of effects we should expect when we are talking about biomedical moral enhancements. We suggest that a more grounded way to picture moral enhancement, at least in the near term, is to envision a form of cognitive enhancement that also provides some moral benefits by heightening the enhanced person’s capability for acting according to their own subjective moral code. While this concept of moral adherence enhancement also has relevance for the moral enhancement discussion more widely, in this paper we apply it specifically in the context of space missions. We argue that there are weighty reasons to consider making biomedical enhancements of the proposed kind a mandatory feature of early-phase long-distance space travel because these missions are high-stakes in nature and take place in an environment where the enhancement could be seen as conferring important advantages while negating many of the traditional arguments weighed against it.

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Series: Technology in society
ISSN: 0160-791X
ISSN-E: 1879-3274
ISSN-L: 0160-791X
Volume: 74
Article number: 102278
DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2023.102278
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 611 Philosophy
520 Other social sciences
Dataset Reference: No data was used for the research described in the article.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (