Oxytocin, Empathy and Human Enhancement



Published 25-10-2017
Francisco Lara


This paper considers, firstly, to what extent the administration of oxytocin can augment the capacity of empathy in human beings; and secondly, whether or not such practice ought to be allowed. In relation to the latter, the author develops an argument in favour of this intervention by virtue of its consistency with the belief that, if a therapeutic treatment is to be considered acceptable, it is essential that it maximizes the well-being of those affected and that it does not compromise the autonomy of the patient. Having rejected several objections related to the nature of this intervention, the author finally questions its morality on the basis of a concern with its universalizability.

How to Cite

Lara, F. (2017). Oxytocin, Empathy and Human Enhancement. THEORIA, 32(3), 367–384. https://doi.org/10.1387/theoria.17890
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enhancement, empathy, neuroethics, morality, oxytocin