Animal Disenhancement and the Non-Identity Problem: A Response to Thompson Academic Article uri icon


  • In his paper "The Opposite of Human Enhancement: Nanotechnology and the Blind Chicken problem" (Nanoethics 2:305-316, 2008) Paul Thompson argues that the possibility of "disenhancing" animals in order to improve animal welfare poses a philosophical conundrum. Although many people intuitively think such disenhancement would be morally impermissible, it's difficult to find good arguments to support such intuitions. In this brief response to Thompson, I accept that there's a conundrum here. But I argue that if we seriously consider whether creating beings can harm or benefit them, and introduce the non-identity problem to discussions of animal disehancement, the conundrum is even deeper than Thompson suggests. 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

published proceedings

  • NanoEthics

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Palmer, C.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Palmer, Clare

publication date

  • January 2011