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dc.contributor.advisorRichard Holton.en_US
dc.contributor.authorHoffman, Virginia Anneen_US
dc.contributor.otherMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2010-05-25T20:58:19Z
dc.date.available2010-05-25T20:58:19Z
dc.date.copyright2009en_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/55178
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2009.en_US
dc.descriptionCataloged from PDF version of thesis.en_US
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references (p. 121-124).en_US
dc.description.abstractAntidepressants and bioenhancement technologies raise special concerns - both for those who use them and those who don't - about who we are and how we should treat ourselves. In this dissertation, I confront these concerns by asking and answering two ethical questions about different forms of self-treatment. These are: 1. Is antidepressant use morally problematic insofar as it is self-objectifying?, and 2. Is bioenhancement use morally problematic insofar as it undermines self-respect? (Note: by "morally problematic," I mean "possessing a wrong-making feature," not "always wrong, all things considered.") The first two chapters focus on the former question - the question of whether antidepressant use is morally problematic insofar as it is self-objectifying. In order to answer this, I first step back, in Chapter 1, and look at the phenomenon of self-objectification generally construed. I draw from Martha Nussbaum's and Rae Langton's work on objectification to formulate my own definition of "self-objectification." I then argue that self-objectification is indeed possible, and that it assumes a number of interesting forms. The second chapter turns to the specific bioethical question of whether antidepressant use is morally problematic insofar as it is self-objectifying. I argue that the answer is "yes." Although I'm not the first to voice this particular objection to antidepressant use, I extend this previous scholarship in two principal ways. First, I draw from my definition and analysis of self-objectification in Chapter 1 to characterize exactly how antidepressant use is self-objectifying, and to pinpoint the accompanying specific moral offense.en_US
dc.description.abstract(cont.) Second, I argue in detail against Neil Levy's contention that some cases of self-objectification with antidepressants are completely permissible. In my third and final chapter, I turn to the second question: whether bioenhancement use is morally problematic insofar as it undermines self-respect. I argue that it is, while also acknowledging that there are other senses in which it, simultaneously, can promote self-respect. I offer a few options for conceptualizing this tension, and maintain that the undermining of self-respect nevertheless constitutes one reason to worry about bioenhancement technologies.en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibilityby Virginia A. Hoffman.en_US
dc.format.extent124 p.en_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisherMassachusetts Institute of Technologyen_US
dc.rightsM.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission.en_US
dc.rights.urihttp://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582en_US
dc.subjectLinguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.titleAntidepressants, bioenhancements, and the ethics of self-respecten_US
dc.typeThesisen_US
dc.description.degreePh.D.en_US
dc.contributor.departmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.en_US
dc.identifier.oclc608227767en_US


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