Moral Enhancement and Persistent Violent Offenders

Mark Ellegaard & Kristian Kragh

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


In this paper we ask whether or not we should force persistent violent offenders to undergo morally enhancing treatments. After having introduced the subject we go on to clarify what is meant by moral enhancement and point out that this paper makes no distinction between moral treatment and moral enhancement. When we have given a clear definition of what we mean by a persistent violent offender, we continue by going through two fictive but realistic cases of persistent violent offenders. The first case introduces Tommy; a persistent violent offender who loses control over himself when he gets aggressive. The second case introduces Timmy; another persistent violent offender who suffers from a psychopathic disorder and enjoys hurting others. These two cases serve two purposes. The first purpose is to give the reader a clear idea of what type of background an offender might come from. The second purpose is to function as a reference point when we evaluate and discusses the arguments. In the arguments section we reconstruct and critically discuss a variety of arguments such as arguments based on the common good, autonomy, paternalism, risk assessment and how moral enhancement can be seen as a punishment. In the end we conclude that it is not only morally permissible, but morally required that we force persistent violent offenders to undergo morally enhancing treatments given that the medicine works.

UddannelserFilosofi og Videnskabsteori, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato19 jun. 2015
VejledereThomas Søbirk Petersen


  • Punishment
  • Ethics
  • Neuroscience
  • Persistent violent offenders
  • Moral Enhancement
  • Moral
  • Treatments
  • Neurotechnology
  • Consequentialism
  • Retributivism