Love troubles: Human attachment and biomedical enhancements

S. Nyholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In fascinating recent work, Julian Savulescu and his various co‐authors argue that human love is one of the things we can improve upon using biomedical enhancements. Is that so? This article first notes that Savulescu and his co‐authors mainly treat love as a means to various other goods. Love, however, is widely regarded as an intrinsic good. To investigate whether enhancements can produce the distinctive intrinsic good of love, this article does three things. Drawing on Philip Pettit's recent discussion of ‘robustly demanding goods’, it asks what exactly we intrinsically desire in seeking love; it considers four possible outcomes involving attachment‐enhancements and attachments; and it considers two different pieces of news we might receive about our lovers' attachment to us (that it is, or that it is not, sustained with the help of enhancement‐technologies). Enhancement‐sustained attachment, it is concluded, is less desirable than the intrinsic good of love.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-202
JournalJournal of Applied Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Love troubles: Human attachment and biomedical enhancements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this