Biblioteca della Libertà

Categoria/Category: Anno XLIV, n. 196, settembre-dicembre 2009
Editore/Publisher: Centro Einaudi

Abstract

In this article, the author is concerned with the psychological and biological barriers to freedom and the ways to overcome them. A number of constraints are examined, and the research scientists are conducting trying to unravel the genetic contribution to human physical and mental ability, performance and behaviour in the field of behavioural genetics.
For example, scientists are trying to elucidate the contribution of differences in genetics to aggression and criminal behaviour, alcoholism and addiction, anxiety, personality disorders, psychiatric diseases, homosexuality, maternal behaviour, memory and intelligence, personality traits such neuroticism and novelty seeking, and sprint/endurance performance in sport. This knowledge may allow prediction of behaviour and ability, as well as opening the door to biological interventions to improve performance. But, as animal research has shown, it is clearly possible in principle to radically improve performance. The author’s conclusion is that there are four ways to increase human freedom. Alter: 1. Natural environment; 2. Social environment; 3. Psychology; 4. Biology. We should consider all options and make an active choice which reason supports. We should not privilege biological or psychological interventions over social change. But should consider them as all candidates for improvement.

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