Nearly 40 years ago Alastair MacIntyre was asked whether, if it turned out that we were able to design our descendants, we should do so. Since we would first have to identify the qualities we would want our descendants to have, he set out what he called a ‘new table’ of virtues. He then argued that, were we to be successful, our descendants would not be grateful for what we had done to them, and that, if so, we should not even embark on the designing project. This chapter sets out and considers the main features of MacIntyre’s argument with a view to clarifying the nature of his ethical objection to the project and assessing its pertinence.
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