Alexandre Erler


B.A. (University of Neuchâtel); BPhil, DPhil (University of Oxford)
Rm 416


I studied as an undergraduate at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Although Philosophy was initially my secondary subject (my main ones being History and English), as I learned more about it I realized that it was the one I was truly passionate about. I therefore decided to major in Philosophy, and then went abroad to pursue graduate studies in that discipline. I thus studied for an MA in Philosophy and Literature at the University of East Anglia in Norwich; after which I completed the BPhil, and then the DPhil in Philosophy at the University of Oxford, with the help of scholarships from the Berrow Foundation, the Society for Applied Philosophy, and the Swiss National Science Foundation. My doctoral dissertation, which was supervised by Profs. Roger Crisp, Guy Kahane, and Julian Savulescu, focused on “human enhancement” interventions and on the concern that they might pose a threat to the authenticity of our lives.

After completing my doctorate in 2013, I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Montreal, and then at the American College of Thessaloniki. I joined the CUHK Department of Philosophy as a Research Assistant Professor in 2017, with a joint appointment with the CUHK Centre for Bioethics.

My research focuses mainly on the ethical implications of new technologies with the potential to significantly transform society and the human condition. These include the manipulation of the human genome; biomedical interventions that would slow down or even reverse the aging process; and direct interventions into the brain to improve mental capacities or reduce negative affect. I am interested in a broad range of questions, many of which lie at the intersection between biomedical ethics and other areas such as political philosophy, or the philosophy of personal identity. Such questions have for instance to do with fairness, global governance, and with specific conceptual issues (such as the distinction between treatment and enhancement) and their normative implications.

My upcoming research projects include writing a book, partly inspired by my doctoral dissertation, exploring issues of identity and authenticity raised by the development of neurotechnology.


  1. 應用倫理學
  2. 政治哲學
  3. 人格同一性哲學
  4. 規範倫理學


  1. “Neuroenhancement, Coercion, and Neo-Luddism” (forthcoming). In: Nicole A. Vincent (ed.), Neuro-Interventions and the Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  2. “Intending vs. Merely Foreseeing Harm: When Does It Make a Difference?” (forthcoming). AJOB Neuroscience.
  3. “Natural Athletic Performance or a Level Playing Field? You Can’t Have Both” (2018). American Journal of Bioethics, 18 (6), 30-1.
  4. “Authenticité” (2018). Invited article for the Dictionnaire des Valeurs, Julien Deonna & Emma Tieffenbach (eds.), Paris : Editions d’Ithaque, 40-9.
  5. “The Limits of the Treatment-Enhancement Distinction as a Guide to Public Policy” (2017). Bioethics, 8 (31), 608-15.
  6. Future-Human.Life (2017). Co-edited with Vincent Menuz, Johann Roduit, Daniel Roiz and Natalia Stepanova, with a co-authored introduction. Geneva:
  7. “Using Stimulants to Tackle Social Disadvantages: Interesting in Theory, Problematic in Practice” (2016). American Journal of Bioethics, 16 (6), 48-50.
  8. “Academic Performance Enhancers and the Goals of a University Education” (2015). Co-authored with Vardit Ravitsky. AJOB Neuroscience 6 (1), 24-6.
  9. “Mental Disorder and the Concept of Authenticity” (2014). Co-authored with Tony Hope. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology 21(3), 219-32.
  10. “One Man’s Authenticity Is Another Man’s Betrayal: a Reply to Levy” (2012)..Journal of Applied Philosophy 29:3, 257-65.
  11. “Does Memory Modification Threaten our Authenticity?” (2011). Neuroethics 4, 235-49.