Alexandre Erler


M. A. (UEA Norwich); BPhil, DPhil (University of Oxford)
Rm 416


I studied as an undergraduate in 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, artificial intelligence, and direct interventions into the brain to improve mental capacities or reduce negative affect (known as “neuro-interventions”). 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 neuro-interventions.


  1. 应用伦理学
  2. 政治哲学
  3. 人格同一性哲学
  4. 规范伦理学


  1. “The Ethics of Biomedical Military Research: Therapy, Prevention, Enhancement, and Risk” (forthcoming). Co-authored with Vincent C. Müller. In: D. Messelken and D. Winkler (eds.), Health Care in Contexts of Risk, Uncertainty, and Hybridity (Springer).
  2. “Mapping the Ethical Issues of Brain Organoid Research and Application” (2021). Co-authored with Tsutomu Sawai et al. AJOB Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1080/21507740.2021.1896603.
  3. “Neuroenhancement” (2020). Co-authored with Cynthia Forlini. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online. URL =
  4. “Neuro-doping and the Value of Effort in Endurance Sports” (2020). Neuroethics,
  5. “Neuroenhancement, Coercion, and Neo-Luddism” (2020). In: Nicole A. Vincent (ed.), Neuro-Interventions and the Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  6. “Discussions of DBS in Neuroethics: Can We Deflate the Bubble Without Deflating Ethics?” (2019). Neuroethics,
  7. “Ethical Perspectives on Advances in Biogerontology” (2019). Co-authored with Jean Woo, David Archard, Derrick Au, Sara Bergstresser, Timothy Kwok, John Newman, Raymond Tong, and Tom Walker. Aging Medicine 2 (2), 99-103.
  8. “Natural Athletic Performance or a Level Playing Field? You Can’t Have Both” (2018). American Journal of Bioethics, 18 (6), 30-1.
  9. “Authenticité” (2018). Invited article for the Dictionnaire des Valeurs, Julien Deonna & Emma Tieffenbach (eds.), Paris : Editions d’Ithaque, 40-9.
  10. “The Limits of the Treatment-Enhancement Distinction as a Guide to Public Policy” (2017). Bioethics, 8 (31), 608-15.
  11. Future-Human.Life (2017). Co-edited with Vincent Menuz, Johann Roduit, Daniel Roiz and Natalia Stepanova, with a co-authored introduction. Geneva:
  12. “Using Stimulants to Tackle Social Disadvantages: Interesting in Theory, Problematic in Practice” (2016). American Journal of Bioethics, 16 (6), 48-50.
  13. “Academic Performance Enhancers and the Goals of a University Education” (2015). Co-authored with Vardit Ravitsky. AJOB Neuroscience 6 (1), 24-6.
  14. “Mental Disorder and the Concept of Authenticity” (2014). Co-authored with Tony Hope. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology 21(3), 219-32.
  15. “One Man’s Authenticity Is Another Man’s Betrayal: a Reply to Levy” (2012)..Journal of Applied Philosophy 29:3, 257-65.
  16. “Does Memory Modification Threaten our Authenticity?” (2011). Neuroethics 4, 235-49.