Neuroenhancement: Much Ado About Nothing?

In their paper “Deflating the neuroenhancement bubble”, more precisely in their section entitled “How New is Neuroenhancement?”, Lucke and colleagues argue that neuroenhancement is nothing new to our epoch by demonstrating that the use of psychoactive stimulants in the 19th and 20th centuries was already common. The purpose of our comment is to show that the current bubble surrounding neuroenhancement in particular, and enhancement in general, is a recasting of an even older speculative engagement that can be traced back from the 16th to the 18th centuries. As a consequence, there is a high risk that bioethicists might not have captured or found new conceptual challenges related to current enhancement debate. As well, by ignoring issues related to ancient debate, we argue that modern bioethicists risk spending effort on speculative ethics.
Keywords enhancement  neuroethics  speculative ethics  applied ethics  neuroenhancement
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Thomas Douglas (2008). Moral Enhancement. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.

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