David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Bioethics 23 (6):340-348 (2009)
Purpose: Whereas ethical considerations on imaging techniques and interpretations of neuroimaging results flourish, there is not much work on their preconditions. In this paper, therefore, we discuss epistemological considerations on neuroimaging and their implications for neuroethics. Results: Neuroimaging uses indirect methods to generate data about surrogate parameters for mental processes, and there are many determinants influencing the results, including current hypotheses and the state of knowledge. This leads to an interdependence between hypotheses and data. Additionally, different levels of description are involved, especially when experiments are designed to answer questions pertaining to broad concepts like the self, empathy or moral intentions. Interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks are needed to integrate findings from the life sciences and the humanities and to translate between them. While these epistemological issues are not specific for neuroimaging, there are some reasons why they are of special importance in this context: Due to their inferential proximity, 'neuro-images' seem to be self-evident, suggesting directness of observation and objectivity. This has to be critically discussed to prevent overinterpretation. Additionally, there is a high level of attention to neuroimaging, leading to a high frequency of presentation of neuroimaging data and making the critical examination of their epistemological properties even more pressing. Conclusions: Epistemological considerations are an important prerequisite for neuroethics. The presentation and communication of the results of neuroimaging studies, the potential generation of new phenomena and new 'dysfunctions' through neuroimaging, and the influence on central concepts at the foundations of ethics will be important future topics for this discipline.
|Keywords||neuroscience neuroimaging neuroethics epistemology philosophy of science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Carl E. Fisher & Paul S. Appelbaum (2010). Diagnosing Consciousness: Neuroimaging, Law, and the Vegetative State. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 38 (2):374-385.
Adina L. Roskies (2008). Neuroimaging and Inferential Distance. Neuroethics 1 (1):19-30.
Judy Illes & Eric Racine (2005). Imaging or Imagining? A Neuroethics Challenge Informed by Genetics. American Journal of Bioethics 5 (2):5 – 18.
Nicole A. Vincent (2009). Neuroimaging and Responsibility Assessments. Neuroethics 4 (1):35-49.
Joseph J. Fins, Judy Illes, James L. Bernat, Joy Hirsch, Steven Laureys & Emily Murphy (2008). Neuroimaging and Disorders of Consciousness: Envisioning an Ethical Research Agenda. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (9):3 – 12.
Kerry Lee & Swee Fong Ng (2011). Neuroscience and the Teaching of Mathematics. Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (1):81-86.
Sergi G. Costafreda (2012). Meta-Analysis, Mega-Analysis, and Task Analysis in fMRI Research. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (4):275-277.
Alison C. Boyce (2009). Neuroimaging in Psychiatry: Evaluating the Ethical Consequences for Patient Care. Bioethics 23 (6):349-359.
Jan-Hendrik Heinrichs (2012). The Sensitivity of Neuroimaging Data. Neuroethics 5 (2):185-195.
Christian G. Huber (2009). Interdependence of Theoretical Concepts and Neuroimaging Data. Poiesis and Praxis 6 (3-4):203-217.
Added to index2009-06-16
Total downloads38 ( #54,053 of 1,688,130 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #48,325 of 1,688,130 )
How can I increase my downloads?