Will neuroscientific discoveries about free will and selfhood change our ethical practices?

Neuroethics 2 (1):51-59 (2009)
Abstract
Over the past few years, a number of authors in the new field of neuroethics have claimed that there is an ethical challenge presented by the likelihood that the findings of neuroscience will undermine many common assumptions about human agency and selfhood. These authors claim that neuroscience shows that human agents have no free will, and that our sense of being a “self” is an illusory construction of our brains. Furthermore, some commentators predict that our ethical practices of assigning moral blame, or of recognizing others as persons rather than as objects, will change as a result of neuroscientific discoveries that debunk free will and the concept of the self. I contest suggestions that neuroscience’s conclusions about the illusory nature of free will and the self will cause significant change in our practices. I argue that we have self-interested reasons to resist allowing neuroscience to determine core beliefs about ourselves.
Keywords Bioethics  Free will  Identity  Neuroethics  Self
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Walter Glannon (2005). Neurobiology, Neuroimaging, and Free Will. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):68-82.

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