David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Neuroethics 2 (1):51-59 (2009)
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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References found in this work BETA
Christine M. Korsgaard (1996). The Sources of Normativity. Cambridge University Press.
Neil Levy (2007). Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21st Century. Cambridge University Press.
Eddy Nahmias, Stephen G. Morris, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Jason Turner (2005). Surveying Freedom: Folk Intuitions About Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Psychology 18 (5):561-584.
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Citations of this work BETA
Andrea Lavazza & Mario De Caro (2010). Not so Fast. On Some Bold Neuroscientific Claims Concerning Human Agency. Neuroethics 3 (1):23-41.
Chris Weigel (2012). Experimental Evidence for Free Will Revisionism. Philosophical Explorations 16 (1):31 - 43.
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