David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Neuroethics 3 (1):73-88 (2010)
The portrayal of novel neurotechnologies in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report serves to inoculate viewers from important moral considerations that are displaced by the film’s somewhat singular emphasis on the question of how to reintroduce freedom of choice into an otherwise technology driven world. This sets up a crisis mentality and presents a false dilemma regarding the appropriate use, and regulation, of neurotechnologies. On the one hand, it seems that centralized power is required to both control and effectively implement such technologies and, on the other hand, individual heroic resistance is required to protect citizens from the invasions of personal privacy and state control made possible through neurotechnologies. While Minority Report, as a dystopic vision of emergent neurotechnologies, engages surface ethical issues it risks cheapening them through its rather simplistic, dichotomous analysis. Most conspicuously absent from this approach is a sense of the social matrices that work to circumscribe or augment expressions of human freedom, privacy, control and power that are all implicated in our engagement with novel neurotechnologies. Were Minority Report unique in this respect it would have little interest, but we think this type of cheapening of ethical discourse about novel technologies is common. Because science fiction film informs the social imaginary in which ethical considerations and ultimately policy decisions take place, such cheapening risks subverting pervasive and tangible ethical issues by focusing on the sensationalistic and simplistic
|Keywords||Ethics Films (neuro)technology Freedom Social control Power Gresham’s law of ethics|
|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
Françoise Baylis, Nuala P. Kenny & Susan Sherwin (2008). A Relational Account of Public Health Ethics. Public Health Ethics 1 (3):196-209.
Sue Campbell, Letitia Meynell & Susan Sherwin (eds.) (2009). Embodiment and Agency. Pennsylvania State University Press.
Andrew Fenton, Letitia Meynell & Françoise Baylis (2009). Ethical Challenges and Interpretive Difficulties with Non-Clinical Applications of Pediatric fMRI. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (1):3-13.
Citations of this work BETA
Frederic Gilbert, Lawrence Burns & Timothy Krahn (2011). The Inheritance, Power and Predicaments of the “Brain-Reading” Metaphor. Medicine Studies 2 (4):229-244.
Similar books and articles
Howard Trachtman (2008). Minority Report. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (4):34 – 35.
Diane Scott-Jones (1994). Ethical Issues in Reporting and Referring in Research with Low-Income Minority Children. Ethics and Behavior 4 (2):97 – 108.
Robert W. Hall (1964). Plato - A Minority Report. Southern Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):168-173.
Lawrence Blum (1999). Race, Community and Moral Education: Kohlberg and Spielberg as Civic Educators. Journal of Moral Education 28 (2):125-143.
Elspeth Kydd (2011). The Critical Practice of Film: An Introduction. Palgrave Macmillan.
Dudley Andrew (1984). Concepts in Film Theory. Oxford University Press.
Seumas Miller (2000). Collective Rights and Minority Rights. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 14 (2):241-257.
Steven E. Hyman (2010). Emerging Neurotechnologies for Lie-Detection: Where Are We Now? An Appraisal of Wolpe, Foster and Langleben's “Emerging Neurotechnologies for Lie-Detection: Promise and Perils” Five Years Later. American Journal of Bioethics 10 (10):49-50.
Added to index2009-03-23
Total downloads31 ( #53,052 of 1,096,394 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #134,922 of 1,096,394 )
How can I increase my downloads?