What can neuroscience contribute to ethics?

Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (2):63-64 (2006)
Abstract
Neuroscience cannot and should not be allowed to replace normative questions with scientific onesOver the past few years considerable attention has been paid to a variety of issues that are now placed collectively under the heading of “Neuroethics”. In both the academic and the popular press there have been discussions about the possibilities and problems offered by cognitive enhancement and neuroimaging as well as debate about the implications of these emerging “neurotechnologies” for morality and the law. This issue of the journal contains eight papers that discuss a broad range of important topics in neuroethics, from cognitive enhancement and the moral status of animals and cyborgs, to the challenges of neurological consults in end of life cases. As these papers demonstrate, advances in neuroscience raise a number of important ethical questions, but can neuroscience help provide any answers?FACT AND VALUEAccording to the received philosophical wisdom, there is a fundamental distinction between fact and value—between how things are and how they ought to be. On the basis of this distinction one cannot draw normative conclusions from descriptive premises because there is nothing in the premises that would warrant such conclusions: from the fact that happiness is desired it does not follow that it ought to be. This received wisdom applies to neuroethics in the following way: whereas neuroscience might be able to identify the neurophysical correlates for evaluative notions such as preferences and attitudes,1,2 lying,3 and the distinction between in control and out of control behaviour,4 neuroscience cannot, in and by itself, provide the basis for their evaluation. The reason for this is that, in the absence of factors external to these neurophysical states, one neurophysical state is no better or worse than another—internal neurophysical states are logically …
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 14,030
External links
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
Olaf Sporns (2000). Synthetic Approaches to Cognitive Neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):548-549.
Michel Ferrari (2011). What Can Neuroscience Bring to Education? Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (1):31-36.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-08-24

Total downloads

13 ( #173,706 of 1,696,585 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #345,974 of 1,696,585 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.