About this topic
Summary The ethical implications of cognitive enhancement are an area of substantial interest and controversy in biomedical ethics and neuroethics. Unlike genetic enhancement, where the debate remains largely speculative and anticipatory, purported cognitive enhancement via pharmacological means is already widely practiced. It remains controversial whether the desired effect of enhancement is achieved by the use of drugs like modfinil and methylphenidate. Among the primary ethical controversies with cognitive enhancement are concerns about personal identity and authenticity, stemming from the central and constitutive role of the mind and cognition in the self. Other issues include: safety concerns about psychostimulant pharmaceutical use without medical need, the possibility that cognitive enhancement is "cheating" and results in competitive advantage for enhanced individuals, implicit or explicit coercion, military use (reducing fatigue and enhancing alertness in warfighters, and "erasing" memories in PTSD), and moral enhancement.
Key works The ethical issues with cognitive enhancement tend to converge around two central themes: moral enhancement and authenticity of self. Persson&Savulescu argue for moral enhancement via cognitive enhancement as a moral imperative (Persson & Savulescu 2008Persson & Savulescu 2013), while Wolfendale argues for moral responsibility in the use of enhancement in the military (Wolfendale 2008). Goodman (Goodman 2010) addresses a central conceptual distinction in the authenticity/cheating debate: whether results or process matters more, i.e. if the ends are desirable, does it matter what means are used to achieve those ends? DeGrazia considers a similar theme in his discussion of authenticity and identity (Degrazia 2005), as does Levy, who argues that the authenticity of the self might itself be enhanced through pharmacological means (Levy 2011).
Introductions Illes & Sahakian 2011 Glannon 2008 Bostrom 2009 Turner & Sahakian 2006
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  1. Brain–Computer Interfaces and Disability: Extending Embodiment, Reducing Stigma?Sean Aas & David Wasserman - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2015-102807.
  2. Pragmatism, Artificial Intelligence, and Posthuman Bioethics: Shusterman, Rorty, Foucault. [REVIEW]Jerold J. Abrams - 2004 - Human Studies 27 (3):241-258.
    Michel Foucault's early works criticize the development of modern democratic institutions as creating a surveillance society, which functions to control bodies by making them feel watched and monitored full time. His later works attempt to recover private space by exploring subversive techniques of the body and language. Following Foucault, pragmatists like Richard Shusterman and Richard Rorty have also developed very rich approaches to this project, extending it deeper into the literary and somatic dimensions of self-stylizing. Yet, for a debate centered (...)
  3. Still Afraid of Needy Post-Persons.N. Agar - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (2):81-83.
    I want to thank all of those who have commented on my article in the Journal of Medical Ethics.1 The commentaries address a wide cross-section of the issues raised in my article. I have organised my responses thematically.The state of playAllen Buchanan's scepticism2 about moral statuses higher than personhood derives, in part, from our apparent inability to describe them. We seem to have little difficulty in imagining what it might be to have scientific understanding far beyond that of any human (...)
  4. Why is It Possible to Enhance Moral Status and Why Doing so is Wrong?N. Agar - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (2):67-74.
    This paper presents arguments for two claims. First, post-persons, beings with a moral status superior to that of mere persons, are possible. Second, it would be bad to create such beings. Actions that risk bringing them into existence should be avoided. According to Allen Buchanan, it is possible to enhance moral status up to the level of personhood. But attempts to improve status beyond that fail for want of a target - there is no category of moral status superior to (...)
  5. Why We Can't Really Say What Post-Persons Are.N. Agar - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (3):144-145.
  6. Moral Bioenhancement and the Utilitarian Catastrophe.Nicholas Agar - 2015 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 24 (1):37-47.
  7. We Must Not Create Beings with Moral Standing Superior to Our Own.Nicholas Agar - 2013 - Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (11):709-709.
    Ingmar Persson challenges1 an argument in my book Humanity's End: Why We Should Reject Radical Enhancement2 that harms predictably suffered by unenhanced humans justify banning radical enhancement. Here I understand radical enhancement as producing beings with mental and physical capacities that greatly exceed those of the most capable current human. I called these results of radical enhancement posthumans, though I think that Persson may be right that this is not the most felicitous name for them.The focus of my argument was (...)
  8. Human Vs. Posthuman-Reply.Nicholas Agar - 2007 - Hastings Center Report 37 (5):5-6.
  9. Whereto Transhumanism? The Literature Reaches a Critical Mass.Nicholas Agar - 2007 - Hastings Center Report 37 (3):12-17.
  10. When the Boss Turns Pusher: A Proposal for Employee Protections in the Age of Cosmetic Neurology.J. M. Appel - 2008 - Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (8):616-618.
    Neurocognitive enhancement, or cosmetic neurology, offers the prospect of improving the learning, memory and attention skills of healthy individuals well beyond the normal human range. Much has been written about the ethics of such enhancement, but policy-makers in the USA, the UK and Europe have been reluctant to legislate in this rapidly developing field. However, the possibility of discrimination by employers and insurers against individuals who choose not to engage in such enhancement is a serious threat worthy of legislative intervention. (...)
  11. Bioethics and Human Enhancement: An Interview with Julian Savulescu.M. Ángeles Arráez, Miguel Moreno, Francisco Lara, Pedro Francés & Javier Rodríguez Alcázar - 2010 - Dilemata 3:15-25.
  12. Brain Stimulation.T. Z. Aziz & J. F. Stein - 2004 - In R. L. Gregory (ed.), The Oxford Companion to the Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 129--136.
  13. Cognitive Enhancement: Perceptions Among Parents of Children with Disabilities.Natalie Ball & Gregor Wolbring - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (3):345-364.
    Cognitive enhancement is an increasingly discussed topic and policy suggestions have been put forward. We present here empirical data of views of parents of children with and without cognitive disabilities. Analysis of the interviews revealed six primary overarching themes: meanings of health and treatment; the role of medicine; harm; the ‘good’ parent; normality and self-perception; and ability. Interestingly none of the parents used the term ethics and only one parent used the term moral twice.
  14. Virtue Essentialism, Prototypes, and the Moral Conservative Opposition to Enhancement Technologies: A Neuroethical Critique.John Banja - 2011 - AJOB Neuroscience 2 (2):31-38.
    Moral conservatives such as the ones who served on George W. Bush’s President’s Councils on Bioethics are known to be cautious about if not categorically opposed to enhancement technologies. This article examines the argumentative styles of two of the best known of these scholars, Leon Kass and Michael Sandel, as gleaned from essays they authored while serving on Bush’s councils. The goal of this essay is to evaluate their argumentative approach opposing enhancement, which I call “virtue essentialism.” Using a critical (...)
  15. Neural Transplants for Parkinson's Disease: What Are the Issues?Roger A. Barker - 2006 - Poiesis and Praxis 4 (2):129-143.
    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder of the nervous system that affects about 1 in 800 people and for which we have symptomatic but not curative therapies. At the core of the disease is the loss of a specific population of dopaminergic neurons within the brain, and replacement of dopamine through drug therapies has provided clinically significant benefit for many patients. However this therapy only ever offers a temporary amelioration of symptoms and with time this symptomatic therapy becomes (...)
  16. State Neutrality and the Ethics of Human Enhancement Technologies.John Basl - 2010 - AJOB 1 (2):41-48.
    Robust technological enhancement of core cognitive capacities is now a realistic possibility. From the perspective of neutralism, the view that justifications for public policy should be neutral between reasonable conceptions of the good, only members of a subset of the ethical concerns serve as legitimate justifications for public policy regarding robust technological enhancement. This paper provides a framework for the legitimate use of ethical concerns in justifying public policy decisions regarding these enhancement technologies by evaluating the ethical concerns that arise (...)
  17. Australian University Students' Attitudes Towards the Acceptability and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals to Improve Academic Performance.Stephanie Bell, Brad Partridge, Jayne Lucke & Wayne Hall - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (1):197-205.
    There is currently little empirical information about attitudes towards cognitive enhancement - the use of pharmaceutical drugs to enhance normal brain functioning. It is claimed this behaviour most commonly occurs in students to aid studying. We undertook a qualitative assessment of attitudes towards cognitive enhancement by conducting 19 semi-structured interviews with Australian university students. Most students considered cognitive enhancement to be unacceptable, in part because they believed it to be unethical but there was a lack of consensus on whether it (...)
  18. Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects of Brain-Implants Using Nano-Scale Materials and Techniques.Francois Berger, Sjef Gevers, Ludwig Siep & Klaus-Michael Weltring - 2008 - NanoEthics 2 (3):241-249.
    Nanotechnology is an important platform technology which will add new features like improved biocompatibility, smaller size, and more sophisticated electronics to neuro-implants improving their therapeutic potential. Especially in view of possible advantages for patients, research and development of nanotechnologically improved neuro implants is a moral obligation. However, the development of brain implants by itself touches many ethical, social and legal issues, which also apply in a specific way to devices enabled or improved by nanotechnology. For researchers developing nanotechnology such issues (...)
  19. In Mood Enhancement.Ron Berghmans, Ruud ter Meulen, Andrea Malizia & Rein Vos - 2011 - In Guy Kahane, Julian Savulescu & Ruud Ter Meulen (eds.), Enhancing Human Capacities.
  20. Argumente für und wider das Cognitive Enhancement.Ferenc Biedermann - 2010 - Ethik in der Medizin 22 (4):317-329.
    Das Cognitive Enhancement, die Steigerung der geistigen Leistungsfähigkeit gesunder Menschen durch Psychopharmaka und andere Interventionen, ist in jüngster Zeit verstärkt in den Fokus sowohl der Ethik als auch der breiteren Öffentlichkeit geraten. In kontrafaktischer Abstrahierung vom gegenwärtig noch sehr bescheidenen Stand der Technik wird dabei unter anderem erörtert, was grundsätzlich für und was gegen den Einsatz von markant wirksamem Cognitive Enhancement sprechen würde. Der vorliegende Beitrag gibt einen Überblick über die einschlägige Diskussion. Zunächst wird der recht uneinheitlich verwendete Begriff des (...)
  21. Arguments in Favour of and Against Cognitive Enhancement A Critical Survey.Ferenc Biedermann - 2010 - Ethik in der Medizin 22 (4):317-329.
  22. Human Enhancement, Edited by Julian Savulescu and Nick Bostrom. [REVIEW]G. Bognar - 2012 - Mind 121 (481):225-229.
  23. Psychopharmaceutical Enhancers: Enhancing Identity?Ineke Bolt & Maartje Schermer - 2009 - Neuroethics 2 (2):103-111.
    The use of psychopharmaceuticals to enhance human mental functioning such as cognition and mood has raised a debate on questions regarding identity and authenticity. While some hold that psychopharmaceutical substances can help users to ‘become who they really are’ and thus strengthen their identity and authenticity, others believe that the substances will lead to inauthenticity, normalization, and socially-enforced adaptation of behaviour and personality. In light of this debate, we studied how persons who actually have experience with the use of psychopharmaceutical (...)
  24. True to Oneself? Broad and Narrow Ideas on Authenticity in the Enhancement Debate.L. L. E. Bolt - 2007 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (4):285-300.
    Our knowledge of the human brain and the influence of pharmacological substances on human mental functioning is expanding. This creates new possibilities to enhance personality and character traits. Psychopharmacological enhancers, as well as other enhancement technologies, raise moral questions concerning the boundary between clinical therapy and enhancement, risks and safety, coercion and justice. Other moral questions include the meaning and value of identity and authenticity, the role of happiness for a good life, or the perceived threats to humanity. Identity and (...)
  25. Do We Have an Obligation to Make Smarter Babies?Lisa Bortolotti - 2009 - In T. Takala, P. Herrisone-Kelly & S. Holm (eds.), Cutting Through the Surface. Philosophical Approaches to Bioethics. Rodopi.
    In this paper I consider some issues concerning cognitive enhancements and the ethics of enhancing in reproduction and parenting. I argue that there are moral reasons to enhance the cognitive capacities of the children one has, or of the children one is going to have, and that these enhancements should not be seen as an alternative to pursuing important changes in society that might also improve one’s own and one’s children’s life. It has been argued that an emphasis on enhancing (...)
  26. Disability, Enhancement and the Harm -Benefit Continuum.Lisa Bortolotti & John Harris - 2006 - In John R. Spencer & Antje Du Bois-Pedain (eds.), Freedom and Responsibility in Reproductive Choice. Hart Publishers.
    Suppose that you are soon to be a parent and you learn that there are some simple measures that you can take to make sure that your child will be healthy. In particular, suppose that by following the doctor’s advice, you can prevent your child from having a disability, you can make your child immune from a number of dangerous diseases and you can even enhance its future intelligence. All that is required for this to happen is that you (or (...)
  27. The Use (and Misuse) of 'Cognitive Enhancers' by Students at an Academic Health Sciences Center.J. Bossaer, J. A. Gray, S. E. Miller, V. C. Gaddipati, R. E. Enck & G. G. Enck - 2013 - Academic Medicine (7):967-971.
    Purpose Prescription stimulant use as “cognitive enhancers” has been described among undergraduate college students. However, the use of prescription stimulants among future health care professionals is not well characterized. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of prescription stimulant misuse among students at an academic health sciences center. -/- Method Electronic surveys were e-mailed to 621 medical, pharmacy, and respiratory therapy students at East Tennessee State University for four consecutive weeks in fall 2011. Completing the survey was voluntary and (...)
  28. Smart Policy: Cognitive Enhancement and the Public Interest.Nick Bostrom - forthcoming - In Julian Savulescu, Ruud ter Muelen & Guy Kahane (eds.), Enhancing Human Capabilities. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Cognitive enhancement may be defined as the amplification or extension of core capacities of the mind through improvement or augmentation of internal or external information processing systems. Cognition refers to the processes an organism uses to organize information. These include acquiring information (perception), selecting (attention), representing (understanding) and retaining (memory) information, and using it to guide behavior (reasoning and coordination of motor outputs). Interventions to improve cognitive function may be directed at any of these core faculties.
  29. Cognitive Enhancement: Methods, Ethics, Regulatory Challenges. [REVIEW]Nick Bostrom - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):311-341.
    Cognitive enhancement takes many and diverse forms. Various methods of cognitive enhancement have implications for the near future. At the same time, these technologies raise a range of ethical issues. For example, they interact with notions of authenticity, the good life, and the role of medicine in our lives. Present and anticipated methods for cognitive enhancement also create challenges for public policy and regulation.
  30. The Reversal Test: Eliminating Status Quo Bias in Applied Ethics.Nick Bostrom & Toby Ord - 2006 - Ethics 116 (4):656-679.
    Suppose that we develop a medically safe and affordable means of enhancing human intelligence. For concreteness, we shall assume that the technology is genetic engineering (either somatic or germ line), although the argument we will present does not depend on the technological implementation. For simplicity, we shall speak of enhancing “intelligence” or “cognitive capacity,” but we do not presuppose that intelligence is best conceived of as a unitary attribute. Our considerations could be applied to specific cognitive abilities such as verbal (...)
  31. Regulating Methylphenidate: Enhancing Cognition and Social Inequality.C. D. Brewer & Heather DeGrote - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics 13 (7):47-49.
  32. Can Successful Mood Enhancement Make Us Less Happy?Bengt Brülde - 2007 - Philosophica 79:39-56.
    The main question is whether chemically induced mood enhancement is likely to make us happier, or whether it may rather have detrimental effects on our long-term happiness. This question is divided into three: What effects are mood -enhancing drugs likely to have on the long-term happiness of the person who takes these drugs? How would these drugs affect the happiness of the immediate environment of the people who take them, e.g. children or spouses? What effects would a wide-spread use of (...)
  33. Autonomy and Authenticity of Enhanced Personality Traits.Jan Christoph Bublitz & Reinhard Merkel - 2009 - Bioethics 23 (6):360-374.
    There is concern that the use of neuroenhancements to alter character traits undermines consumer's authenticity. But the meaning, scope and value of authenticity remain vague. However, the majority of contemporary autonomy accounts ground individual autonomy on a notion of authenticity. So if neuroenhancements diminish an agent's authenticity, they may undermine his autonomy. This paper clarifies the relation between autonomy, authenticity and possible threats by neuroenhancements. We present six neuroenhancement scenarios and analyse how autonomy accounts evaluate them. Some cases are considered (...)
  34. Neurotechnology, Invasiveness and the Extended Mind.Tom Buller - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (3):593-605.
    According to a standard view, the physical boundary of the person—the skin-and-skull boundary—matters morally because this boundary delineates between where the person begins and the world ends. On the basis of this view we make a distinction between invasive interventions that penetrate this boundary and non-invasive interventions that do not. The development of neuroprosthetics, however, raises questions about the significance of this boundary and the relationship between person and body. In particular it has been argued by appeal to the Extended (...)
  35. Memory Enhancement: The Issues We Should Not Forget About.Laura Cabrera - 2011 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 22 (1):97-109.
    The human brain is in great part what it is because of the functional and structural properties of the 100 billion interconnected neurons that form it. These make it the body’s most complex organ, and the one we most associate with concepts of selfhood and identity. The assumption held by many supporters of human enhancement, transhumanism, and technological posthumanity seems to be that the human brain can be continuously improved, as if it were another one of our machines. In this (...)
  36. Empirical Support for the Moral Salience of the Therapy-Enhancement Distinction in the Debate Over Cognitive, Affective and Social Enhancement.Laura Y. Cabrera, Nicholas S. Fitz & Peter B. Reiner - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (3):243-256.
    The ambiguity regarding whether a given intervention is perceived as enhancement or as therapy might contribute to the angst that the public expresses with respect to endorsement of enhancement. We set out to develop empirical data that explored this. We used Amazon Mechanical Turk to recruit participants from Canada and the United States. Each individual was randomly assigned to read one vignette describing the use of a pill to enhance one of 12 cognitive, affective or social domains. The vignettes described (...)
  37. Reasons for Comfort and Discomfort with Pharmacological Enhancement of Cognitive, Affective, and Social Domains.Laura Y. Cabrera, Nicholas S. Fitz & Peter B. Reiner - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (2):93-106.
    The debate over the propriety of cognitive enhancement evokes both enthusiasm and worry. To gain further insight into the reasons that people may have for endorsing or eschewing pharmacological enhancement, we used empirical tools to explore public attitudes towards PE of twelve cognitive, affective, and social domains. Participants from Canada and the United States were recruited using Mechanical Turk and were randomly assigned to read one vignette that described an individual who uses a pill to enhance a single domain. After (...)
  38. Smart Drugs for Cognitive Enhancement: Ethical and Pragmatic Considerations in the Era of Cosmetic Neurology.V. Cakic - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (10):611-615.
    Reports in the popular press suggest that smart drugs or “nootropics” such as methylphenidate, modafinil and piracetam are increasingly being used by the healthy to augment cognitive ability. Although current nootropics offer only modest improvements in cognitive performance, it appears likely that more effective compounds will be developed in the future and that their off-label use will increase. One sphere in which the use of these drugs may be commonplace is by healthy students within academia. This article reviews the ethical (...)
  39. Cognitive Enhancement and Theories of Justice: Contemplating the Malleability of Nature and Self.Eva Caldera - 2008 - Journal of Evolution and Technology 18 (1):116-123.
    As techniques for cognitive enhancement are being developed , new questions are emerging about the availability, distribution and permissible uses of such techniques. This paper will provide an overview of possible approaches to these questions from within three different frameworks offered by political theory – libertarian , social contractarian and communitarian . Each of these theories rests on particular assumptions about the relationship between individuals and society and on particular conceptions of human flourishing. This paper will examine whether the potential (...)
  40. Libertarianism, Legitimation, and the Problems of Regulating Cognition-Enhancing Drugs.Benjamin Capps - 2011 - Neuroethics 4 (2):119-128.
    Some libertarians tend to advocate the wide availability of cognition-enhancing drugs beyond their current prescription-only status. They suggest that certain kinds of drugs can be a component of a prudential conception of the ‘good life’—they enhance our opportunities and preferences; and therefore, if a person freely chooses to use them, then there is no justification for the kind of prejudicial, authoritative restrictions that are currently deployed in public policy. In particular, this libertarian idea signifies that if enhancements are a prudential (...)
  41. On Cognitive and Moral Enhancement: A Reply to Savulescu and Persson.J. Adam Carter & Emma C. Gordon - 2014 - Bioethics 28 (1):153-161.
    In a series of recent works, Julian Savulescu and Ingmar Persson insist that, given the ease by which irreversible destruction is achievable by a morally wicked minority, (i) strictly cognitive bio-enhancement is currently too risky, while (ii) moral bio-enhancement is plausibly morally mandatory (and urgently so). This article aims to show that the proposal Savulescu and Persson advance relies on several problematic assumptions about the separability of cognitive and moral enhancement as distinct aims. Specifically, we propose that the underpinnings of (...)
  42. The Epistemology of Cognitive Enhancement.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.
    A common epistemological assumption in contemporary bioethics held b y both proponents and critics of non-traditional forms of cognitive enhancement is that cognitive enhancement aims at the facilitation of the accumulation of human knowledge. This paper does three central things. First, drawing from recent work in epistemology, a rival account of cognitive enhancement, framed in terms of the notion of cognitive achievement rather than knowledge, is proposed. Second, we outline and respond to an axiological objection to our proposal that draws (...)
  43. Bonding Brains to Machines: Ethical Implications of Electroceuticals for the Human Brain.Jens Clausen - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (3):429-434.
    Novel neurotechnologies like deep brain stimulation and brain-computer interfaces promise clinical benefits for severely suffering patients. Nevertheless, such electroceuticals raise several ethical issues on different levels: while on the level of clinical neuroethics issues with direct relevance for diagnosis and treatment have to be discussed, on the level of research neuroethics questions regarding research and development of these technological devices like investigating new targets and different diseases as well as thorough inclusion criteria are dealt with. On the level of theoretical (...)
  44. The Epistemology of Moral Bioenhancement.Parker Crutchfield - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (5):389-396.
    Moral bioenhancement is the potential practice of manipulating individuals’ moral behaviors by biological means in order to help resolve pressing moral issues such as climate change and terrorism. This practice has obvious ethical implications, and these implications have been and continue to be discussed in the bioethics literature. What have not been discussed are the epistemological implications of moral bioenhancement. This article details some of these implications of engaging in moral bioenhancement. The argument begins by making the distinction between moral (...)
  45. The Epistemology of Moral Bioenhancement.Parker Crutchfield - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (6):389-396.
    Moral bioenhancement is the potential practice of manipulating individuals’ moral behaviors by biological means in order to help resolve pressing moral issues such as climate change and terrorism. This practice has obvious ethical implications, and these implications have been and continue to be discussed in the bioethics literature. What have not been discussed are the epistemological implications of moral bioenhancement. This article details some of these implications of engaging in moral bioenhancement. The argument begins by making the distinction between moral (...)
  46. Questions of Human Enhancement: An Editorial.Anthony Mark Cutter & Bert Gordijn - 2007 - Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 1 (1).
    Introducing a special issue of a journal is a difficult, but pleasurable task for any editor. One must chose what to say about the themes of the issue, and how to introduce the papers presented. However, this task becomes still more complex when the special issue in question forms the inaugural issue of a new journal. This is the case here as we find ourselves introducing "Questions in Human Enhancement" as the inaugural issue of Studies in Ethics, Law and Technology. (...)
  47. Why Internal Moral Enhancement Might Be Politically Better Than External Moral Enhancement.John Danaher - forthcoming - Neuroethics:1-16.
    Technology could be used to improve morality but it could do so in different ways. Some technologies could augment and enhance moral behaviour externally by using external cues and signals to push and pull us towards morally appropriate behaviours. Other technologies could enhance moral behaviour internally by directly altering the way in which the brain captures and processes morally salient information or initiates moral action. The question is whether there is any reason to prefer one method over the other? In (...)
  48. An Evaluative Conservative Case for Biomedical Enhancement.John Danaher - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2015-103307.
    It is widely believed that a conservative moral outlook is opposed to biomedical forms of human enhancement. In this paper, I argue that this widespread belief is incorrect. Using Cohen’s evaluative conservatism as my starting point, I argue that there are strong conservative reasons to prioritise the development of biomedical enhancements. In particular, I suggest that biomedical enhancement may be essential if we are to maintain our current evaluative equilibrium (i.e. the set of values that undergird and permeate our current (...)
  49. Should We Use Commitment Contracts to Regulate Student Use of Cognitive Enhancing Drugs?John Danaher - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (7):568-578.
    Are universities justified in trying to regulate student use of cognitive enhancing drugs? In this article I argue that they can be, but that the most appropriate kind of regulatory intervention is likely to be voluntary in nature. To be precise, I argue that universities could justifiably adopt a commitment contract system of regulation wherein students are encouraged to voluntarily commit to not using cognitive enhancing drugs. If they are found to breach that commitment, they should be penalized by, for (...)
  50. Human Enhancement, Social Solidarity and the Distribution of Responsibility.John Danaher - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):359-378.
    This paper tries to clarify, strengthen and respond to two prominent objections to the development and use of human enhancement technologies. Both objections express concerns about the link between enhancement and the drive for hyperagency. The first derives from the work of Sandel and Hauskeller—and is concerned with the negative impact of hyperagency on social solidarity. In responding to their objection, I argue that although social solidarity is valuable, there is a danger in overestimating its value and in neglecting some (...)
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