About this topic
Summary Neuroethics is a nascent subdiscipline that has emerged out of bioethics and neuroscience to consider both the ethical and metaphysical implications of neuroscience, particularly recent developments in neuroetechnology. The scope of neuroethics is broad and heterogeneous, and the field is sometimes bifurcated into "the ethics of neuroscience" and "the neuroscience of ethics." Specific areas of neuroethical interest include: cognitive enhancement, disorders of consciousness and neurological impairment, psychiatric disorders, brain imaging, free will/moral responsibility, and addiction, and the neuroscientific study of morality and decision-making.
Key works The broad scope of neuroethics defies a concise bibliography. Moreover, while there is overlap in some foci of neuroethics, there are also regions that stand apart. This article reflects neuroethics' origins as a subdiscipline of bioethics by examining ethical issues in clinical neuroscience (Glannon 2011). The moral significance of consciousness (Kahane&Savulescu 2009), and the role of neuroscience in illuminating the "problem of other minds" with respect to brain damage, and nonhuman animals (Farah 2008) is a subject with an extensive literature. Works on issues related to control, responsibility, freedom, and addiction include Hall 2003 and Glannon 2013Persson&Savulescu 2008 proposes both cognitive and moral enhancement. The neuroscience of ethics overlaps considerably with the work of experimental philosophers, e.g. Knobe 2003Greene unknown, and Appiah 2008.
Introductions For a general introductions to neuroethics, see Illes&Sahakian 2011 and Levy 2009.
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  1. added 2020-05-27
    Closed-Loop Brain Devices in Offender Rehabilitation: Autonomy, Human Rights, and Accountability.Sjors Ligthart, Tijs Kooijmans, Thomas Douglas & Gerben Meynen - forthcoming - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 30 (4).
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  2. added 2020-04-14
    The Continuity of BCI-Mediated and Conventional Action.Daniel Lim - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 11 (1):59-61.
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  3. added 2020-04-02
    Neural and Environmental Modulation of Motivation: What's the Moral Difference?Thomas Douglas - forthcoming - In David Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.), Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Interventions that modify a person’s motivations through chemically or physically influencing the brain seem morally objectionable, at least when they are performed nonconsensually. This chapter raises a puzzle for attempts to explain their objectionability. It first seeks to show that the objectionability of such interventions must be explained at least in part by reference to the sort of mental interference that they involve. It then argues that it is difficult to furnish an explanation of this sort. The difficulty is that (...)
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  4. added 2020-04-02
    The Future of Neuroethics and the Relevance of the Law.Sjors Ligthart, Thomas Douglas, Christoph Bublitz & Gerben Meynen - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 10 (3):120-121.
    Open Peer Commentary, referring to "Neuroethics at 15: The Current and Future Environment for Neuroethics".
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  5. added 2020-04-02
    The Negative Effects of Neurointerventions: Confusing Constitution and Causation.Thomas Douglas & Hazem Zohny - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 9 (3):162-164.
    Birks and Buyx (2018) claim that, at least in the foreseeable future, nonconsensual neurointerventions will almost certainly suppress some valuable mental states and will thereby impose an objectionable harm to mental integrity—a harm that it is pro tanto wrong to impose. Of course, incarceration also interferes with valuable mental states, so might seem to be objectionable in the same way. However, Birks and Buyx block this result by maintaining that the negative mental effects of incarceration are merely foreseen, whereas those (...)
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  6. added 2020-04-02
    Autonomy and the Ethics of Biological Behaviour Modification.Julian Savulescu, Thomas Douglas & Ingmar Persson - 2014 - In Akira Akabayashi (ed.), The Future of Bioethics: International Dialogues. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Much disease and disability is the result of lifestyle behaviours. For example, the contribution of imprudence in the form of smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and drug and alcohol abuse to ill-health is now well established. More importantly, some of the greatest challenges facing humanity as a whole – climate change, terrorism, global poverty, depletion of resources, abuse of children, overpopulation – are the result of human behaviour. In this chapter, we will explore the possibility of using advances in the (...)
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  7. added 2020-03-28
    The Regulation of Cognitive Enhancement Devices : Extending the Medical Model.Hannah Maslen, Thomas Douglas, Roi Cohen Kadosh, Neil Levy & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Journal of Law and the Biosciences 1 (1):68-93.
    This article presents a model for regulating cognitive enhancement devices. Recently, it has become very easy for individuals to purchase devices which directly modulate brain function. For example, transcranial direct current stimulators are increasingly being produced and marketed online as devices for cognitive enhancement. Despite posing risks in a similar way to medical devices, devices that do not make any therapeutic claims do not have to meet anything more than basic product safety standards. We present the case for extending existing (...)
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  8. added 2020-02-07
    Mind, Meaning and Mental Disorder: The Nature of Causal Explanation in Psychology and Psychiatry.Derek Bolton & Jonathan Hill - 1996 - Oxford University Press.
    This new edition of Mind, Meaning, and Mental Disorder addresses key issues in the philosophy of psychiatry, drawing on both philosophical and scientific theory. The main idea of the book is that causal models of mental disorders have to include meaningful processes as well as any possible lower-level physical causes, and this propsoal is illustrated with detailed discussion of current models of common mental health problems. First published in 1996, this volume played an important role in bridging the gap between (...)
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  9. added 2020-01-21
    Delusion, Proper Function, and Justification.Parker Crutchfield - forthcoming - Neuroethics:1-12.
    Among psychiatric conditions, delusions have received significant attention in the philosophical literature. This is partly due to the fact that many delusions are bizarre, and their contents interesting in and of themselves. But the disproportionate attention is also due to the notion that by studying what happens when perception, cognition, and belief go wrong, we can better understand what happens when these go right. In this paper, I attend to delusions for the second reason—by evaluating the epistemology of delusions, we (...)
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  10. added 2019-12-12
    BCI-Mediated Action, Blame, and Responsibility.Joseph Michael Vukov & Kit Rempala - forthcoming - American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience 11.
    Rainey et al. (forthcoming) discuss the complications that arise with assigning responsibility for brain computer interface (BCI)-mediated actions. Because BCI-mediated actions can differ from non-BCI-mediated actions in terms of control and foreseeability, the authors suggest that our ethical and legal evaluation of these actions may differ in important ways. While we take no issue with the authors’ discussion or conclusion, we also recognize the difficulty of grappling with the relationship between control, foreseeability, and moral responsibility practices, even without the additional (...)
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  11. added 2019-11-22
    Souled Out of Rights? – Predicaments in Protecting the Human Spirit in the Age of Neuromarketing.Alexander Sieber - 2019 - Life Sciences, Society and Policy 15 (6):1-11.
    Modern neurotechnologies are rapidly infringing on conventional notions of human dignity and they are challenging what it means to be human. This article is a survey analysis of the future of the digital age, reflecting primarily on the effects of neurotechnology that violate universal human rights to dignity, self-determination, and privacy. In particular, this article focuses on neuromarketing to critically assess potentially negative social ramifications of under-regulated neurotechnological application. Possible solutions are critically evaluated, including the human rights claim to the (...)
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  12. added 2019-09-24
    Rationally Navigating Subjective Preferences in Memory Modification.Joseph Michael Vukov - forthcoming - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy.
    Discussion of the ethics of memory modification technologies (MMTs) has often focused on questions about the limits of their permissibility. In the current paper, I focus primarily on a different issue: when (if ever) is it rational to prefer MMTs to alternative interventions? The question is crucial. Unless those who condone the use of MMTs offer guidance for navigating among various interventions, their account risks becoming a moral endorsement that says little about what one faced with the option of using (...)
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  13. added 2019-09-08
    Brain-Computer Interfaces and Personhood: Interdisciplinary Deliberations on Neural Technology.Matthew Sample, Marjorie Aunos, Stefanie Blain-Moraes, Christoph Bublitz, Jennifer Chandler, Tiago H. Falk, Orsolya Friedrich, Deanna Groetzinger, Ralf J. Jox & Johannes Koegel - forthcoming - Journal of Neural Engineering.
    Scientists, engineers, and healthcare professionals are currently developing a variety of new devices under the category of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). Current and future applications are both medical/assistive (e.g., for communication) and non-medical (e.g., for gaming). This array of possibilities comes with ethical challenges for all stakeholders. As a result, BCIs have been an object of both hope and concern in various media. We argue that these conflicting sentiments can be productively understood in terms of personhood, specifically the impact of BCIs (...)
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  14. added 2019-09-08
    Two Problematic Foundations of Neuroethics and Pragmatist Reconstructions.Eric Racine & Matthew Sample - 2018 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 27 (4):566-577.
    Common understandings of neuroethics, i.e., of its distinctive nature, are premised on two distinct sets of claims: (1) neuroscience can change views about the nature of ethics itself and neuroethics is dedicated to reaping such an understanding of ethics; (2) neuroscience poses challenges distinct from other areas of medicine and science and neuroethics tackles those issues. Critiques have rightfully challenged both claims, stressing how the first may lead to problematic forms of reductionism while the second relies on debatable assumptions about (...)
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  15. added 2019-08-26
    Geometry and Geography of Morality: S. Matthew Liao : Moral Brains. The Neuroscience of Morality. Oxford University Press, 2016, £ 22.99 PB.Jovan Babić - 2017 - Metascience 26 (3):475-479.
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  16. added 2019-06-07
    Neuroethik – Geschichte, Definition Und Gegenstandsbereich Eines Neuen WissenschaftsgebietsNeuroethics—History, Definition, and Scope of a New Field of Science.Sabine Müller, Merlin Bittlinger, Kirsten Brukamp, Markus Christen, Orsolya Friedrich, Malte-C. Gruber, Jon Leefmann, Grischa Merkel, Saskia K. Nagel, Marco Stier & Ralf J. Jox - 2018 - Ethik in der Medizin 30 (2):91-106.
    ZusammenfassungFünfzehn Jahre nach ihrer Entstehung ist die Neuroethik ein internationales wissenschaftliches Feld mit enormer Dynamik. Innerhalb weniger Jahre wurden eigene Kongresse, Zeitschriften, Forschungsförderprogramme, Fachgesellschaften und Institute gegründet. Gleichwohl besteht erheblicher Dissens über die Definition und den Gegenstandsbereich dieses neuen Gebiets. Wir argumentieren hier für eine differenzierte Konzeption, wonach neben der Reflexion ethischer Probleme der Neurowissenschaft und ihrer überwiegend neurotechnologischen Anwendungen auch die ethische Reflexion neurowissenschaftlicher Forschung zur Moralität zur Neuroethik gehört. Dies umfasst zwar nicht neurowissenschaftliche oder neuropsychologische Studien zur Moralität, (...)
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  17. added 2019-06-06
    Medically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration: The Vegetative State and Beyond: Articles.Jeffrey P. Bishop & Elliott Louis Bedford - 2011 - Christian Bioethics 17 (2):97-104.
  18. added 2019-06-06
    Paper: Neurotrauma and the RUB: Where Tragedy Meets Ethics and Science.G. R. Gillett, S. Honeybul, K. M. Ho & C. R. P. Lind - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (12):727-730.
    Decompressive craniectomy is a technically straightforward procedure whereby a large section of the cranium is temporarily removed in cases where the intracranial pressure is dangerously high. While its use has been described for a number of conditions, it is increasingly used in the context of severe head injury. As the use of the procedure increases, a significant number of patients may survive a severe head injury who otherwise would have died. Unfortunately some of these patients will be left severely disabled; (...)
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  19. added 2019-06-06
    Neuroethical Issues in Neurogenetic and Neuro-Implantation Technology: The Need for Pragmatism and Preparedness in Practice and Policy.James Giordano - 2010 - Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 4 (3).
    This comment responds to a remark made by Meloni et al concerning brain implants and brain-gene transfer—that we ought to give primacy to ethical issues inherent to medical utility rather than speculating on issues of potential misuse. It foregrounds the benefits, burdens and risks as well as how to validate consent to the use of such novel and uncertain techniques. It asks how legal claims would be handled in the absence of historical casuistry—constructs of responsibility and culpability for resultant harms. (...)
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  20. added 2019-06-06
    Moral Responsibility and Mental Illness: A Case Study.Matthew R. Broome, Lisa Bortolotti & Matteo Mameli - 2010 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 19 (2):179-187.
    Various authors have argued that progress in the neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric sciences might threaten the commonsense understanding of how the mind generates behavior, and, as a consequence, it might also threaten the commonsense ways of attributing moral responsibility, if not the very notion of moral responsibility. In the case of actions that result in undesirable outcomes, the commonsense conception—which is reflected in sophisticated ways in the legal conception—tells us that there are circumstances in which the agent is entirely and fully (...)
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  21. added 2019-06-06
    Well-Being and Neuroeconomics: Julian C. Jamison.Julian C. Jamison - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):407-418.
    Neuroscience can contribute to economics by inspiring new models, helping to distinguish models that have similar implications for readily available data, and guiding interpretations of decision-making processes by policy-makers. However, there is an additional less straightforward role for it to play: augmenting, along with survey data and other non-revealed-preference sources, assessments of well-being. The need for such augmentation lies in the slightly bizarre stance taken by modern economic theory, namely that economics is concerned only with choices and not with welfare (...)
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  22. added 2019-06-06
    On an Evolutionary Foundation of Neuroeconomics: Burkhard C. Schipper.Burkhard C. Schipper - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):495-513.
    Neuroeconomics focuses on brain imaging studies mapping neural responses to choice behaviour. Economic theory is concerned with choice behaviour but it is silent on neural activities. We present a game theoretic model in which players are endowed with an additional structure – a simple “nervous system” – and interact repeatedly in changing games. The nervous system constrains information processing functions and behavioural functions. By reinterpreting results from evolutionary game theory, we suggest that nervous systems can develop to “function well” in (...)
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  23. added 2019-06-06
    “Currents of Hope”: Neurostimulation Techniques in U.S. And U.K. Print Media.Eric Racine, Sarah Waldman, Nicole Palmour, David Risse & Judy Illes - 2007 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 16 (3):312-316.
    The application of neurostimulation techniques such as deep brain stimulation —often called a brain pacemaker for neurological conditions like Parkinson's disease —has generated “currents of hope.” Building on this hope, there is significant interest in applying neurostimulation to psychiatric disorders such as major depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. These emerging neurosurgical practices raise a number of important ethical and social questions in matters of resource allocation, informed consent for vulnerable populations, and commercialization of research.
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  24. added 2019-06-05
    Psychiatry's New Manual : Ethical and Conceptual Dimensions: Table 1.J. S. Blumenthal-Barby - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (8):531-536.
    The introduction of the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders in May 2013 is being hailed as the biggest event in psychiatry in the last 10 years. In this paper I examine three important issues that arise from the new manual: Expanding nosology: Psychiatry has again broadened its nosology to include human experiences not previously under its purview . Consequence-based ethical concerns about this expansion are addressed, along with conceptual concerns about a confusion of “construct validity” and “conceptual validity” (...)
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  25. added 2019-06-05
    Cognitive Enhancement, Virtue Ethics and the Good Life.Barbro Elisabeth Esmeralda Fröding - 2011 - Neuroethics 4 (3):223-234.
    This article explores the respective roles that medical and technological cognitive enhancements, on the one hand, and the moral and epistemic virtues traditionally understood, on the other, can play in enabling us to lead the good life. It will be shown that neither the virtues nor cognitive enhancements on their own are likely to enable most people to lead the good life. While the moral and epistemic virtues quite plausibly are both necessary and sufficient for the good life in theory, (...)
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  26. added 2019-03-13
    The Risks of Reducing Consciousness to Neuroimaging.Rob Schwartz & Mirra Schwartz - 2008 - American Journal of Bioethics 8 (9):25 – 26.
  27. added 2019-03-10
    Free Will and Determinism: Political, Not Just Metaphysical.Kyle Johannsen - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 4 (4):65-7.
    This paper is a short commentary on Veljko Dubljevic's "Autonomy in Neuroethics: Political and Not Metaphysical.".
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  28. added 2019-03-06
    Ethical Requisites for Neuroenhancement of Moral Motivation.Francisco Lara - 2017 - Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics 8 (8):159-181.
    No agreement exists among ethical theories on what cancount as a right moral motivation. This hampers us from knowingwhether an intervention in motivation biology can be considered positivefor human morality. To overcome this difficulty, this paper identifiesminimal requirements for moral enhancement that could be accepted bythe major moral theories. Subsequently four possible scenarios are presentedwhere the most promising neural interventions on moral motivationare implemented, by means of drugs, electromagnetic stimulation ofbrain, or biotechnological brain implants. The ultimate goal of this paperis (...)
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  29. added 2019-01-14
    No Going Back? Reversibility and Why It Matters for Deep Brain Stimulation.Jonathan Pugh - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (4):225-230.
    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is frequently described as a ‘reversible’ medical treatment, and the reversibility of DBS is often cited as an important reason for preferring it to brain lesioning procedures as a last resort treatment modality for patients suffering from treatment-refractory conditions. Despite its widespread acceptance, the claim that DBS is reversible has recently come under attack. Critics have pointed out that data are beginning to suggest that there can be non-stimulation-dependent effects of DBS. Furthermore, we lack long-term data (...)
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  30. added 2018-11-01
    Does Neuroscience Undermine Morality?Paul Henne & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2018 - In Gregg D. Caruso & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Neuroexistentialism: Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
  31. added 2018-10-27
    Still Human: A Thomistic Analysis of ‘Persistent Vegetative State’.Stewart Clem - 2019 - Studies in Christian Ethics 32 (1):46-55.
    Would Aquinas hold the view that a patient in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) is something other than a human being? Some recent interpreters have argued for this position. I contend that this reading is grounded in a false symmetry between the three stages of Aquinas’s embryology and the (alleged) three-stage process of death. Instead, I show that there are textual grounds for rejecting the view that the absence of higher brain activity in a patient would lead Aquinas to say (...)
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  32. added 2018-09-21
    The Human Sciences After the Decade of the Brain.Jon Leefmann & Elisabeth Hildt (eds.) - 2017 - London, Vereinigtes Königreich: Elsevier Academic Press.
    The Human Sciences after the Decade of the Brain brings together exciting new works that address today’s key challenges for a mutual interaction between cognitive neuroscience and the social sciences and humanities. Taking up the methodological and conceptual problems of choosing a neuroscience approach to disciplines such as philosophy, history, ethics and education, the book deepens discussions on a range of epistemological, historical, and sociological questions about the "neuro-turn" in the new millennium. The book’s three sections focus on (i) epistemological (...)
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  33. added 2018-09-18
    Placing Pure Experience of Eastern Tradition Into the Neurophysiology of Western Tradition.Andrew And Alexander Fingelkurts - 2019 - Cognitive Neurodynamics 13 (1):121-123.
    While the presence or absence of consciousness plays the central role in the moral/ethical decisions when dealing with patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC), recently it is criticized as not adequate due to number of reasons, among which are the lack of the uniform definition of consciousness and consequently uncertainty of diagnostic criteria for it, as well as irrelevance of some forms of consciousness for determining a patient’s interests and wishes. In her article, Dr. Specker Sullivan reexamined the meaning of (...)
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  34. added 2018-08-15
    Neuroethics and the Neuroscientific Turn.Jon Leefmann & Elisabeth Hildt - 2017 - In L. Syd M. Johnson & Karen S. Rommelfanger (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. New York City, New York, USA: pp. 14-32.
    Stimulated by a general salience of neuroscientific research and the declaration of neuroscience as one of the leading disciplines of the current century, a diversity of disciplines from the social sciences and the humanities have engaged in discussions about the role of the brain in various social and cultural phenomena. The general importance assigned to the brain in so many areas of academic and social life nowadays has been called the ‘neuroscientific turn’. One of the fields that gained particular attention (...)
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  35. added 2018-06-14
    Some Ethical Considerations About the Use of Biomarkers for the Classification of Adult Antisocial Individuals.Marko Jurjako, Luca Malatesti & Inti Brazil - 2019 - International Journal of Forensic Mental Health 18 (3):228-242.
    It has been argued that a biomarker-informed classification system for antisocial individuals has the potential to overcome many obstacles in current conceptualizations of forensic and psychiatric constructs and promises better targeted treatments. However, some have expressed ethical worries about the social impact of the use of biological information for classification. Many have discussed the ethical and legal issues related to possibilities of using biomarkers for predicting antisocial behaviour. We argue that prediction should not raise the most pressing ethical worries. Instead, (...)
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  36. added 2018-06-06
    Do Predictive Brain Implants Threaten Patient's Autonomy or Authenticity?Eldar Sarajlic - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 6 (4):30-32.
    The development of predictive brain implant (PBI) technology that is able to forecast specific neuronal events and advise and/or automatically administer appropriate therapy for diseases of the brain raises a number of ethical issues. Provided that this technology satisfies basic safety and functionality conditions, one of the most pressing questions to address is its relation to the autonomy of patients. As Frederic Gilbert in his article asks, if autonomy implies a certain idea of freedom, or self-government, how can an individual (...)
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  37. added 2018-04-09
    Grounding Responsibility in Something (More) Solid.William Hirstein & Katrina Sifferd - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41.
    The cases that Doris chronicles of confabulation are similar to perceptual illusions in that, while they show the interstices of our perceptual or cognitive system, they fail to establish that our everyday perception or cognition is not for the most part correct. Doris's account in general lacks the resources to make synchronic assessments of responsibility, partially because it fails to make use of knowledge now available to us about what is happening in the brains of agents.
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  38. added 2018-04-04
    Reasons, Reflection, and Repugnance.Doug McConnell & Jeanette Kennett - 2016 - In Alberto Giubilini & Steve Clarke (eds.), The Ethics of Human Enhancement: Understanding the Debate. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter we draw comparisons between Kass’ views on the normative authority of repugnance and social intuitionist accounts of moral judgement which are similarly sceptical about the role of reasoned reflection in moral judgement. We survey the empirical claims made in support of giving moral primacy to intuitions generated by emotions such as repugnance, as well as some common objections. We then examine accounts which integrate intuition and reflection, and argue that plausible accounts of wisdom are in tension with (...)
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  39. added 2018-03-23
    Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice.David Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Traditional means of crime prevention, such as incarceration and psychological rehabilitation, are frequently ineffective. This collection considers how crime preventing neurointerventions could present a more humane alternative but, on the other hand, how neuroscientific developments and interventions may threaten fundamental human values.
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  40. added 2018-01-22
    Getting It Together: Psychological Unity and Deflationary Accounts of Animal Metacognition.Gary Comstock & William A. Bauer - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):431-451.
    Experimenters claim some nonhuman mammals have metacognition. If correct, the results indicate some animal minds are more complex than ordinarily presumed. However, some philosophers argue for a deflationary reading of metacognition experiments, suggesting that the results can be explained in first-order terms. We agree with the deflationary interpretation of the data but we argue that the metacognition research forces the need to recognize a heretofore underappreciated feature in the theory of animal minds, which we call Unity. The disparate mental states (...)
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  41. added 2017-12-03
    When Does Consciousness Matter? Lessons From the Minimally Conscious State.Joseph Vukov - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 9 (1):5-15.
    Patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) fall into a different diagnostic category than patients in the more familiar vegetative states (VS). Not only are MCS patients conscious in some sense, they have a higher chance for recovery than VS patients. Because of these differences, we ostensibly have reason to provide MCS patients with care that goes beyond what we provide to patients with some VS patients. But how to justify this differential treatment? I argue we can’t justify it solely (...)
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  42. added 2017-12-01
    Enduring Questions and the Ethics of Memory Blunting.Joseph Vukov - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (2):227-246.
    Memory blunting is a pharmacological intervention that decreases the emotional salience of memories. The technique promises a brighter future for those suffering from memory-related disorders such as PTSD, but it also raises normative questions about the limits of its permissibility. So far, neuroethicists have staked out two primary camps in response to these questions. In this paper, I argue both are problematic. I then argue for an alternative approach to memory blunting, one that can accommodate the considerations that motivate rival (...)
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  43. added 2017-12-01
    Why Narrative Identity Matters: Preserving Authenticity in Neurosurgical Interventions.Joseph M. Vukov - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience 8 (3):186-88.
    Jecker & Ko (2017) argue that numerical identity is not the only aspect of identity that matters to patients faced with certain neurosurgical interventions. Put differently: surviving an intervention in the numerical sense—being numerically the same person before and after the intervention—is not enough. It also matters whether an intervention preserves a patient’s narrative identity, that is, whether an intervention allows the patient’s “inner story” to continue. I agree with the authors’ conclusion. I believe, however, that further work can be (...)
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  44. added 2017-10-26
    The Morality of Experience Machines for Palliative and End of Life Care.Dan Weijers - 2017 - In Mark Silcox (ed.), Experience Machines: The Philosophy of Virtual Worlds. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 183-201.
    Experience machines, popularized in print by Robert Nozick and on the screen by the Wachowskis’ film The Matrix, provide highly or perfectly realistic experiences that are more pleasant and less painful than those generated in real life.1 The recent surge in virtual reality and neuro-prosthetic technologies is making the creation of real-world experience machines seem inevitable and perhaps imminent.2 Given the likelihood of the near-future availability of such machines, it behooves ethicists to consider the moral status of their potential uses. (...)
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  45. added 2017-10-17
    Egalitarianism and Successful Moral Bioenhancement.Alan T. Wilson - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (4):35-36.
    Robert Sparrow (2014) argues that moral bioenhancement - the project of attempting to improving moral character via medical or biological means - ought to be of great concern to egalitarians. Importantly, Sparrow's argument is meant to apply regardless of whether such bioenhancement is likely to be successful. In this response, I argue against Sparrow's worries concerning successful moral bioenhancement. This response highlights that it may not be possible to separate moral questions of the permissibility of bioenhancement from scientific and conceptual (...)
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  46. added 2017-10-16
    Amoral Enhancement.Saskia E. Verkiel - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (1):52-55.
    Moral enhancement can be an attractive proposal, but contrary to cognitive enhancement, it is hard to define what kind of intervention would constitute moral enhancement. In an ongoing debate about the subject, Douglas argued that biomedically decreasing countermoral emotions would do so and would be morally permissible in particular cases. Harris disagreed, and one of his arguments is that failing to address the intellectual aspects of moral decisions—and simply targeting countermoral emotions—would effectively undermine our freedom by reducing our options to (...)
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  47. added 2017-09-04
    ‘Drugs That Make You Feel Bad’? Remorse-Based Mitigation and Neurointerventions.Jonathan Pugh & Hannah Maslen - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (3):499-522.
    In many jurisdictions, an offender’s remorse is considered to be a relevant factor to take into account in mitigation at sentencing. The growing philosophical interest in the use of neurointerventions in criminal justice raises an important question about such remorse-based mitigation: to what extent should technologically facilitated remorse be honoured such that it is permitted the same penal significance as standard instances of remorse? To motivate this question, we begin by sketching a tripartite account of remorse that distinguishes cognitive, affective (...)
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  48. added 2017-08-03
    Neuro-Interventions as Criminal Rehabilitation: An Ethical Review.Jonathan Pugh & Thomas Douglas - 2017 - In Jonathan D. Jacobs & Jonathan Jackson (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Criminal Justice Ethics. London: Routledge.
    According to a number of influential views in penal theory, 1 one of the primary goals of the criminal justice system is to rehabilitate offenders. Rehabilitativemeasures are commonly included as a part of a criminal sentence. For example, in some jurisdictions judges may order violent offenders to attend anger management classes or to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy as a part of their sentences. In a limited number of cases, neurointerventions — interventions that exert a direct biological effect on the brain (...)
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  49. added 2017-08-02
    Unexpected Complications of Novel Deep Brain Stimulation Treatments: Ethical Issues and Clinical Recommendations.Hannah Maslen, Binith Cheeran, Jonathan Pugh, Laurie Pycroft, Sandra Boccard, Simon Prangnell, Alexander Green, James FitzGerald, Julian Savulescu & Tipu Aziz - forthcoming - Neuromodulation.
    Background -/- Innovative neurosurgical treatments present a number of known risks, the natures and probabilities of which can be adequately communicated to patients via the standard procedures governing obtaining informed consent. However, due to their novelty, these treatments also come with unknown risks, which require an augmented approach to obtaining informed consent. -/- Objective -/- This paper aims to discuss and provide concrete procedural guidance on the ethical issues raised by serious unexpected complications of novel deep brain stimulation treatments. -/- (...)
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  50. added 2017-08-02
    Justifications for Non-­Consensual Medical Intervention: From Infectious Disease Control to Criminal Rehabilitation.Jonathan Pugh & Thomas Douglas - 2016 - Criminal Justice Ethics 35 (3):205-229.
    A central tenet of medical ethics holds that it is permissible to perform a medical intervention on a competent individual only if that individual has given informed consent to the intervention. However, in some circumstances it is tempting to say that the moral reason to obtain informed consent prior to administering a medical intervention is outweighed. For example, if an individual’s refusal to undergo a medical intervention would lead to the transmission of a dangerous infectious disease to other members of (...)
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