Public Attitudes Toward Cognitive Enhancement

Neuroethics 7 (2):173-188 (2014)

Authors
Roland Nadler
Harvard University
Peter B. Reiner
University of British Columbia
Nicholas Fitz
University of British Columbia
Abstract
Vigorous debate over the moral propriety of cognitive enhancement exists, but the views of the public have been largely absent from the discussion. To address this gap in our knowledge, four experiments were carried out with contrastive vignettes in order to obtain quantitative data on public attitudes towards cognitive enhancement. The data collected suggest that the public is sensitive to and capable of understanding the four cardinal concerns identified by neuroethicists, and tend to cautiously accept cognitive enhancement even as they recognize its potential perils. The public is biopolitically moderate, endorses both meritocratic principles and the intrinsic value of hard work, and appears to be sensitive to the salient moral issues raised in the debate. Taken together, these data suggest that public attitudes toward enhancement are sufficiently sophisticated to merit inclusion in policy deliberations, especially if we seek to align public sentiment and policy
Keywords Cognitive enhancement  Attitudes  Fairness  Authenticity  Experimental neuroethics  Regulatory policy  Moral psychology  Pressure  Experimental philosophy  Medical sociology
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DOI 10.1007/s12152-013-9190-z
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The Weirdest People in the World?Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):61-83.

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The Epistemology of Cognitive Enhancement.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (2):220-242.

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