Pharmacological Cognitive Enhancement and Cheapened Achievement: A New Dilemma

Neuroethics 14 (3):409-421 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recent discussions of cognitive enhancement often note that drugs and technologies that improve cognitive performance may do so at the risk of “cheapening” our resulting cognitive achievements Arguing about bioethics, Routledge, London, 2012; Harris in Bioethics 25:102–111, 2011). While there are several possible responses to this worry, we will highlight what we take to be one of the most promising—one which draws on a recent strand of thinking in social and virtue epistemology to construct an integrationist defence of cognitive enhancement.. According to such a line, there is—despite initial appearances to the contrary—no genuine tension between using enhancements to attain our goals and achieving these goals in a valuable way provided the relevant enhancement is appropriately integrated into the agent’s cognitive architecture. In this paper, however, we show that the kind of integration recommended by such views will likely come at a high cost. More specifically, we highlight a dilemma for users of pharmacological cognitive enhancement: they can meet the conditions for cognitive integration at the significant risk of dangerous dependency, or remain free of such dependency while foregoing integration and the valuable achievements that such integration enables. After motivating and clarifying the import of this dilemma, we offer recommendations for how future cognitive enhancement research may offer potential routes for navigating past it.

Similar books and articles

The Epistemology of Cognitive Enhancement.J. Adam Carter & Duncan Pritchard - 2016 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy (2):220-242.
Integration of cognitive and moral enhancement.Vojin Rakic - 2012 - Filozofija I Društvo 23 (2):91-103.
Cognitive Enhancement: Methods, Ethics, Regulatory Challenges. [REVIEW]Nick Bostrom - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):311-341.
Cognitive extension, enhancement, and the phenomenology of thinking.Philip J. Walsh - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (1):33-51.
An aristotelian approach to cognitive enhancement.Lubomira Radoilska - 2010 - Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (3):365–375.
The perils of moral enhancement.Aleksandar Dobrijevic - 2012 - Filozofija I Društvo 23 (2):104-110.
Cognitive enhancement. Effort of definition, and methods.Artur Gunia - 2015 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies 6 (2-3):35-56.
The Myth of Cognitive Enhancement Drugs.Hazem Zohny - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (3):257-269.
On Ritalin, Adderall, and Cognitive Enhancement: Metaethics, Bioethics, Neuroethics.Nythamar de Oliveira - 2016 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 15 (3):343-368.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-09-22

Downloads
560 (#32,869)

6 months
146 (#24,413)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Emma C. Gordon
University of Glasgow

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

A virtue epistemology.Ernest Sosa - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence.Andy Clark - 2003 - Oxford University Press. Edited by Alberto Peruzzi.
Unfit for the Future: The Need for Moral Enhancement.Ingmar Persson & Julian Savulescu - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by Julian Savulescu.

View all 45 references / Add more references