Upgrading Discussions of Cognitive Enhancement

Neuroethics 9 (1):53-67 (2016)

Abstract
Advocates of cognitive enhancement maintain that technological advances would augment autonomy indirectly by expanding the range of options available to individuals, while, in a recent article in this journal, Schaefer, Kahane, and Savulescu propose that cognitive enhancement would improve it more directly. Here, autonomy, construed in broad procedural terms, is at the fore. In contrast, when lauding the goodness of enhancement expressly, supporters’ line of argument is utilitarian, of an ideal variety. An inherent conflict results, for, within their utilitarian frame, the content of rational, hence autonomous, choices is quite restricted. Further, advocates do not clearly indicate their relative emphasis between the often conflicting goals of maximizing benefit and avoiding harm. In practice, their construction of harms is highly expansive, for disabilities include any constraints that “rational” people would decline if it were technically possible to do so. For advocates, this means that where enhancement measures are available, those constraints become avoidable limitations, and not to remove them is to harm. The centrality of harm-avoidance and their ideal utilitarian frame entail sociopolitical requirements that enhancement defenders disallow when trumpeting autonomy in the vein of individual choice. Advocates have thus not done enough to support the claim that their views are wholly separate from earlier eugenics.
Keywords Cognitive enhancement  Autonomy  Utilitarianism  Harm  Eugenics
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s12152-016-9253-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 48,824
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

Reasons and Persons.Joseph Margolis - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (2):311-327.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
The Future of Human Nature.Jurgen Habermas - 2004 - Philosophy 79 (309):483-486.

View all 28 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Integration of Cognitive and Moral Enhancement.Vojin Rakic - 2012 - Filozofija I Društvo 23 (2):91-103.
The Perils of Moral Enhancement.Aleksandar Dobrijevic - 2012 - Filozofija I Društvo 23 (2):104-110.
Cognitive Enhancement: Methods, Ethics, Regulatory Challenges. [REVIEW]Nick Bostrom - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):311-341.
Cognitive Disability in a Society of Equals.Jonathan Wolff - 2009 - Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):402-415.
Cognitive Extension, Enhancement, and the Phenomenology of Thinking.Philip Walsh - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (1):33-51.
Moral Enhancement.Thomas Douglas - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.
The Current Debate:(C+ M) E and Ultimate Harm.Vojin Rakic - 2012 - Filozofija I Društvo 23 (4):87-96.
Moral Enhancement and Freedom.John Harris - 2011 - Bioethics 25 (2):102-111.
Voluntary Moral Enhancement and the Survival-at-Any-Cost Bias.V. Raki - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (4):246-250.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-03-19

Total views
22 ( #435,696 of 2,309,317 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #524,342 of 2,309,317 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature