If you’re smart, we’ll make you smarter: Applying the reasoning behind the development of honours programmes to other forms of cognitive enhancement

In Federica Lucivero & Anton Vedder (eds.), Beyond Therapy v. Enhancement? Multidisciplinary analyses of a heated debate. Pisa University Press. pp. 117-142 (2013)

Authors
Pim Haselager
Radboud University Nijmegen
Anco Peeters
University of Wollongong
Abstract
Students using Ritalin in preparation for their exams is a hotly debated issue, while meditating or drinking coffee before those same exams is deemed uncontroversial. However, taking Ritalin, meditating and drinking coffee or even education in general, can all be considered forms of cognitive enhancement. Although social acceptance might change in the future, it is interesting to examine the current reasons that are used to distinguish cases deemed problematic or unproblematic. Why are some forms of cognitive enhancement considered problematic, while others are not? In this paper, we consider cognitive enhancement as the amplification or extension of core capacities of the mind, using augmentation or improvements of our information-processing systems. We will analyse cognitive enhancement in an educational setting in order to clarify the fuzzy distinction between problematic and unproblematic forms of cognitive enhancement. We will show that the apparent distinction made by many people between problematic and unproblematic enhancement is not based on any fundamental difference between these two categories.
Keywords cognitive enhancement  honours programme  problematic enhancers  virtue ethics  tDCS  Ritalin  methylphenidate  honors program  cheating  human enhancement
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References found in this work BETA

Cognitive Enhancement: Methods, Ethics, Regulatory Challenges. [REVIEW]Nick Bostrom - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):311-341.
Cognitive Enhancement, Cheating, and Accomplishment.Rob Goodman - 2010 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 20 (2):pp. 145-160.

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Citations of this work BETA

Cognitive Enhancement: Treating or Cheating?Leslie M. Whetstine - 2015 - Seminars in Pediatric Neurology 22 (3):172-176.

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