Bioethics 31 (5):328-337 (2017)

Guy Kahane
Oxford University
Neuroethics is an interdisciplinary field that arose in response to novel ethical challenges posed by advances in neuroscience. Historically, neuroethics has provided an opportunity to synergize different disciplines, notably proposing a two-way dialogue between an ‘ethics of neuroscience’ and a ‘neuroscience of ethics’. However, questions surface as to whether a ‘neuroscience of ethics’ is a useful and unified branch of research and whether it can actually inform or lead to theoretical insights and transferable practical knowledge to help resolve ethical questions. In this article, we examine why the neuroscience of ethics is a promising area of research and summarize what we have learned so far regarding its most promising goals and contributions. We then review some of the key methodological challenges which may have hindered the use of results generated thus far by the neuroscience of ethics. Strategies are suggested to address these challenges and improve the quality of research and increase neuroscience's usefulness for applied ethics and society at large. Finally, we reflect on potential outcomes of a neuroscience of ethics and discuss the different strategies that could be used to support knowledge transfer to help different stakeholders integrate knowledge from the neuroscience of ethics.
Keywords practical ethics  neuroscience ethics  methodology  translation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/bioe.12357
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,464
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Two Problematic Foundations of Neuroethics and Pragmatist Reconstructions.Eric Racine & Matthew Sample - 2018 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 27 (4):566-577.
Three Rationales for a Legal Right to Mental Integrity.Thomas Douglas & Lisa Forsberg - 2021 - In S. Ligthart, D. van Toor, T. Kooijmans, T. Douglas & G. Meynen (eds.), Neurolaw: Advances in Neuroscience, Justice and Security. Palgrave Macmillan.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Neuroethics.Katrina Sifferd - 2016 - In Vilayanur Ramachandran (ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, 3e. Elsevier.
Neuroscience of Ethics: The State of Art and the Promises for the Future.Cinara Nahra - 2011 - [email protected] - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 10 (1):109-132.
Neurolaw: Neuroscience, Ethics, and Law. Review Essay.Gerben Meynen - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):819-829.
Anthropological Challenges Raised by Neuroscience: Some Ethical Reflections.Hubert Doucet - 2007 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 16 (2):219-226.
Neuroethics and the Scientific Revision of Common Sense.Nada Gligorov - 2016 - Springer, Studies in Brain and Mind, Vol. 11.
Pragmatism and the Contribution of Neuroscience to Ethics.Eric Racine - 2013 - Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism 21 (1):13-30.
Emerging Ethical Issues in Neuroscience.Martha Farah - 2001 - Nature Neuroscience 5:1123 - 1129.
Minds, Brains, and Norms.Dennis Patterson - 2011 - Neuroethics 4 (3):179-190.


Added to PP index

Total views
56 ( #204,972 of 2,520,426 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #137,518 of 2,520,426 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes