Responsible Research and Innovation is an important ethical, legal, and political theme for the European Commission. Although variously defined, it is generally understood as an interactive process that engages social actors, researchers, and innovators who must be mutually responsive and work towards the ethical permissibility of the relevant research and its products. The framework of RRI calls for contextually addressing not just research and innovation impact but also the background research process, specially the societal visions underlying it and the norms (...) and priorities that shape scientific agendas. This requires the integration of anticipatory, inclusive, and responsive dimensions, and the nurturing of a certain type of reflexivity among a variety of stakeholders, from scientists to funders. In this paper, we do not address potential limitations but focus on the potential contribution of philosophical reflection to RRI in the context of the Ethics and Society subproject of the Human Brain Project. We show how the type of conceptual analysis provided by philosophically oriented approaches theoretically and ethically broadens research and innovation within the HBP. We further suggest that overt inclusion of philosophical reflection can promote the aims and objectives of RRI. (shrink)
Recently, some have proposed moral bioenhancement as a solution to the serious moral evils that humans face. Seemingly disillusioned with traditional methods of moral education, proponents of bioenhancement believe that we should pursue and apply biotechnological means to morally enhance human beings. Such proposal has generated a lively debate about the permissibility of moral bioenhancement. We argue here that such debate is specious. The claim that moral bioenhancement is a solution - whether permissible or not - to the serious moral (...) problems that affect human beings is based on several problematic framing assumptions. We evaluate here three of such assumptions: the first rests on a contested understanding of morality, the second consist in a mistaken conception of human moral problems, and the third relates to problematic presuppositions grounding the interpretation of existent scientific evidence presented to defend moral bioenhancement. Once these framing assumptions are identified and critically evaluated, it becomes clear that the moral bioenhancement debate is misguided. (shrink)
Recently, some have proposed moral bioenhancement as a solution to the serious moral evils that humans face. Seemingly disillusioned with traditional methods of moral education, proponents of bioenhancement believe that we should pursue and apply biotechnological means to morally enhance human beings. Such proposal has generated a lively debate about the permissibility of moral bioenhancement. We argue here that such debate is specious. The claim that moral bioenhancement is a solution – whether permissible or not – to the serious moral (...) problems that affect human beings is based on several problematic framing assumptions. We evaluate here three of such assumptions: the first rests on a contested understanding of morality, the second consist in a mistaken conception of human moral problems, and the third relates to problematic presuppositions grounding the interpretation of existent scientific evidence presented to defend moral bioenhancement. Once these framing assumptions are identified and critically evaluated, it becomes clear that the moral bioenhancement debate is misguided. (shrink)
:In this article, we begin by identifying three main neuroethical approaches: neurobioethics, empirical neuroethics, and conceptual neuroethics. Our focus is on conceptual approaches that generally emphasize the need to develop and use a methodological modus operandi for effectively linking scientific and philosophical interpretations. We explain and assess the value of conceptual neuroethics approaches and explain and defend one such approach that we propose as being particularly fruitful for addressing the various issues raised by neuroscience: fundamental neuroethics.
The recently published BRAIN 2.0 Neuroethics Report offers a very helpful overview of the possible ethical, social, philosophical, and legal issues raised by neuroscience in the context of BRAIN’s research priorities thus contributing to the attempt to develop ethically sound neuroscience. In this article, we turn to a running theme of the document: the need for an ethical framework for the BRAIN Initiative and for further integration of neuroethics and neuroscience. We assess some of the issues raised and provide an (...) explanation of how we have addressed them in the Human Brain Project. We offer our experience in the HBP as a potential contribution to the international debate about neuroethics in the big brain initiatives. Our hope is that among other things, the type of exchange proposed by this AJOB special issue will prove productive in further identifying and discussing the issues and in inspiring appropriate solutions. (shrink)
Ethical reflection on Artificial Intelligence has become a priority. In this article, we propose a methodological model for a comprehensive ethical analysis of some uses of AI, notably as a replacement of human actors in specific activities. We emphasize the need for conceptual clarification of relevant key terms in order to undertake such reflection. Against that background, we distinguish two levels of ethical analysis, one practical and one theoretical. Focusing on the state of AI at present, we suggest that regardless (...) of the presence of intelligence, the lack of morally relevant features calls for caution when considering the role of AI in some specific human activities. (shrink)
Increasingly, national governments across the globe are prioritizing investments in neuroscience. Currently, seven active or in-development national-level brain research initiatives exist, spanning four continents. Engaging with the underlying values and ethical concerns that drive brain research across cultural and continental divides is critical to future research. Culture influences what kinds of science are supported and where science can be conducted through ethical frameworks and evaluations of risk. Neuroscientists and philosophers alike have found themselves together encountering perennial questions; these questions are (...) engaged by the field of neuroethics, related to the nature of understanding the self and identity, the existence and meaning of free will, defining the role of reason in human behavior, and more. With this Perspective article, we aim to prioritize and advance to the foreground a list of neuroethics questions for neuroscientists operating in the context of these international brain initiatives. (shrink)
In this article, the authors focus on Argentina's activity in the developing field of regenerative medicine, specifically stem cell research. They take as a starting point a recent article by Shawn Harmon (published in this journal) who argues that attempts to regulate the practice in Argentina are morally incoherent. The authors try to show first, that there is no such ‘attempt to legislate’ on stem cell research in Argentina and this is due to a number of reasons that they explain. (...) Second, by examining the role played by different values, conflicting legal and moral views, and the influence of various actors, they attempt to show that the legislative silence regarding stem cell research may not necessarily be a manifestation of a legal/moral disconnection but rather a survival strategy for navigating the long and heated battle on the moral status of the embryo and the kind of treatment it deserves. (shrink)
AI research is growing rapidly raising various ethical issues related to safety, risks, and other effects widely discussed in the literature. We believe that in order to adequately address those issues and engage in a productive normative discussion it is necessary to examine key concepts and categories. One such category is anthropomorphism. It is a well-known fact that AI’s functionalities and innovations are often anthropomorphized. The general public’s anthropomorphic attitudes and some of their ethical consequences have been widely discussed in (...) the literature. However, how anthropomorphism permeates AI research itself, and what the epistemological and ethical consequences of this might be have received less attention. In this paper we explore this issue. We first set the methodological/theoretical stage, making a distinction between a normative and a conceptual approach to the issues. Next, after a brief analysis of anthropomorphism and its manifestations in the public, we explore its presence within AI research with a particular focus on brain-inspired AI. Finally, on the basis of our analysis, we identify some potential epistemological and ethical consequences of the use of anthropomorphic language and discourse within the AI research community, thus reinforcing the need of complementing the practical with a conceptual analysis. (shrink)
Within the last decades, brain science has been offering new insights into the relationship among diverse psychological processes and the neural correlates of our moral thought and behavior. Despite the distinction between the explanatory/descriptive nature of science and the normative nature of morality, some neuroethicists have claimed that neuroscientific findings have normative implications. In this paper, I identify three interpretations of the claim.The first focuses on neuroscience’s role in explaining the origin of morality and of moral values and how neurobiology (...) is the bases of moral behavior. A second version is about the role that neuroscientific knowledge can play in showing the psychological plausibility of the moral psychology underlying some ethical approaches. Finally, a third version advances that neuroscience could play a role in determining the moral plausibility of some normative approaches.My aim is to delineate each version and highlight the issues raised to suggest that while neuroscience might provide information regarding the nature of moral reasoning, its role in the normative discussion itself is still quite limited. (shrink)
:Given the cultural psychoanalytic tradition that shapes the thought of Argentineans and their current skepticism with regard to neurosciences when it comes to understanding human behavior, this article addresses the question of how a healthy neuroethics can develop in the country.
Neurosurgery for psychiatric disorders, also sometimes referred to as psychosurgery, is rapidly evolving, with new techniques and indications being investigated actively. Many within the field have suggested that some form of guidelines or regulations are needed to help ensure that a promising field develops safely. Multiple countries have enacted specific laws regulating NPD. This article reviews NPD-specific laws drawn from North and South America, Asia and Europe, in order to identify the typical form and contents of these laws and to (...) set the groundwork for the design of an optimal regulation for the field. Key challenges for this design that are revealed by the review are how to define the scope of the law, what types of regulations are required, and how to approach international harmonization given the potential migration of researchers and patients. (shrink)
This paper explores the implications for medical decision-making of the communitarian view. The launching point is a sketch and clarification of the communitarian view which I characterize in terms of its fundamental commitment to the relational self. This commitment poses a challenge to much traditional work in bioethics for it asks us to start focusing not on rights and individualistic conceptions of interests and autonomy but on those values needed to sustain communities. I attempt to show that while some of (...) the communitarian objections to conventional bioethical approaches have brought to the fore aspects of moral experience that must be taken seriously, the communitarian vision does not succeed in discrediting bioethics “patient-centeredness” rightly understood. (shrink)
Salud reproductiva, legislación y opciones de maternidad brings together articles by fourteen Spanish scholars of law, philosophy, psychology, bioethics, and aesthetics that focus on a central and pressing issue within feminist thought: traditional conceptions of motherhood and how they shape people’s understanding of reproduction, reproductive choices, and women’s agency. The volume includes essays with diverse theoretical and methodological approaches. The organizing thesis is that a fruitful investigation of the issues surrounding reproduction and particularly abortion must challenge the fixed and mistaken (...) set of understandings that have historically been... (shrink)
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