Neuroethics

Edited by L. Syd M Johnson (SUNY Upstate Medical University)
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  1. What It Might Be Like to Be a Group Agent.Max F. Kramer - forthcoming - Neuroethics:1-11.
    Many theorists have defended the claim that collective entities can attain genuine agential status. If collectives can be agents, this opens up a further question: can they be conscious? That is, is there something that it is like to be them? Eric Schwitzgebel [1] argues that yes, collective entities (including the United States, taken as a whole), may well be significantly conscious. Others, including Kammerer [2], Tononi and Koch [3], and List [4] reject the claim. List does so on the (...)
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  2. Optogenetic Memory Modification and the Many Facets of Authenticity.Alexandre Erler - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 12 (1):40-42.
    Open Peer Commentary on P. Zawadzki and A. K. Adamczyk's target article in AJOB Neuroscience on the potential of optogenetics for memory modification. I argue for a radically pluralistic understanding of the notion of authenticity, and highlight the need to further clarify the specific nature of the authors' concern about authenticity, as well as its policy implications.
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  3. Pattern Theory of Self and Situating Moral Aspects: The Need to Include Authenticity, Autonomy and Responsibility in Understanding the Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation.Przemysław Zawadzki - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-24.
    The aims of this paper are to: identify the best framework for comprehending multidimensional impact of deep brain stimulation on the self; identify weaknesses of this framework; propose refinements to it; in pursuing, show why and how this framework should be extended with additional moral aspects and demonstrate their interrelations; define how moral aspects relate to the framework; show the potential consequences of including moral aspects on evaluating DBS’s impact on patients’ selves. Regarding, I argue that the pattern theory of (...)
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  4. Personal Identity and Self-Regarding Choice in Medical Ethics.Lucie White - 2020 - In Michael Kühler & Veselin Mitrović (eds.), Theories of the Self and Autonomy in Medical Ethics. pp. 31-47.
    When talking about personal identity in the context of medical ethics, ethicists tend to borrow haphazardly from different philosophical notions of personal identity, or to abjure these abstract metaphysical concerns as having nothing to do with practical questions in medical ethics. In fact, part of the moral authority for respecting a patient’s self-regarding decisions can only be made sense of if we make certain assumptions that are central to a particular, psychological picture of personal identity, namely, that patients will remain (...)
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  5. Neuro-Doping and the Value of Effort in Endurance Sports.Alexandre Erler - 2020 - Neuroethics:1-13.
    The enhancement of athletic performance using procedures that increase physical ability, such as anabolic steroids, is a familiar phenomenon. Yet recent years have also witnessed the rise of direct interventions into the brain, referred to as “neuro-doping”, that promise to also enhance sports performance. This paper discusses one potential objection to neuro-doping, based on the contribution to athletic achievement, particularly within endurance sports, of effortfully overcoming inner challenges. After introducing the practice of neuro-doping, and the controversies surrounding it, I describe (...)
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  6. In Defence of the Hivemind Society.John Danaher & Steve Petersen - forthcoming - Neuroethics:1-15.
    The idea that humans should abandon their individuality and use technology to bind themselves together into hivemind societies seems both farfetched and frightening – something that is redolent of the worst dystopias from science fiction. In this article, we argue that these common reactions to the ideal of a hivemind society are mistaken. The idea that humans could form hiveminds is sufficiently plausible for its axiological consequences to be taken seriously. Furthermore, far from being a dystopian nightmare, the hivemind society (...)
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  7. Extrapolating From Laboratory Behavioral Research on Nonhuman Primates Is Unjustified.Parker Crutchfield - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (4):628-645.
    Conducting research on animals is supposed to be valuable because it provides information on how human mechanisms work. But for the use of animal models to be ethically justified, it must be epistemically justified. The inference from an observation about an animal model to a conclusion about humans must be warranted for the use of animals to be moral. When researchers infer from animals to humans, it’s an extrapolation. Often non-human primates are used as animal models in laboratory behavioral research. (...)
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  8. Neuroenhancement, Coercion, and Neo-Luddism.Alexandre Erler - 2020 - In Nicole A. Vincent, Thomas Nadelhoffer & Allan McCay (eds.), Neurointerventions and the Law: Regulating Human Mental Capacity. New York, NY, USA: pp. 375-405.
    This chapter addresses the claim that, as new types of neurointervention get developed allowing us to enhance various aspects of our mental functioning, we should work to prevent the use of such interventions from ever becoming the “new normal,” that is, a practice expected—even if not directly required—by employers. The author’s response to that claim is that, unlike compulsion or most cases of direct coercion, indirect coercion to use such neurointerventions is, per se, no more problematic than the pressure people (...)
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  9. Justice Without Retribution: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Stakeholder Views and Practical Implications.Farah Focquaert, Gregg Caruso, Elizabeth Shaw & Derk Pereboom - 2020 - Neuroethics 13 (1):1-3.
    Within the United States, the most prominent justification for criminal punishment is retributivism. This retributivist justification for punishment maintains that punishment of a wrongdoer is justified for the reason that she deserves something bad to happen to her just because she has knowingly done wrong—this could include pain, deprivation, or death. For the retributivist, it is the basic desert attached to the criminal’s immoral action alone that provides the justification for punishment. This means that the retributivist position is not reducible (...)
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  10. Justice without Retribution: An Epistemic Argument against Retributive Criminal Punishment.Gregg D. Caruso - 2020 - Neuroethics 13 (1):13-28.
    Within the United States, the most prominent justification for criminal punishment is retributivism. This retributivist justification for punishment maintains that punishment of a wrongdoer is justified for the reason that she deserves something bad to happen to her just because she has knowingly done wrong—this could include pain, deprivation, or death. For the retributivist, it is the basic desert attached to the criminal’s immoral action alone that provides the justification for punishment. This means that the retributivist position is not reducible (...)
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  11. A Dilemma For Neurodiversity.Kenneth Shields & David Beversdorf - 2020 - Neuroethics:1-17.
    One way to determine whether a mental condition should be considered a disorder is to first give necessary and sufficient conditions for something to be a disorder and then see if it meets these conditions. But this approach has been criticized for begging normative questions. Concerning autism, a neurodiversity movement has arisen with essentially two aims: advocate for the rights and interests of individuals with autism, and de-pathologize autism. We argue that denying autism’s disorder status could undermine autism’s exculpatory role (...)
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  12. Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction.Benjamin D. Young & Carolyn Dicey Jennings (eds.) - forthcoming - Routledge.
    Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction is specifically designed for interdisciplinary audiences. The textbook will offer a comprehensive overview of a wide range of contemporary topics that are relevant to the study of mind. Each chapter will situate current philosophical research and neuroscientific findings within historically relevant debates in philosophy of cognitive science. By situating cutting-edge research within the theoretical trajectory of the field, students will gain a fundamental understanding of the cognitive neurosciences, as well as the progressive nature (...)
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  13. Some Ethics of Deep Brain Stimulation.Joshua August Skorburg & Walter Sinnott Armstrong - 2020 - In Dan Stein & Ilina Singh (eds.), Global Mental Health and Neuroethics. London, UK: pp. 117-132.
    Case reports about patients undergoing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for various motor and psychiatric disorders - including Parkinson’s Disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Treatment Resistant Depression - have sparked a vast literature in neuroethics. Questions about whether and how DBS changes the self have been at the fore. The present chapter brings these neuroethical debates into conversation with recent research in moral psychology. We begin in Section 1 by reviewing the recent clinical literature on DBS. In Section 2, we consider (...)
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  14. Bottom Up Ethics - Neuroenhancement in Education and Employment.Hub Zwart, Márton Varju, Vincent Torre, Helge Torgersen, Winnie Toonders, Han Somsen, Ilina Singh, Simone Seyringer, Júlio Santos, Judit Sándor, Núria Saladié, Gema Revuelta, Alexandre Quintanilha, Salvör Nordal, Anna Meijknecht, Sheena Laursen, Nicole Kronberger, Christian Hofmaier, Elisabeth Hildt, Juergen Hampel, Peter Eduard, Rui Cunha, Agnes Allansdottir, George Gaskell & Imre Bard - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (3):309-322.
    Neuroenhancement involves the use of neurotechnologies to improve cognitive, affective or behavioural functioning, where these are not judged to be clinically impaired. Questions about enhancement have become one of the key topics of neuroethics over the past decade. The current study draws on in-depth public engagement activities in ten European countries giving a bottom-up perspective on the ethics and desirability of enhancement. This informed the design of an online contrastive vignette experiment that was administered to representative samples of 1000 respondents (...)
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  15. Metamorality without Moral Truth.Steven R. Kraaijeveld & Hanno Sauer - 2018 - Neuroethics 12 (2):119-131.
    Recently, Joshua Greene has argued that we need a metamorality to solve moral problems for which evolution has not prepared us. The metamorality that he proposes is a utilitarian account that he calls deep pragmatism. Deep pragmatism is supposed to arbitrate when the values espoused by different groups clash. To date, no systematic appraisal of this argument for a metamorality exists. We reconstruct Greene’s case for deep pragmatism as a metamorality and consider three lines of objection to it. We argue (...)
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  16. Enhancement, Authenticity, and Social Acceptance in the Age of Individualism.Nicolae Morar & Daniel R. Kelly - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 10 (1):51-53.
    Public attitudes concerning cognitive enhancements are significant for a number of reasons. They tell us about how socially acceptable these emerging technologies are considered to be, but they also provide a window into the ethical reasons that are likely to get traction in the ongoing debates about them. We thus see Conrad et al’s project of empirically investigating the effect of metaphors and context in shaping attitudes about cognitive enhancements as both interesting and important. We sketch what we suspect is (...)
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  17. Moral Bio-Enhancement, Freedom, Value and the Parity Principle.Jonathan Pugh - 2019 - Topoi 38 (1):73-86.
    A prominent objection to non-cognitive moral bio-enhancements is that they would compromise the recipient’s ‘freedom to fall’. I begin by discussing some ambiguities in this objection, before outlining an Aristotelian reading of it. I suggest that this reading may help to forestall Persson and Savulescu’s ‘God-Machine’ criticism; however, I suggest that the objection still faces the problem of explaining why the value of moral conformity is insufficient to outweigh the value of the freedom to fall itself. I also question whether (...)
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  18. The Moral Obligation to Prioritize Research Into Deep Brain Stimulation Over Brain Lesioning Procedures for Severe Enduring Anorexia Nervosa.Jonathan Pugh, Jacinta Tan, Tipu Aziz & Rebecca J. Park - forthcoming - Frontiers in Psychiatry 9:523.
    Deep Brain Stimulation is currently being investigated as an experimental treatment for patients suffering from treatment-refractory AN, with an increasing number of case reports and small-scale trials published. Although still at an exploratory and experimental stage, initial results have been promising. Despite the risks associated with an invasive neurosurgical procedure and the long-term implantation of a foreign body, DBS has a number of advantageous features for patients with SE-AN. Stimulation can be fine-tuned to the specific needs of the particular patient, (...)
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  19. The Cognitive Basis of Commonsense Morality.Nada Gligorov - forthcoming - Journal of Cognitive Enhancement.
    The established two tracks of neuroenhancement, moral and cognitive enhancements, rest on the characterization of commonsense morality as a set of static psychological dispositions. In this paper, I challenge this way of describing commonsense morality. I draw a parallel between commonsense psychology and commonsense morality, and I propose that the right way to characterize commonsense morality is as an empirically evaluable theory, with a structure similar to a scientific theory. I argue further that psychological dispositions to react in certain ways (...)
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  20. Coercion and the Neurocorrective Offer.Jonathan Pugh - forthcoming - In David Rhys Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.), reatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice. Oxford, UK:
    According to what Douglas calls ‘the consent requirement’, neuro-correctives can only permissibly be provided with the valid consent of the offender who will undergo the intervention. Some of those who endorse the consent requirement have claimed that even though the requirement prohibits the imposition of mandatory neurocorrectives on criminal offenders, it may yet be permissible to offer offenders the opportunity to consent to undergoing such an intervention, in return for a reduction to their penal sentence. I call this the neurocorrective (...)
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  21. Telling the Truth About Pain: Informed Consent and the Role of Expectation in Pain Intensity.Nada Gligorov - 2018 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 9 (3):173-182.
    Health care providers are expected both to relieve pain and to provide anticipatory guidance regarding how much a procedure is going to hurt. Fulfilling those expectations is complicated by the cognitive modulation of pain perception. Warning people to expect pain or setting expectations for pain relief not only influences their subjective experience, but it also alters how nociceptive stimuli are processed throughout the sensory and discriminative pathways in the brain. In light of this, I reconsider the characterization of placebo analgesia (...)
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  22. Bottom Up Ethics - Neuroenhancement in Education and Employment.Imre Bard, George Gaskell, Agnes Allansdottir, Rui Vieira da Cunha, Peter Eduard, Juergen Hampel, Elisabeth Hildt, Christian Hofmaier, Nicole Kronberger, Sheena Laursen, Anna Meijknecht, Salvör Nordal, Alexandre Quintanilha, Gema Revuelta, Núria Saladié, Judit Sándor, Júlio Borlido Santos, Simone Seyringer, Ilina Singh, Han Somsen, Winnie Toonders, Helge Torgersen, Vincent Torre, Márton Varju & Hub Zwart - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (3):309-322.
    Neuroenhancement involves the use of neurotechnologies to improve cognitive, affective or behavioural functioning, where these are not judged to be clinically impaired. Questions about enhancement have become one of the key topics of neuroethics over the past decade. The current study draws on in-depth public engagement activities in ten European countries giving a bottom-up perspective on the ethics and desirability of enhancement. This informed the design of an online contrastive vignette experiment that was administered to representative samples of 1000 respondents (...)
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  23. The Art of Living with NZT and ICT: Dialectics of an Artistic Case Study.Hub Zwart - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (2):353-356.
    I wholeheartedly sympathize conceptually with Coeckelbergh’s paper. The dialectical relationship between vulnerability and technology constitutes the core of Hegel’s Master and Slave. Yet, the empirical dimension is underdeveloped and Coeckelbergh’s ideas could profit from exposure to case studies. Building on a movie/novel devoted to vulnerability coping and living with ICT, I challenge the claim that modern heroism entails overcoming vulnerability with the help of enhancement and computers.
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  24. Relational Agency: Yes—But How Far? Vulnerability and the Moral Self.Nicolae Morar & Joshua August Skorburg - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 8 (2):83-85.
    Peer commentary on: Goering, S., Klein, E., Dougherty, D. D., & Widge, A. S. (2017). Staying in the loop: Relational agency and identity in next-generation DBS for psychiatry. AJOB Neuroscience, 8(2), 59-70.
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  25. Taking Drugs to Help Others.Thomas Douglas - 2016 - In David Edmonds (ed.), Philosophers Take On the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Every day the news shows us provoking stories about what's going on in the world, about events which raise moral questions and problems. In Philosophers Take On the World a team of philosophers get to grips with a variety of these controversial issues, from the amusing to the shocking, in short, engaging, often controversial pieces. This chapter covers drug use, making you think again about the judgements we make on a daily basis and the ways in which we choose to (...)
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  26. Introduction.Thomas Douglas & David Birks - forthcoming - In David Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.), Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Crime-preventing neurointerventions (CPNs) are increasingly being used or advocated for crime prevention. There is increasing use of testosterone-lowering agents to prevent recidivism in sexual offenders, and strong political and scientific interest in developing pharmaceutical treatments for psychopathy and anti-social behaviour. Recent developments suggest that we may ultimately have at our disposal a range of drugs capable of suppressing violent aggression, and it is not difficult to imagine possible applications of such drugs in crime prevention. But should neurointerventions be used in (...)
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  27. Biological Interventions for Crime Prevention.Christopher Chew, Thomas Douglas & Nadira Faber - forthcoming - In David Birks & Thomas Douglas (eds.), Treatment for Crime: Philosophical Essays on Neurointerventions in Criminal Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter sets the scene for the subsequent philosophical discussions by surveying a number of biological interventions that have been used, or might in the future be used, for the purposes of crime prevention. These interventions are pharmaceutical interventions intended to suppress libido, treat substance abuse or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or modulate serotonin activity; nutritional interventions; and electrical and magnetic brain stimulation. Where applicable, we briefly comment on the historical use of these interventions, and in each case we discuss (...)
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  28. How Should Free Will Skeptics Pursue Legal Change?Marcelo Fischborn - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (1):47-54.
    Free will skepticism is the view that people never truly deserve to be praised, blamed, or punished for what they do. One challenge free will skeptics face is to explain how criminality could be dealt with given their skepticism. This paper critically examines the prospects of implementing legal changes concerning crime and punishment derived from the free will skeptical views developed by Derk Pereboom and Gregg Caruso. One central aspect of the changes their views require is a concern for reducing (...)
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  29. Toward a Neuroethics of Belief - Selected Abstracts From the 2015 International Neuroethics Society Annual Meeting.Christian Carrozzo & James Giordano - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 7 (2):W1-W18.
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  30. Neuroethics, Moral Agency, and the Hard Problem: A Special Introduction to the Neuroethics Edition of the Journal of Hospital Ethics.Christian Carrozzo - 2017 - Journal of Hospital Ethics 4 (2):47-52.
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  31. Could Moral Enhancement Interventions Be Medically Indicated?Sarah Carter - 2017 - Health Care Analysis 25 (4):338-353.
    This paper explores the position that moral enhancement interventions could be medically indicated in cases where they provide a remedy for a lack of empathy, when such a deficit is considered pathological. In order to argue this claim, the question as to whether a deficit of empathy could be considered to be pathological is examined, taking into account the difficulty of defining illness and disorder generally, and especially in the case of mental health. Following this, Psychopathy and a fictionalised mental (...)
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  32. Deep Brain Stimulation, Authenticity and Value.Sven Nyholm & Elizabeth O’Neill - 2017 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (4):658-670.
    In this paper, we engage in dialogue with Jonathan Pugh, Hannah Maslen, and Julian Savulescu about how to best interpret the potential impacts of deep brain stimulation on the self. We consider whether ordinary people’s convictions about the true self should be interpreted in essentialist or existentialist ways. Like Pugh et al., we argue that it is useful to understand the notion of the true self as having both essentialist and existentialist components. We also consider two ideas from existentialist philosophy (...)
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  33. Deep Brain Stimulation, Authenticity and Value.Pugh Jonathan, Maslen Hannah & Savulescu Julian - 2017 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (4):640-657.
    Deep brain stimulation has been of considerable interest to bioethicists, in large part because of the effects that the intervention can occasionally have on central features of the recipient’s personality. These effects raise questions regarding the philosophical concept of authenticity. In this article, we expand on our earlier work on the concept of authenticity in the context of deep brain stimulation by developing a diachronic, value-based account of authenticity. Our account draws on both existentialist and essentialist approaches to authenticity, and (...)
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  34. Enhancement and the Conservative Bias.Ben Davies - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (3):339-356.
    Nicholas Agar argues that we should avoid certain ‘radical’ enhancement technologies. One reason for this is that they will alienate us from current sources of value by altering our evaluative outlooks. We should avoid this, even if enhancing will provide us with novel, objectively better sources of value. After noting the parallel between Agar’s views and G. A. Cohen’s work on the ‘conservative bias’, I explore Agar’s suggestion in relation to two kinds of radical enhancement: cognitive and anti-ageing. With regard (...)
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  35. From ‘Hard’ Neuro-Tools to ‘Soft’ Neuro-Toys? Refocussing the Neuro-Enhancement Debate.Jonna Brenninkmeijer & Hub Zwart - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (3):337-348.
    Since the 1990’s, the debate concerning the ethical, legal and societal aspects of ‘neuro-enhancement’ has evolved into a massive discourse, both in the public realm and in the academic arena. This ethical debate, however, tends to repeat the same sets of arguments over and over again. Normative disagreements between transhumanists and bioconservatives on invasive or radical brain stimulators, and uncertainties regarding the use and effectivity of nootropic pharmaceuticals dominate the field. Building on the results of an extensive European project on (...)
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  36. Treating Psychopaths Fairly.Monique Wonderly - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 7 (3):158-160.
    Dietmar Hübner and Lucie White question the ethical justification of employing risky neurosurgical interventions to treat imprisoned psychopaths. They argue that (1) such interventions would confer no medical benefit on the psychopath as there is no “subjective suffering” involved in psychopathy and (2) psychopaths could not voluntarily consent to such procedures because they could have no “internal motivation” for doing so. In the course of their discussion, the authors insightfully show that certain aspects of the psychopath’s personality structure are especially (...)
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  37. Addiction, Compulsion, and Persistent Temptation.Robert Noggle - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (3):213-223.
    Addicts sometimes engage in such spectacularly self-destructive behavior that they seem to act under compulsion. I briefly review the claim that addiction is not compulsive at all. I then consider recent accounts of addiction by Holton and Schroeder, which characterize addiction in terms of abnormally strong motivations. However, this account can only explain the apparent compulsivity of addiction if we assume—contrary to what we know about addicts—that the desires are so strong as to be irresistible. I then consider accounts that (...)
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  38. Neurosurgery for Psychopaths? An Ethical Analysis.Dietmar Hübner & Lucie White - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 7 (3):140-149.
    Recent developments in neuroscience have inspired proposals to perform deep brain stimulation on psychopathic detainees. We contend that these proposals cannot meet important ethical requirements that hold for both medical research and therapy. After providing a rough overview of key aspects of psychopathy and the prospects of tackling this condition via deep brain stimulation, we proceed to an ethical assessment of such measures, referring closely to the distinctive features of psychopathic personality, particularly the absence of subjective suffering and a lack (...)
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  39. Managing the Ethical Dimensions of Brain-Computer Interfaces in eHealth: An SDLC-Based Approach.Matthew E. Gladden - 2016 - In Demetris Vrontis, Yaakov Weber & Evangelos Tsoukatos (eds.), Proceedings of the 9th Annual EuroMed Academy of Business Conference: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Digital Ecosystems (EUROMED 2016). EuroMed Press. pp. 889-902.
    A growing range of brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies is being employed for purposes of therapy and human augmentation. While much thought has been given to the ethical implications of such technologies at the ‘macro’ level of social policy and ‘micro’ level of individual users, little attention has been given to the unique ethical issues that arise during the process of incorporating BCIs into eHealth ecosystems. In this text a conceptual framework is developed that enables the operators of eHealth ecosystems to (...)
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  40. Limitless as a Neuro-Pharmaceutical Experiment and as a Daseinsanalyse: On the Use of Fiction in Preparatory Debates on Cognitive Enhancement. [REVIEW]Hub Zwart - 2014 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 17 (1):29-38.
    Limitless is a movie (released in 2011) as well as a novel (published in 2001) about a tormented author who (plagued by a writer’s block) becomes an early user of an experimental designer drug. The wonder drug makes him highly productive overnight and even allows him to make a fortune on the stock market. At the height of his career, however, the detrimental side-effects become increasingly noticeable. In this article, Limitless is analysed from two perspectives. First of all, building on (...)
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  41. Neuroethics 1995-2012. A Bibliometrical Analysis of the Guiding Themes of an Emerging Research Field.Jon Leefmann, Clement Levallois & Elisabeth Hildt - 2016 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 10.
    In bioethics, the first decade of the twenty-first century was characterized by the emergence of interest in the ethical, legal, and social aspects of neuroscience research. At the same time an ongoing extension of the topics and phenomena addressed by neuroscientists was observed alongside its rise as one of the leading disciplines in the biomedical science. One of these phenomena addressed by neuroscientists and moral psychologists was the neural processes involved in moral decision-making. Today both strands of research are often (...)
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  42. Brain Stimulation for Treatment and Enhancement in Children: An Ethical Analysis.Hannah Maslen, Brian Earp, Roi Cohen Kadosh & Julian Savulescu - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8.
    Davis called for “extreme caution” in the use of non-invasive brain stimulation to treat neurological disorders in children, due to gaps in scientific knowledge. We are sympathetic to his position. However, we must also address the ethical implications of applying this technology to minors. Compensatory trade-offs associated with NIBS present a challenge to its use in children, insofar as these trade-offs have the effect of limiting the child’s future options. The distinction between treatment and enhancement has some normative force here. (...)
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  43. The Social Brain Meets the Reactive Genome: Neuroscience, Epigenetics and the New Social Biology.Maurizio Meloni - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8.
    The rise of molecular epigenetics over the last few years promises to bring the discourse about the sociality and susceptibility to environmental influences of the brain to an entirely new level. Epigenetics deals with molecular mechanisms such as gene expression, which may embed in the organism “memories” of social experiences and environmental exposures. These changes in gene expression may be transmitted across generations without changes in the DNA sequence. Epigenetics is the most advanced example of the new postgenomic and context-dependent (...)
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  44. A Defense of Brain Death.Nada Gligorov - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (2):119-127.
    In 1959 two French neurologists, Pierre Mollaret and Maurice Goullon, coined the term coma dépassé to designate a state beyond coma. In this state, patients are not only permanently unconscious; they lack the endogenous drive to breathe, as well as brainstem reflexes, indicating that most of their brain has ceased to function. Although legally recognized in many countries as a criterion for death, brain death has not been universally accepted by bioethicists, by the medical community, or by the public. I (...)
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  45. Is Deontology a Moral Confabulation?Emilian Mihailov - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (1):1-13.
    Joshua Greene has put forward the bold empirical hypothesis that deontology is a confabulation of moral emotions. Deontological philosophy does not steam from "true" moral reasoning, but from emotional reactions, backed up by post hoc rationalizations which play no role in generating the initial moral beliefs. In this paper, I will argue against the confabulation hypothesis. First, I will highlight several points in Greene’s discussion of confabulation, and identify two possible models. Then, I will argue that the evidence does not (...)
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  46. Personal Identity, Direction of Change, and Neuroethics.Kevin Tobia - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (1):37-43.
    The personal identity relation is of great interest to philosophers, who often consider fictional scenarios to test what features seem to make persons persist through time. But often real examples of neuroscientific interest also provide important tests of personal identity. One such example is the case of Phineas Gage – or at least the story often told about Phineas Gage. Many cite Gage’s story as example of severed personal identity; Phineas underwent such a tremendous change that Gage “survived as a (...)
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  47. Putting a Price on Empathy: Against Incentivising Moral Enhancement.Sarah Carter - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (10):825-829.
    Concerns that people would be disinclined to voluntarily undergo moral enhancement have led to suggestions that an incentivised programme should be introduced to encourage participation. This paper argues that, while such measures do not necessarily result in coercion or undue inducement (issues with which one may typically associate the use of incentives in general), the use of incentives for this purpose may present a taboo tradeoff. This is due to empirical research suggesting that those characteristics likely to be affected by (...)
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  48. The Myth of Cognitive Enhancement Drugs.Hazem Zohny - 2015 - Neuroethics 8 (3):257-269.
    There are a number of premises underlying much of the vigorous debate on pharmacological cognitive enhancement. Among these are claims in the enhancement literature that such drugs exist and are effective among the cognitively normal. These drugs are deemed to enhance cognition specifically, as opposed to other non-cognitive facets of our psychology, such as mood and motivation. The focus on these drugs as cognitive enhancers also suggests that they raise particular ethical questions, or perhaps more pressing ones, compared to those (...)
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  49. Is Moral Bioenhancement Dangerous?Nicholas Drake - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (1):3-6.
    In a recent response to Persson & Savulescu’s Unfit for the Future, Nicholas Agar argues that moral bioenhancement is dangerous. His grounds for this are that normal moral judgement should be privileged because it involves a balance of moral subcapacities; moral bioenhancement, Agar argues, involves the enhancement of only particular moral subcapacities, and thus upsets the balance inherent in normal moral judgement. Mistaken moral judgements, he says, are likely to result. I argue that Agar’s argument fails for two reasons. Firstly, (...)
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  50. There but for the Grace of My Orbitofrontal Cortex …. [REVIEW]Frej Klem Thomsen - 2014 - Criminal Justice Ethics 33 (3):220-235.
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