Neurofeedback-Based Moral Enhancement and Traditional Moral Education

Humana Mente 11 (33):19-42 (2018)
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Scientific progress in recent neurofeedback research may bring about a new type of moral neuroenhancement, namely, neurofeedback-based moral enhancement; however, this has yet to be examined thoroughly. This paper presents an ethical analysis of the possibility of neurofeedback-based moral enhancement and demonstrates that this type of moral enhancement sheds new light on the moral enhancement debate. First, I survey this debate and extract the typical structural flow of its arguments. Second, by applying structure to the case of neurofeedback-based moral enhancement, I examine the ethical, legal, and social issues to show that this technique is unique and traditionalist, which makes it compatible with almost all our conservative notions, so that it, accordingly, can be seen as an ethically acceptable option. Third, by rejecting the premise in the moral enhancement debate that bio/neuro-enhancement has its unique ELSI that traditional methods would never create, I demonstrate that, by virtue of its traditional or conservative features, neurofeedback-based moral enhancement can be incorporated into the traditional moral education network. Finally, I conclude that, being a part of the traditional moral education network, neurofeedback-based moral enhancement can be a unique and ethically acceptable option of moral neuroenhancement.

Author's Profile

Koji Tachibana
Chiba University


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