Pharmacological cognitive enhancement : how neuroscientific research could advance ethical debateReportar como inadecuado

Pharmacological cognitive enhancement : how neuroscientific research could advance ethical debate - Descarga este documento en PDF. Documentación en PDF para descargar gratis. Disponible también para leer online.

Reference: Hannah Maslen, Nadira Faulmüller and Julian Savulescu, (2014). Pharmacological cognitive enhancement : how neuroscientific research could advance ethical debate. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 8, Article 107.Citable link to this page:


Pharmacological cognitive enhancement : how neuroscientific research could advance ethical debate

Abstract: There are numerous ways people can improve their cognitive capacities: good nutrition and regular exercise can produce long-term improvements across many cognitive domains, whilst commonplace stimulants such as coffee temporarily boost levels of alertness and concentration. Effects like these have been well-documented in the medical literature and they raise few (if any) ethical issues. More recently, however, clinical research has shown that the off-label use of some pharmaceuticals can, under certain conditions, have modest cognition-improving effects. Substances such as methylphenidate and modafinil can improve capacities such as working memory and concentration in some healthy individuals. Unlike their more mundane predecessors, these methods of “cognitive enhancement” are thought to raise a multitude of ethical issues. This paper presents the six principal ethical issues raised in relation to pharmacological cognitive enhancers (PCEs)—issues such as whether: (1) the medical safety-profile of PCEs justifies restricting or permitting their elective or required use; (2) the enhanced mind can be an “authentic” mind; (3) individuals might be coerced into using PCEs; (4), there is a meaningful distinction to be made between the treatment vs. enhancement effect of the same PCE; (5) unequal access to PCEs would have implications for distributive justice; and (6) PCE use constitutes cheating in competitive contexts. In reviewing the six principal issues, the paper discusses how neuroscientific research might help advance the ethical debate. In particular, the paper presents new arguments about the contribution neuroscience could make to debates about justice, fairness, and cheating, ultimately concluding that neuroscientific research into “personalized enhancement” will be essential if policy is to be truly informed and ethical. We propose an “ethical agenda” for neuroscientific research into PCEs.

Publication status:PublishedPeer Review status:Peer reviewedVersion:Publisher's version Funder: Wellcome Trust   Funder: Oxford Martin School   Funder: Uehiro Foundation on Ethics and Education   Notes:Copyright © 2014 Maslen, Faulmüller and Savulescu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: Frontiers

Publisher Website:

Host: Frontiers in Systems Neurosciencesee more from them

Publication Website:

Issue Date: 2014-6

Copyright Date: 2014

pages:Article 107Identifiers


Issn: 1662-5137

Eissn: 1662-5137

Urn: uuid:cc33fe81-a5c9-48c6-b4a3-82e04325f5e6 Item Description

Type: Journal Article: post-print;

Language: en

Version: Publisher's versionKeywords: cognitive enhancement brain function augmentation ethics modafinil ritalin justice cheating personalized enhancementSubjects: Philosophy Ethics (Moral philosophy) Ethics of the biosciences Practical ethics Tiny URL: ora:9792


Autor: Dr Hannah Maslen - institutionUniversity of Oxford facultyHumanities Division - Philosophy Faculty researchGroupOxford Centre for



Documentos relacionados