Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ambivalence in the Cognitive Enhancement Debate

By Neil Levy
The Neuroethics Blog
Originally posted October 14, 2014

The most hotly debated topic in neuroethics surely concerns the ethics of cognitive enhancement. Is it permissible, or advisable, for human beings already functioning within the normal range to further enhance their capacities? Some people see in the prospect of enhancing ourselves the exciting prospect of becoming more than human; others see it as threatening our humanity so that we become something less than we were.

In an insightful article, Erik Parens (2005) has argued that truthfully we are all on both sides of this debate. We are at once attracted and repulsed by the prospect that we might become something more than we already are. Parens thinks both frameworks are deeply rooted in Western culture and history; perhaps they are universal themes. We are deeply attached to a gratitude framework and to a more Promeathean framework. Hence we find ourselves torn with regard to self-transformation.

The entire blog post is here.