Neuroethics

TEDxCERN talk on Altering Memories using Neurotechnology

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The Normativity of Memory Modification

The prospect of using memory modifying technologies raises interesting and important normative concerns. We first point out that those developing desirable memory modifying technologies should keep in mind certain technical and user-limitation issues. We next discuss certain normative issues that the use of these technologies can raise such as truthfulness, appropriate moral reaction, self-knowledge, agency, and moral obligations. Finally, we propose that as long as individuals using these technologies do not harm others and themselves in certain ways, and as long as there is no prima facie duty to retain particular memories, it is up to individuals to determine the permissibility of particular uses of these technologies. [Neuroethics 1(2) 2008: 85-99, with Anders Sandberg] [pdf | html]

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Issues in the Pharmacological Induction of Emotions

In this paper, David Wasserman and I examine issues raised by the possibility of regulating emotions through pharmacological means. We argue that emotions induced through these means can be authentic phenomenologically, and that the manner of inducing them need not make them any less our own than emotions arising “naturally.” We recognize that in taking drugs to induce emotions, one may lose opportunities for self-knowledge; act narcissistically; or treat oneself as a mere means. But we propose that there are circumstances in which none of these concerns arise. Finally, we consider how the possibility of drug-regulation might affect duties to feel emotions. [Journal of Applied Philosophy 25(3) 2008: 178-192] [pdf | html]

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Neuroethical Concerns about Moderating Traumatic Memories

[American Journal of Bioethics 7(9) 2007: 38–40, with David Wasserman]

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