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NeuroethicsDefining the issues in theory, practice, and policy$
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Judy Illes

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198567219

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567219.001.0001

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Facts, fictions and the future of neuroethics

Facts, fictions and the future of neuroethics

Chapter:
(p.141) Chapter 10 Facts, fictions and the future of neuroethics
Source:
Neuroethics
Author(s):

Michael S. Gazzaniga

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567219.003.0010

This chapter argues that cognitive neuroscience has three main issues with respect to the current field of neuroethics. First, cognitive neuroscience can help with some current ethical dilemmas such as whether the embryo has the moral status of a human being. Secondly, there are important ethical areas to which neuroscientists are being asked to contribute when, in fact, they should not be. For instance, neuroscience has nothing to say about concepts such as free will and personal responsibility, and it probably also has nothing to say about such things as antisocial thoughts. Finally, cognitive neuroscience is building an understanding of how brain research will instruct us on ideas like universal morals possessed by all members of our species. This fundamental development will find cognitive neuroscience becoming central to the modern world's view of ethical universals.

Keywords:   cognitive neuroscience, ethics, neuroethics, free will, personal responsibility, antisocial thoughts

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