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Publication Details

Social and Ethical Consequences of Neuro-enhancement

(Original title: Sociálno-etické dôsledky neurovylepšovania)
Filozofia, 76 (2021), 3, 181 – 194.
Type of work: Original Articles
Publication language: Slovak

The paper deals with the analysis of specific social and ethical consequences of neuro-enhancement. In the first part of the paper, we will present some of the basic methods and technologies that allow to improve cognitive and emotional abilities. In the following sections, we will subsequently analyze the three most serious areas of socio-ethical problems related to the impact of neuro-enhancement on the individual and society. We will examine in more detail the threat to the principle of autonomy posed by two selected technologies used for neuro-enhancement, namely the integrated neuromodulation system (closed-loop BCI) and genetic technologies. Next, we will deal with the influence of social pressure on autonomous human decision-making and with the question of whether social pressure is a sufficient reason for the unacceptability of neuro-enhancement. Finally, in relation to the numerous concerns about the deepening of social inequality as a result of the spread of enhancement practices, we will examine whether the deepening of inequality can be prevented and whether the principle of equal opportunities can be considered a sufficient criterion of equality in a given situation.


Equality and fairness, Individual autonomy, Neuro-enhancement, Neuro-enhancement technologies, Principle of equality, Social pressure

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