A Neuroskeptic's Guide to Neuroethics and National Security

American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 4-12, 2010

27 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011

Date Written: January 4, 2010

Abstract

This article – informed by science studies scholarship and consonant with the emerging enterprise of “critical neuroscience” – critiques recent neuroscience research, and its current and potential applications in the national security context. The author expresses concern about the subtle interplay between the national security and neuroscience communities, and the hazards of the mutual enchantment that may ensue. The Bush administration’s “war on terror” has provided numerous examples of the abuse of medicine, behavioral psychology, polygraphy and satellite imagery. The defense and national security communities have an ongoing interest in neuroscience too – in particular, neuroimaging and psychoactive drugs (including oxytocin) as aids to interrogation. Given the seductive allure of neuroscientific explanations and colorful brain images, neuroscience in a national security context is particularly vulnerable to abuse. The author calls for an urgent re-evaluation of national security neuroscience as part of a broader public discussion about neuroscience’s non-therapeutic goals.

Keywords: Neuroethics, National Security, Neuroimaging, fMRI, Psychoactive Drugs, Oxytocin, Critical Neuroscience, Neuroskepticism

JEL Classification: I18, K39

Suggested Citation

Marks, Jonathan H., A Neuroskeptic's Guide to Neuroethics and National Security (January 4, 2010). American Journal of Bioethics: Neuroscience, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 4-12, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1600761

Jonathan H. Marks (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

332 Pond Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States
814-865 5938 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jonathanhmarks.org

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