Human Enhancement for the Common Good: Using New Technologies to Improve Eyewitness Memory

AJOB Neuroscience, 2010, Vol. 1, N. 3, pp. 22-33

Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 14/2012

32 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2013  

Anton H. Vedder

Tilburg Law School; KU Leuven - Faculty of Law; KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP)

Laura Klaming

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT); Tilburg University - Private Law Department

Date Written: December 11, 2012

Abstract

Neurotechnologies that are currently applied to treat a range of neurological and psychiatric diseases were found to have a number of positive side effects on cognitive functioning in healthy individuals. Consequently, these neurotechnologies could in theory be used for cognitive enhancement purposes, for instance the improvement of eyewitness memory. Improving the process of collecting eyewitness testimony would be of great value and is an example of cognitive enhancement for the common good. In the present paper, we discuss the epistemological and ethical issues such use raises. These issues are not only critical to using neurotechnologies to improve eyewitness memory, but have a wider scope. By discussing enhancement for a purpose that is not primarily self-regarding or self-serving but potentially benefits the society as a whole, we reflect on the consequences of accepting enhancement for the common good for the acceptability of cognitive enhancement in general.

Keywords: neurocognitive enhancement, common good, transcranial magnetic stimulation, eyewitness evidence, epistemology

Suggested Citation

Vedder, Anton H. and Klaming, Laura, Human Enhancement for the Common Good: Using New Technologies to Improve Eyewitness Memory (December 11, 2012). AJOB Neuroscience, 2010, Vol. 1, N. 3, pp. 22-33; Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 14/2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2187841

Anton H. Vedder (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Room M 707
P.O. Box 90153
NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands

KU Leuven - Faculty of Law ( email )

Tiensestraat 41
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP)

Sint-Michielsstraat 6 box 3443
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Laura Klaming

Tilburg University - Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT) ( email )

P.O.Box 90153
Prof. Cobbenhagenlaan 221
Tilburg, 5037
Netherlands

Tilburg University - Private Law Department ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

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