How to Enhance Responsibility? What About the Effects of Cognitive Enhancement on Moral and Legal Responsibility?
9 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2016
Date Written: 2015
This short paper concerns a legal-philosophical and legal-theoretical (but in fact, more interdisciplinary) problem of so called cognitive enhancement and of what to do with (possible) influence of neuroscience on legal and moral responsibility. The problem of responsibility in the law is treated as one of the most important themes in jurisprudence. We say that some people are responsible for behaviour (e.g. the competent, adults). But we must seek the limits of the idea that responsibility “tracks” mental capacity. According to the paper assumptions, we should consider two fundamental questions. Firstly, have some professionals such as surgeons, soldiers, pilots a responsibility (duty) to cognitively enhance themselves (by e.g. drugs)? Secondly, if so, after the enhancement should they be acquired by greater responsibilities (greater standard of care)? I see some dangers for morality, freedom, human rights in the case of two positive answers for these questions. I analyse some projects of recommendation of the law change. I strictly highlight really potential axiological problems, too.
Keywords: Cognitive enhancement, neuroscience, responsibility, law, morality, axiology
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