How to Enhance Responsibility? What About the Effects of Cognitive Enhancement on Moral and Legal Responsibility?

9 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2016

See all articles by Dawid Bunikowski

Dawid Bunikowski

Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship, Department of Philosophy; University of the Arctic; Cardiff University, Centre for Law and Religion; University of Eastern Finland, Law School

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Bunikowski, Dawid, How to Enhance Responsibility? What About the Effects of Cognitive Enhancement on Moral and Legal Responsibility? (2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2725410 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2725410

Dawid Bunikowski (Contact Author)

Ronin Institute for Independent Scholarship, Department of Philosophy ( email )

127 Haddon Pl.
Montclair, NJ 07043-2314
United States

University of the Arctic ( email )

Rovaniemi, Lapland
Finland

Cardiff University, Centre for Law and Religion ( email )

PO Box 427
Cardiff, Wales CF10 3AX
United Kingdom

University of Eastern Finland, Law School ( email )

PO Box 111
Joensuu, 80100
Finland

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