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Thinking ahead too much: Speculative ethics and implantable brain devices


Gilbert, F and Goddard, EMC, Thinking ahead too much: Speculative ethics and implantable brain devices, AJOB Neuroscience, 5, (1) pp. 49-51. ISSN 2150-7759 (2014) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Taylor and Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/21507740.2013.863252


Some argue neuroethicists have an obligation to prepare for and anticipate the future of invasive brain devices. Nobody can deny that upcoming technologies will develop future generations of implantable brain devices and, as such, these novel developments deserve our careful ethical attention. However, while thinking too far ahead raises the risk of articulating ethical prophecies, it also neglects current and urgent ethical issues. Consequently, in both scenarios, thinking ahead "too much" may force us to buy into speculative ethics. The danger of speculative ethics is not only that it fails to capture any practical issues, but also that it wastes our ethical resources. In the long term, we believe speculative ethics may negatively affect the authority of neuroethics as a credible narrative within the scientific literature.

Item Details

Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
Keywords:Spuculative Ethics, Brain Devices, Optogenetics, Brain Implants, Neuroethics, Bioethics
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Applied ethics
Research Field:Ethical use of new technology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Gilbert, F (Dr Frederic Gilbert)
UTAS Author:Goddard, EMC (Dr Eliza Goddard)
ID Code:89406
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2014-03-04
Last Modified:2015-06-11

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