A1 Journal article – refereed

Can self-validating neuroenhancement be autonomous?

List of Authors: Jukka Varelius

Publisher: Springer Netherlands

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

Journal name in source: Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

Volume number: 23

ISSN: 1572-8633

eISSN: 1572-8633

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11019-019-09905-7

URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11019-019-09905-7


Consider that an individual improves her capacities by neuroscientific means. It turns out that, besides altering her in the way(s) she intended, the enhancement also changes her personality in significant way(s) she did not foresee. Yet the person endorses her new self because the neuroenhancement she underwent changed her. Can the person’s approval of her new personality be autonomous? While questions of autonomy have already gathered a significant amount of attention in philosophical literature on human enhancement, the problem just described—henceforth referred to as the question whether selfvalidating
neuroenhancement can be autonomous—would not appear to have received due consideration. This article takes a step towards remedying the shortage. I start by explicating the main points of departure of its argument. In the subsequent sections of the article, I consider several possible reasons for deeming self-validating neuroenhancement incompatible with autonomy. On the basis of the consideration, I propose that self-validating neuroenhancement can be autonomous.

Keywords Autonomy · Human enhancement · Neuroscience · Personality change

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Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 10:11