Neuroscience v. privacy? A democratic perspective

Annabelle lever

in I Know What You're Thinking

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199596492
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191745669 | DOI:
Neuroscience v. privacy? A democratic perspective

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Recent developments in neuroscience create new opportunities for understanding the human brain. The power to do good, however, is also the power to harm, so scientific advances inevitably foster as many dystopian fears as utopian hopes. Neuroscience, like genomic science, is likely to create new ways of harming people. Many of these will involve violations of privacy. However, these are unlikely fundamentally to challenge the reasons to value privacy, or our ability to protect it in the foreseeable future. Rather, this chapter suggests that, the major threat to privacy comes from the difficulty of determining its nature and value and when, if ever, efforts to protect it are justified. It starts by examining some threats to privacy, and their implications for neuroscience, before turning to philosophical problems in understanding the nature and value of privacy, and the practical consequences of those philosophical difficulties.

Keywords: privacy; neuroscience; threats; protection

Chapter.  9590 words. 

Subjects: Neuroscience

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