What's “Neu” in Neuroethics?

Adina L. Roskies

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780195304787
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

What's “Neu” in Neuroethics?

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  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Moral Philosophy



This article highlights some of the more exciting ethical issues raised by neuroscience and shows how some philosophical issues are framed by neuroethics. It suggests that despite the significant areas of overlap between questions raised by genetics and those raised by neuroscience, there are areas in which the ethical issues raised by the two diverge. The article discusses the ability of neuroscience to illuminate issues involving consciousness, the self, personhood, decision making, and the freedom of will and moral cognition. It concludes that even if it is admitted that the questions in neuroethics and genethics were not distinct, it would be a fallacy to conclude that there is no need for neuroethics.

Keywords: neuroscience; neuroethics; philosophical issues; genetics; genethics; consciousness; decision making; moral cognition; personhood

Article.  8224 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; Moral Philosophy

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