Article

Chemical Cognitive Enhancement: Is it Unfair, Unjust, Discriminatory, or Cheating for Healthy Adults to Use Smart Drugs?

John Harris

in Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199570706
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199570706.013.0065

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Chemical Cognitive Enhancement: Is it Unfair, Unjust, Discriminatory, or Cheating for Healthy Adults to Use Smart Drugs?

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This article states that drugs could be used to produce, if not more intelligent individuals, at least individuals with better cognitive functioning. Cognitive functioning is something that we might strive to produce through education, including of course the more general health education of the community. Enhancements are good if and only if they make people better at doing some of the things they want to do including experiencing the world through all of the senses, assimilating and processing what is experienced, remembering and understanding things better, becoming more competent, and experiencing more. Beneficial neural changes have been reported for such familiar technologies as reading, education, physical exercise, and diet. Smart drugs create irresistible competitive pressures such that once they are used everyone is forced to follow in order to keep up, and this is coercive and corrosive.

Keywords: cognitive functioning; enhancements; neural changes; smart drugs; health education

Article.  3846 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Clinical Psychology

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