Neuroethics and the Extended Mind

Neil Levy

in Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199570706
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Neuroethics and the Extended Mind

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology



Neuroethics offers unprecedented opportunities as well as challenges. The challenges stem from the range of difficult ethical issues, which are confronted by neuroethicists. Issues concerning the nature of consciousness, of personal identity, free will, and so on, are all grist for the neuroethical mill. This article argues that this debate bears centrally on neuroethics and is significant for neuroethics. Whether the best interpretation of the facts to which proponents of the extended mind appeal is that the mind is genuinely extended, or merely embedded, or a reflection on these facts, are not in dispute but they reveal that the domain of neuroethics extends to all the processes and mechanisms subserving cognition, rather than just those processes and mechanisms internal to the skull. Once this fact is recognized both the scope of neuroethics and some of its characteristic concerns will be transformed.

Keywords: neuroethics; consciousness; extended mind; cognition; challenges

Article.  5587 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Clinical Psychology

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