Who should Enhance? Conceptual and Normative Dimensions of Cognitive Enhancement

Filippo Santoni de Sio, Philip Robichaud, Nicole A. Vincent

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


When should humans enhance themselves? We try to answer this\nquestion by engaging in a conceptual analysis of the nature of different\nactivities. We think that cognitive enhancement is morally\nimpermissible in some practice-oriented activities, such as some\neducational activities, when it is the case both that cognitive\nenhancement would negatively affect the point of those activities (i.e.\nlearning through a certain kind of effort ) and that we have good reasons\nto value that point. We then argue that cognitive enhancement should\nbe allowed in two groups of cases, namely in practice-oriented activities,\nsuch as recreational activities on which little moral value or social\nimport hangs, and in some prominently goal-directed activities, such as\nhigh-responsibility professions, the goal of which has significant moral\nor social value. Finally, we argue that the use of efficacious and relatively\nsafe cognitive enhancers may even be obligatory in those highresponsibility\nprofessions under certain special circumstances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-197
Number of pages19
JournalHumana.Mente Journal of Philosophical Studies
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Who should Enhance? Conceptual and Normative Dimensions of Cognitive Enhancement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this