Health Care Analysis

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 347–355 | Cite as

Cognitive Enhancements and the Values of Higher Education

  • Matt LamkinEmail author
Original Article


Drugs developed to treat cognitive impairments are proving popular with healthy college students seeking to boost their focus and productivity. Concerned observers have called these practices a form of cheating akin to athletes’ use of steroids, with some proposing testing students’ urine to deter “academic doping.” The ease with which critics analogize the academic enterprise to competitive sport, and the impulse to crack down on students using study drugs, reflect the same social influences and trends that spur demand for these interventions—our hyper-competitive culture, the commodification of education, and our attraction to technological quick-fixes. Rather than focusing on the technologies that are being put to troubling uses, we would be better served reforming the culture that makes these practices attractive.


Enhancement Values Higher education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Law and the BiosciencesStanford Law SchoolStanfordUSA

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