Advertisement

Neuroethics

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 179–187 | Cite as

Cognitive Enhancement, Rational Choice and Justification

  • Veljko DubljevićEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

This paper examines the claims in the debate on cognitive enhancement in neuroethics that society wide pressure to enhance can be expected in the near future. The author uses rational choice modeling to test these claims and proceeds with the analysis of proposed types of solutions. The discourage use, laissez-faire and prohibition types of policy are scrutinized for effectiveness, legitimacy and associated costs. Special attention is given to the moderately liberal discourage use policy (and the gate-keeper and taxation approaches within this framework), as many authors presuppose that this type of policy would best serve public interest. Different more or less articulated models in the taxation approach (Tobacco regulation analogy, Coffee-shop system, Regulatory Authority for Cognitive Enhancements and Economic Disincentives Model) are analyzed from the point of view of justificatory liberalism. The author concludes that prohibition and laissez-faire types of policy would neither be effective nor justified. A moderately liberal public policy shows more promise, but not all approaches within this type of policy would be legitimate and effective. The “gate-keeper” approach and related models could not be justified whereas approach based on taxation with suitable models might be legitimate and effective.

Keywords

Cognitive enhancement Public policy Prisoners’ Dilemma Justification Neuroethics 

References

  1. 1.
    Racine, Eric. 2010. Pragmatic neuroethics: Improving treatment and understanding of the mind-brain. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gazzaniga, Michael S. 2005. The ethical brain. New York: Dana Press.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Greely, Henry, Barbara Sahakian, John Harris, Ronald C. Kessler, Michael Gazzaniga, Philip Campbell, and Martha J. Farah. 2008. Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy. Nature 456(7223): 702–705.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Appel, Jacob M. 2008. When the boss turns pusher: A proposal for employee protections in the age of cosmetic neurology. Journal of Medical Ethics 34(8): 616–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Capps, Benjamin. 2011. Libertarianism, legitimation, and the problems of regulating cognition-enhancing drugs. Neuroethics 4(2): 119–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Glannon, Walter. 2008. Psychopharmacological enhancement. Neuroethics 1(1): 45–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Glannon, Walter. 2011. Brain, body and mind: Neuroethics with a human face. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lieb, Klaus. 2010. Hirndoping: Warum wir nicht alles schlucken sollten. Mannheim: Artemis & Winkler.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dubljevic, Veljko. 2012. Principles of justice as the basis for public policy on psycho-pharmacological cognitive enhancement. Law, Innovation and Technology 4(1): 67–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dubljevic, Veljko. 2012. Toward a legitimate public policy on cognition-enhancement drugs. American Journal of Bioethics—Neuroscience 3(3): 29–33.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Maher, Brendan. 2008. Poll results: Look who’s doping. Nature 452(7188): 674–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    DeSantis, Alan D., Elisabeth M. Webb, and Seth M. Noar. 2008. Illicit use of prescription ADHD medications on a college campus: A multimethodological approach. Journal of American College Health 57(3): 315–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Khushf, George. 2005. The use of emergent technologies for enhancing human performance: Are we prepared to address the ethical and policy issues? Public Policy and Practice 4(2): 1–17.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Khushf, George. 2008. The second stage enhancements. In Emerging conceptual, ethical and policy issues in bionanotechnology, ed. Fabrice Jotterand, 203–218. Dodrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schuijff, Mirjam. 2009. STOA: Human Enhancement Study. The Hague: Rathenau Institute.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Academy of Medical Sciences. 2012. Human Enhancement and the Future of Work. Joint report of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/policy/projects/human-enhancement/2012-11-06-Human-enhancement.pdf Accessed 10. November 2012
  17. 17.
    C.Ian Ragan, Imre Bard, and Ilina Singh. 2012. What should we do about student use of cognitive enhancers? An analysis of current evidence. Neuropharmacology 64: 588–595.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    English, Veronica. 2007. Boosting your brainpower: ethical aspects of cognitive enhancements. A discussion paper from the British Medical Association. London: British Medical Association.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Institut für Gesundheits- und Sozialforschung. 2009. Gesundheitsreport 2009. Analyse der Arbeitsunfähigkeitsdaten. Schwerpunktthema Doping am Arbeitsplatz. Hamburg: DAK.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Euromonitor. 2011. Tobacco in Norway. Euromonitor International Market Research Report. http://www.euromonitor.com/tobacco-in-norway/report. Accessed 15 August 2012.
  21. 21.
    Staatsblad. 2002. Opium Act. Cannabis Bureau archive. http://www.cannabisbureau.nl/en/doc/pdf/Dutch%20Opium_Act_30556.pdf. Accessed 15 August 2012.
  22. 22.
    De Greiff, Pablo (ed.). 1999. Drugs and the limits of liberalism. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Husak, Douglas. 2005. For drug legalization. In The legalization of drugs: For and against, ed. Douglas Husak and Peter De Marneffe, 3–108. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rawls, John. 2001. Justice as fairness: A restatement. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rawls, John. 2005. Political liberalism, expanded edition. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Daniels, Norman. 2008. Just health: Meeting health needs fairly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Gert, Bernard, Charles M. Culver, and K.Danner Clouser. 2006. Bioethics—A systematic approach, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Nozick, Robert. 1974. Anarchy, State, and Utopia. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Miller, David. 1999. Principles of social justice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Gaus, Gerald. 2011. The order of public reason: A theory of freedom and morality in a diverse and bounded world. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Habermas, Jürgen. 2005. The inclusion of the other: Studies in political theory. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and HumanitiesUniversity of TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of PhilosophyUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany

Personalised recommendations