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Does Kantian Ethics Condone Mood and Cognitive Enhancement?

Original Paper


The author examines whether Kantian ethics would condone the use of pharmaceutical drugs to enhance one’s moods and cognitive abilities. If key assumptions concerning safety and efficacy, non-addictiveness, non-coercion, and accessibility are not met, Kantian ethics would consider mood and cognitive enhancement to be impermissible. But what if these assumptions are granted? The arguments for the permissibility of neuroenhancement are stronger than those against it. After giving a general account of Kantian ethical principles, the author argues that, when these assumptions are granted, Kantian ethics no longer justifies the prohibition of neuroenhancement, and responds to two objections.


Applied ethics Kantian ethics Mood and cognitive enhancement Dignity Humanity, rational agency 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentGwynedd Mercy UniversityGwynedd ValleyUSA

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