Self-Melioration, Autonomy and Music-Enriched Self-Control: On Enhancing Children’s Attention

  • Alexander Matthias GernerEmail author
Part of the Advances in Neuroethics book series (AIN)


This paper dwells on the question of how we can enhance perspectives on the enhancement of attention in children. By shifting the neuro-enhancement of attention debate from the field of (pediatric) biomedicine into the area of philosophy of technology of control and philosophy of attention, I render two concepts operative for the neuroethical debate on enhancing children’s attention in self- melioration: control and autonomy in attention enhancement. The shaping of a self entails three things: First, individual work on personality traits. Second, the cultural notion of collective formation in a world shaped by others. Third, it includes self-melioration (Selbstverbesserung) that contains both terms of self-formation and Kipke’s narrow account of Neuro-enhancement. Concerning attention enhancements in children music enrichment as well as mathematical skill-formation will be analysed briefly.



The research for this chapter was funded by a Post-Doc grand (SFRH/BPD/90360/2012) on “Philosophy of Cognitive Enhancement” by the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology (FCT).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CFCUL, Centro de Filosofia das Ciências da Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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