The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 3

Go back to Part 1. Go back to Part 2. From the discussion in the last two parts of this series on the ethics of cognitive enhancement, we can draw three conclusions. The first is that we should allow all forms of cognitive alterations that aren’t lethal and don’t lead you to harm others. As … Continue reading The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 3

The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 2

Go back to Part 1.  In Part 1 of this series on the ethics of cognitive enhancement, I pointed out that it is not logical to deny people access to new methods of cognitive enhancement as they become available, because such methods would not be categorically different from methods of cognitive enhancement that are currently legal and … Continue reading The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 2

The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 1

"Smart drugs" like Adderall and Modafinil are just the beginning of the cognitive enhancement revolution. Though they were initially developed to alleviate the symptoms of cognitive disorders, these and similar drugs are increasingly being used by the cognitively healthy to boost memory, focus, and wakefulness over long periods of work. With the commercial use of … Continue reading The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: Part 1

You’re Not As Rational As You Think: Political Philosophy and the Neuroscience of Irrationality

Cognitive scientists have known for decades that humans are inherently irrational when it comes to making economic decisions. This may seem obvious to a good poker player, who will likely utilize mathematical probability to make economic decisions during a poker game, but to most people the fact that they have systematic economic biases might come as … Continue reading You’re Not As Rational As You Think: Political Philosophy and the Neuroscience of Irrationality

A Conversation with Mark Baxter about the Gilman et al (2014) Paper

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of discussing the Gilman et al (2014) paper, which I wrote about in my last post, with Mark Baxter, Ph.D. Mark is a neuroscientist interested in brain mechanisms of learning and memory. Mark and I had a brief back-and-forth on Twitter recently about the Gilman et al (2014) paper, which … Continue reading A Conversation with Mark Baxter about the Gilman et al (2014) Paper

Mind Uploading and Personal Identity

Post-humanists envision a future in which human minds can be “uploaded” – uploaded to virtual environments, uploaded to new biological bodies, or uploaded to totally robotic bodies. Every sign in the rapid advance of neuroscience suggests that we should begin taking this idea seriously. Reflecting on the prospect of mind uploading, Princeton neuroscience professor Michael Graziano … Continue reading Mind Uploading and Personal Identity

Buddhism and the Not-Self Doctrine

In my last post, I wrote that the Greeks developed the most sophisticated science of mind in the ancient world. I would now like to suggest that the most sophisticated philosophy of mind of the ancient world was being developed not in Greece, but about three thousand miles to the East, around present-day India. There, … Continue reading Buddhism and the Not-Self Doctrine