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A Framework to Systematize Positions in Neuroethics

1 January 2005


Progress in Neuroscience advances rapidly and promises to change some of the basic concepts we have about ourselves. The field of Neuroethics is concerned with the resulting ethical implications. In this paper, we propose a framework to systematize the questions and positions in this context. We start with the discussion of three concrete cases around the topics of treatment/enhancement, personhood and privacy. For each case, we get a set of axes along which standpoints may vary. Finally, we generalize the particular axes of each case and arrive at a three-dimensional coordinate system spanned by the axes of “Liberty of Denial”, “Liberty of Use” and “Scepticism”. With this, we hope to provide a common language simplifying interdisciplinary dialogue and communication with the public.


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