Volume 6 (2012)
Volume 5 (2011)
Volume 3 (2009)
Volume 1 (2007)
Most Downloaded Articles
- In Support of Human Enhancement by Chan, Sarah and Harris, John
- The Ethics of Autonomous Military Robots by Borenstein, Jason
- Ethics of Human Enhancement: 25 Questions & Answers by Allhoff, Fritz/ Lin, Patrick/ Moor, James and Weckert, John
- Future Issues with Robots and Cyborgs by Warwick, Kevin
- Public Perceptions and Biobanking: What Does the Research Really Say? by Rachul, Christen/ McGuire, Amy and Caulfield, Timothy
New Questions, or Only Old Questions in a New Guise?
1ESRC Centre for Economic & Social Aspects of Genomics
Citation Information: Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology. Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 1941-6008, DOI: 10.2202/1941-6008.1151, January 2011
- Published Online:
This comment reminds us that technological developments can redraw the boundaries of our concepts, introduce new ones and change interpretations, and it asks to what extent the BMI experiments covered by Kevin Warwicks article have such implications. The distinction between human enhancement and improvement is raised and the fact that consenting to uncertain and unforeseeable outcomes is always challenging. But why is it more challenging to consent to an intelligent implant, although it may change emotions, personality and even identity, than consenting to other interventions that risk ones life? Our bodies and psychological states undergo enormous changes over time, some of which affect freedom of action. Natural functions of the brain can be as much of a threat to freedom of action, personality and identity as a BMI or drug use. How we are to understand the I is an ongoing philosophical puzzle, but an intelligent implant may well be acceptable if natural brain function no longer does what the I wants it to do.