Crucial Considerations: Essays on the Ethics of Emerging Technologies
Abstract: Essay I explores brain machine interface (BMI) technologies. These make direct communication between the brain and a machine possible by means of electrical stimuli. This essay reviews the existing and emerging technologies in this field and offers a systematic inquiry into the relevant ethical problems that are likely to emerge in the following decades.Essay II, co-written with professor Sven-Ove Hansson, presents a novel procedure to engage the public in ethical deliberations on the potential impacts of brain machine interface technology. We call this procedure a Convergence seminar, a form of scenario-based group discussion that is founded on the idea of hypothetical retrospection. The theoretical background of this procedure and the results of the five seminars are presented here.Essay III discusses moral enhancement, an instance of human enhancement that alters a person’s dispositions, emotions or behavior in order to make that person more moral. Moral enhancement could be carried out in three different ways. The first strategy is behavioral enhancement. The second strategy, favored by prominent defenders of moral enhancement, is emotional enhancement. The third strategy is the enhancement of moral dispositions, such as empathy and inequity aversion. I argue that we ought to implement a combination of the second and third strategies.
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