February 22, 2010

Cognitive enhancers: unfair at any dose?

Der Neue MenschPractical Ethics: Cognitive enhancers: unfair at any dose? - another post about the ethics of academic use of enhancers.

It is surprisingly often people use the word "coercion" in such a broad sense that it loses all meaning. Am I coerced into wearing socially acceptable clothes by the views of my fellows? Influence, even when it affects the value of different outcomes, is not enough to be coercion. There has to be someone who forces or tricks me, by reducing my options or the rewards of certain options.

It is also interesting to see how people assume current institutions are the end-all of institutions: if some new technology doesn't work with them, then that technology will be bad. The fact that institutions change (and often surprisingly fast) is often lost on us.

And by the way, the new book above has a chapter by Nick and me on the wisdom of nature as applied to enhancement.

Posted by Anders3 at February 22, 2010 07:13 PM