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Neurotherapeutics and Psychosurgery Conference
May 21, 2015 - May 22, 2015
The theme should be interpreted broadly. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
What is neural enhancement, exactly? Is it a significantly new notion or simply an old idea that makes use of new technologies?
Enhancement is sometimes described as a means to make people “better than well”. What exactly does it mean to be “better than well”?
In what ways does neural enhancement affect a person’s identity?
What are the social, political and legal ramifications of making neural enhancement technologies available?
What questions are raised by the use of biomedical moral enhancers? Can such techniques/products genuinely improve the moral character of a person? What does moral mean if moral actions are the result of moral enhancers?
If biomedical enhancements worked, is a person morally obligated to use them? Is the state permitted to mandate their use, on adults or children or both?
Are “enhancement” techniques a form of eugenics? Why or why not? If so, is there anything morally objectionable about them?
Do individuals have the right to “enhance” themselves? Do parents have the right (the obligation?) to biomedically and/or neurologically enhance their children—in utero or ex utero? Both?
What counts as psychosurgery (sometimes referred to as neurosurgery for mental disorder, NMD)? What purposes should it serve? What mental illnesses or disorders should be treated with this method, if any? Does NMD raise any particular ethical problems or questions?
Rates of psychosurgery vary dramatically from country to country. What social factors influence psychosurgical practices?
What social and legal questions are raised by the practice of psychosurgery? Does it influence questions of a person’s legal or moral accountability? If so, why?
What questions of personal identity are raised by psychosurgery?
What issues of consent are raised by psychosurgery?
Should people convicted of crimes have the option (the right?) to opt for psychosurgery to reduce (replace?) a prison sentence? Can psychosurgery be performed on individuals to ensure they are fit to stand trial and/or be justly punished for crimes committed? Should we conceive of psychosurgery as treatment or punishment?
Deadline for proposal submission is March 31, 2015.