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date: 27 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores how cognitive enhancement, by means of technology, in combination with a commitment to virtue ethics could improve our capacity for responsible decision making. Four examples of cognitive enhancement technologies are discussed: computer training, neurofeedback or electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback, transcranial direct stimulation (tDCS) and brain-computer interface (BCI). On describing and critically discussing the potential effects of these technologies it is argued that we ought to adopt a virtue ethical approach to this type of enhancement. Virtue ethics could, for example, provide a moral framework for the heightened cognitive skills to ensure that they are used virtuously and help us make responsible decisions about future technology. It will also be argued that cognitive enhancement and virtue ethics are, in many cases, complementary and indeed necessary for the good life. Plausibly, cultivating the virtues could improve quality of life both for the individual and the collective.

Keywords: virtue ethics, cognitive enhancement, decision making, epistemic, moral, Aristotle, computer training, neurofeedback, tDCS, BCI

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