Pharmacological Cognitive Enhancement: The Science And Ethics Of Enhancing The Mind
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This thesis explores the controversial nature of pharmacological cognitive enhancement (PCE), defined as the consumption of pharmaceutical drugs to improve cognitive faculties. To the general public and outspoken critics of PCE, the use of cognitive enhancers is considered immoral because it is cheating, unfair, and inauthentic. However, I contend that the consumption of cognitive enhancers can be ethical, and that most worries about PCE’s societal effects may be rooted in misconceptions about cognitive enhancers. To clarify what present-day cognitive enhancers are capable of, I will examine the history and science behind their use and illustrate their benefits and downsides. Then I will synthesize textual sources with original arguments to defend PCE against its critics and show why we they can be tools for social justice and self-actualization.