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Research seminars

The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion Research Seminars are held at 1.00 p.m. on alternate Tuesdays in the Garden Room, Library Building, St. Edmundís College. A free light buffet lunch and drinks are served from 12.30 p.m. onwards. All are welcome.

The Garden Room is on the ground floor of the Library Building which is located in the far left-hand corner as you enter the College grounds. The free buffet lunch is served there.

Easter term

The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement: A Theological Perspective

Prof. Neil Messer

Tuesday May 26, 2015

Garden Room, Library Building
St Edmund's College
Mount Pleasant


The field of neuroethics gathers together a range of ethical questions, from the highly theoretical to the thoroughly practical, raised by current developments in neuroscience. At the practical end of the range are questions about the ethics of cognitive enhancement, or the use of technologies such as drugs to enhance the performance of human brains and minds beyond "natural" levels. Broadly speaking, two questions arise: first, can a meaningful distinction be drawn between uses of such technologies for therapy and for enhancement? Second, can their use for enhancement be morally justified? This lecture will survey selected philosophical discussions of these questions and offer a Christian response grounded in a theological account of health, disease and medicine. It will be argued that this account can support a coherent and morally significant distinction between therapy and enhancement, and supply criteria for the ethical evaluation of enhancement.

Further information about the Speakers may be obtained by clicking on the speaker's name above.