Neuroethics and human enhancement

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to familiarize students with neuroethics enabling them to understand the challenges, the opportunities, and the implications the study of our brain functioning can have on our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
In particular, the course would be structured in two modules dealing with the two branches of neuroethics identified by Roskies (2002): the neuroscience of ethics (a) and the ethics of neuroscience (b).
The first one (a) will be devoted to (I) providing the methodological basis to understand how an interdisciplinary field such as neuroethics can and should work; (II) examining the debate on moral judgment, moral decision-making, and moral dilemmas on the basis of philosophical and neuroscientific research (thus, connecting with the course Facts, principles and hard choices); (III) understanding how some of the concepts we currently use both in philosophical debates and in our daily moral, political, legal, and social practice - such as empathy, trust, freedom, and responsibility - should be revised on the basis of the knowledge we have acquired on our brain functioning.
The second module (b) will delve into moral and cognitive enhancement made possible by recent technological advancements. The discussion of this possibility will focus on the ethical, social, and political issues it raises.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students are expected to be familiar with the central issues in neuroethics.
In particular, they are expected to:

1)present clearly and have an adequate knowledge of the contents of the course;
2)possess the appropriate jargon;
3)identify the challenges, opportunities, and implications of the study of our brain functioning from a moral, political, social, and legal point of view;
4)have the ability to integrate knowledge in an interdisciplinary way;
5) be capable of a personal and original elaboration of the contents discussed.
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
First trimester
M-FIL/03 - MORAL PHILOSOPHY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Songhorian Sarah