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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 54, 2018

Philosophy of Law

Dawid Bunikowski
Pages 21-24
DOI: 10.5840/wcp232018541158

How to Enhance Responsibility? What about the Effects of Cognitive Enhancement on Moral and Legal Responsibility?

The paper concerns a legal-philosophical and legal-theoretical (but in fact more interdisciplinary) problem of so called cognitive enhancement and of what to do with influence of neuroscience on legal and moral responsibility. A problem of responsibility in the law is treated as one of the most important themes in jurisprudence. We say that some people are responsible for behavior (e.g. the competent, adults). But we must seek the limits of the idea that responsibility “tracks” mental capacity. According to the paper assumptions, we should consider two fundamental questions. The first, have some professionals such as surgeons, soldiers, pilots a responsibility (duty) to cognitively enhance themselves (by e.g. drugs)? The second, if so, after the enhancement should they be acquired by greater responsibilities (greater standard of care)? I see some dangers for morality, freedom, human rights in the case of two positive answers for these questions. I analyze some projects of recommendation of the law change. I strictly highlight really potential axiological problems, too.