This is the fifth episode in the Algocracy and Transhumanism Podcast. In this episode I speak to Hannah Maslen. Hannah is a research fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics in Oxford and is affiliated with the Oxford Martin School. Her research focuses on ethical issues in general, but she has a particular interest in the ethics of neurointerventions and the philosophy of punishment. In this episode, we talk primarily about her work on neurointerventions.
We start by explaining what a neurointervention is and then look at three main issues: (i) how neurointerventions could be used to treat certain psychiatric disorders (specifically anorexia nervosa) and how that might impact on autonomy; (ii) how we might be able to enhance responsibility through neurointerventions like modafinil and (iii) the role of remorse in the criminal justice system and how we might be able to encourage people to feel remorse through neurointerventions.
0:00 – 0:30 – Introduction to Hannah
0:30 – 7:05 – What is a neurointervention?
7:05 – 11:40 – Do neurointerventions bypass our rational capacities? Do they treat us passively rather than actively?
11:40 – 17:45 – Using Deep Brain Stimulation to affect the motivation, control and affective responses of patients with anorexia nervosa.
17:45 – 23:30 – Can we alter someone’s desires with DBS? The importance of the wanting/liking distinction
23:30 – 27:50 – How might the use of DBS affect someone’s autonomy?
27:50 – 31:25 – Neurointerventions and value pluralism
31:25 – 34:50 – Could we enhance responsibility through the use of neurointerventions?
34:50 – 38:00 – Should some people be under a moral/legal duty to enhance (e.g. doctors and pilots)?
38:00 – 41:20 – Would responsibility-enhancement lead us to ignore systemic causes of disadvantage?
41:20 – 43:10 – Won’t robots be doing all the responsible work anyway?
43:10 – 52:15 – What is remorse and what role does it play in the criminal justice system?
52:15 – 59:50 – Could we use neurointerventions to enhance remorse?
59:50 – End – Would enhanced remorse be less valuable?
- Lecture by Maslen and Cohen-Kadosh on ‘Mind Machines: The promise and problems of cognitive enhancement devices‘
- Maslen, Pugh and Savulescu, ‘The Ethics of Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa‘
- Goold and Maslen, ‘Responsibility Enhancement and the Law of Negligence‘
- Maslen, Santoni de Sio, and Faber ‘With cognitive enhancement comes great responsibility?‘