The Ethics Blog

A blog from the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Author: Michele Farisco

Drug addiction as a mental and social disorder

Can the brain sciences help us to better understand and handle urgent social problems like drug addiction? Can they even help us understand how social disorder creates disorderly, addicted brains? If, as seems to be the case, addiction has a strong cerebral base, then it follows that knowing the brain is the key to finding […]

Searching for consciousness needs conceptual clarification

We can hardly think of ourselves as living persons without referring to consciousness. In fact, we normally define ourselves through two features of our life: we are awake (the level of our consciousness is more than zero), and we are aware of something (our consciousness is not empty). While it is quite intuitive to think […]

The challenge to simulate the brain

Is it possible to create a computer simulation of the human brain? Perhaps, perhaps not. But right now, a group of scientists is trying. But it is not only finding enough computer power that makes it difficult: there are some very real philosophical challenges too. Computer simulation of the brain is one of the most […]

Where is consciousness?

  Would it be possible to use brain imaging techniques to detect consciousness and then “read” directly in people’s brains what they want or do not want? Could one, for example, ask a severely brain injured patient for consent to some treatment, and then obtain an answer through a brain scan? Together with the philosopher […]

Neuroethics: new wine in old bottles?

Neuroscience is increasingly raising philosophical, ethical, legal and social problems concerning old issues which are now approached in a new way: consciousness, freedom, responsibility and self are today investigated in a new light by the so called neuroethics. Neuroethics was conceived as a field deserving its own name at the beginning of the 21st century. […]

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