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Journal of Clinical Psychiatry and Neuroscience

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The confused ethics of cognitive enhancers

Author(s): Ira Bedzow*

Nonprescription use of cognitive enhancing drugs is becoming increasingly common in both academic and workplace settings. The two main arguments that ethicists use to oppose cognitive enhancement are that it contradicts the value of authenticity and secondly, that it constitutes a form of cheating. However, both of these arguments incompletely account for individual and social factors that motivate people to use or oppose the use of these drugs. Nevertheless, the intuition that use of cognitive enhancement by healthy people is unfair can be explained both philosophically and psychologically.

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