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Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics

    ESEP prepress abstract   -  DOI:

    Cognitive artifacts and human enhancement

    Léo Peruzzo Júnior*, Murilo Karasinski

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: Human improvement is epistemologically challenging and has awakened a wide range of academic and public debates, especially considering the possible ethical and political consequences about its regulation. This article focuses on a selection of conceptual questions of cognitive enhancement and defends, along the discussion, the role of the cognitive artifact and the insufficiency of a strictly materialistic vision of the enhancement techniques. Therefore, the article approaches three specific questions: first, that the enhancement concept should not be linked only with the biotechnological artifacts; second, as stated by Clark, that the most potent technologies of the near future will be those that offer user integration and transformation with the machines without the need for implants or surgery; and third, that the cognitive artifacts, i. e., non-biological material devices coupled to cognitive system functions, are responsible for the course of human enhancement throughout history. Thus, this means that we do not need a moral compass to evaluate all dimensions and risks that the human enhancement can elicit, since the traditional conservatism about “enhancement” limits itself to the idea that the growth of our powers would make our values unsustainable and put the current way of human life at risk.