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Home > Archives > Volume 6, No 1 (2008) > Article

DOI: 10.14704/nq.2008.6.1.154

Human Version 2.0 Between the “Banality” and “Ressentiment” of Neuroengineers

Norman K. Swazo


Neuroengineers such as Hugo de Garis propose to build artificial brains called “artilects” that go beyond the cybernetic model seeking to build “cyborgs.” Empirical research in this field raises moral questions to which both moral psychology and moral philosophy can contribute, especially to analysis of the motivations of a neuroengineering project such as that of de Garis. The problem is that while empirical results of recent moral psychology provide us with explanations and interpretations having empirical probability, they remain descriptive without resolving moral implications in the sense of having prescriptions on the central question whether the neuroengineering project should be pursued. Assuming neuroengineers can deliver on their projects by the mid- to late- 21st century, both the neuroscience community and philosophers have at least an epistemic (if not a moral) responsibility to engage the moral dimension of this scientific and technological quest.


artificial intelligence; artilects; neuroengineering; morality; Hugo de Garis

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