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Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21st Century 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521687263
ISBN-10: 0521687268
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Editorial Reviews


"Levy's book works well in establishing neuroethics as being worthy of careful philosophical discussion, with deep and interesting problems that can have major social implications. ...augers well for the philosophical side of this new field of study, and it should help to ensure that the work done in this area is philosophically rich." - Christian Perring, Metapsychology online reviews

"Neuroethics - Challenges for the 21st Century is definitely a worthwhile read."
Perry Mill, Provincial Health Ethics Network

Book Description

Devoting equal attention to the ethical issues and to philosophical reflection, this book summarises our questions and understanding of free-will, self-control, self-deception and the foundations of morality. Written for graduate students and academics in the fields of neuroethics, applied ethics, bioethics, moral psychology, philosophy of mind and cognitive science.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (August 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521687268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521687263
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a good book covering neuroethics, you've found the right book. Going into enough depth to properly explain each theory presented, while not becoming overly technical, this book is perfect to serve as a companion to any introductory neuroethics class while able to be read and enjoyed by the more serious minded lay people.
Each topic that is presented is explained in detail, and plenty of examples are given and elaborated on as the topic is developed to help illustrate areas that may otherwise be too difficult to fully comprehend. While providing sufficient details, there are also numerous references to outside studies or works.
The layout of the book is also quite good. Each separate section is preceded by a clear heading, helping to guide the casual reader to any particular topic of interest. Of course, this does not mean that each section is meant to stand alone -they may refer to an earlier theory or examples may carry over sections. However, I did feel as if the actual chapters were not as connected as they could be. This does not detract from the overall quality of the book, though, which earns it five out of five stars.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I was prepared to be dismayed, and i was disappointed. Levy writes cogently about neuroethics in a way that sheds light on some basic moral and ethical questions with regard to the practice and possibilities of neuroscience. He does a nice job of articulating how direct manipulation of the brain is not, in and of itself, any more or less ethical than indirect manipulation; he articulates the parallel reasoning and moral/ethical quality of both. It is an accessible book worthy of being taken seriously. It is, however, only an introduction - a beginning of a conversation. It brackets out many difficult questions and left this reader wondering if it really addresses ethical and moral matters of the age in any truly transformative way. Recognizing that it is not a book intended to produce some comprehensive ethical schema, Levy should not be faulted for this, and yet it was deficient enough in this regard that i found myself less than satisfied. Levy probably deserves a higher rating than i am allowing, but i was disappointed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One can say with a strong degree of certainty that despite almost three thousand years of effort, philosophical speculation and rhetoric has failed to produce a coherent and practical systems of ethics: one that is applicable to everyday living and respects the powers and limitations of human beings. Religious dogma has also fallen short in ethical reasoning, in spite of its confidence to the contrary. Instead, religion seems to work against the nature and identity of humanity, and instead of preparing individuals for this life, has as its goal the preparation for life beyond the grave, in a fictitious heaven where oddly enough ethical standards will not be needed. However the monopoly on morality and ethics by philosophy and religion is coming to an end, and the death of god is not just a rhetorical Nietzschean pronouncement. This time it is real, but thankfully science has stepped in to fill in the gap, a prospect once thought to be impossible by ethicists and religionists, holding that the `naturalistic fallacy' and the "inherent determinism" of science are strong counterexamples to any kind of science of ethics or moral responsibility.

But in the past three decades, mostly due to advances in technology for studying the cognitive processes in the brain, neuroscience is pointing the way to a new outlook for ethics. Referred to as neuroethics, it has been discussed in various short treatises and research papers, and a few books, this one being one of them. Although written by a philosopher, its contents are well worth perusing. It is a significant addition to the ethical debate, and also a good introduction to the cognitive neuroscience of human motivations and actions.
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