Aims

Neuroscience is challenging our traditional understanding of consciousness, responsibility, morality and well-being, a challenge that also raises new problems for ethics and clinical practice concerning addiction and criminal responsibility, the treatment of vegetative patients, medical decision-making and the enhancement of normal human capacities. The new discipline of neuroethics addresses these urgent issues.

 

Our goals are to:

Establish a Oxford Centre for Neuroethics at Oxford University, bringing together interdisciplinary expertise from ethics, philosophy of mind, law, psychiatry and neurosciences to contribute to neuroethical research, focussing on four areas:

 

I. Cognitive and affective enhancement


II.Borderline consciousness and severe neurological impairment


III. Free will, responsibility & addiction


IV. Neuroscience of morality and decision-making

Conduct applied research which aims to use neuroethics and practical ethics in general to address: (1) advances in neuroscientific technology; (2) ethical issues arising from research and clinical practice in neuroscience.

Facilitate neuroethical research internationally by creating a metacentre which brings together leading international researchers from relevant disciplines.

Apply the results of our research to specific problems in biomedical policy, law and practice and to disseminate them to influence policy and promote public debate.

Promote the study of neuroethics, fostering the next generation of neuroethicists.