Would you take a pill that gives you a cognitive edge over others? It turns out you can, and many people do, take such things as Ritalin and Adderall to do better on college exams. It’s easy to imagine moral arguments against this kind of thing — it’s unfair or causes unnecessary harm — but also easy to imagine arguments in favour of it. Shouldn’t a Kantian with a self-regarding duty to do develop their talents down those pills with gusto?
These and other questions of neuroethics are explored by Adina L. Roskies, and it’s all part of a trend we notice in both philosophy generally and in the essays in this issue: there’s a lot of philosophy to do around new waves in the brain and behavioural sciences. Laura Niemi explores the interesting philosophical territory opening up around scientific studies of fairness, and Friedel Weinert asks Susan Greenfield what neuroscience can tell us about the mind body problem.
But it’s not all fMRIs and control groups in this issue. Anil Gomes takes up the compelling thoughts of P. F. Strawson, and Joan Forry muses on the everyday aesthetics of her dog standing on fire hydrants.