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Neurointerventions and the LawRegulating Human Mental Capacity$
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Nicole A Vincent, Thomas Nadelhoffer, and Allan McCay

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190651145

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190651145.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 March 2021

Why Means MatterLegally Relevant Differences Between Direct and Indirect Interventions into Other Minds

Why Means MatterLegally Relevant Differences Between Direct and Indirect Interventions into Other Minds

(p.49) 3 Why Means MatterLegally Relevant Differences Between Direct and Indirect Interventions into Other Minds
Neurointerventions and the Law

Jan Christoph Bublitz

Oxford University Press

Whether there are intrinsic differences between different means to intervene into brains and minds is a key question of neuroethics, which any future legal regulation of mind-interventions has to face. This chapter affirms such differences by a twofold argument:. First, it present differences between direct (biological, physiological) and indirect (psychological) interventions that are not based on crude mind–brain dualisms or dubious properties such as naturalness of interventions. Second, it shows why these differences (should) matter for the law. In a nutshell, this chapter suggests that indirect interventions should be understood as stimuli that persons perceive through their external senses whereas direct interventions reach brains and minds on different, nonperceptual routes. Interventions primarily differ in virtue of their causal pathways. Because of them, persons have different kinds and amounts of control over interventions; direct interventions regularly bypass resistance and control of recipients. Direct interventions also differ from indirect ones because they misappropriate mechanisms of the brain. These differences bear normative relevance in light of the right to mental self-determination, which should be the guiding normative principle with respect to mind-interventions. As a consequence, the law should adopt by and large a normative—not ontological—dualism between interventions into other minds: nonconsensual direct interventions into other minds should be prohibited by law, with few exceptions. By contrast, indirect interventions should be prima facie permissible, primarily those that qualify as exercises of free speech. The chapter also addresses a range of recent objections, especially by Levy (in the previous chapter).

Keywords:   cognitive liberty, mental self-determination, neurointervention, parity principle, enhancement, mental control, the senses, biological intervention, psychological intervention, human rights

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