I designed a new course for the honours students of the University of Amsterdam titled ‘The Neuro Society’. It includes all the topics that I find interesting and relevant that I collected over the years. In this course, we use Martha Farah’s selected articles book ‘Neuroethics’. The course guide can be found here and the course introduction below.
The tremendous progress of neuroscience in the past two decades is re-shaping how we view ourselves. Promises include improved ability to predict and influence people’s views and choices, as well as brain modification techniques to treat mental disorders, reduce criminal behavior and improve our ability to think, learn, and remember.
In this honours course we will explore how these scientific developments might impact ourselves and our (future) society. Do we have to eliminate concepts such as blame and accountability from criminal law? Do we want early treatment of children with ‘ADHD-brains’? Are we allowed to scan the brains of defendants to assess whether they lie during interrogation?
By taking different perspectives (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences), we will study and discuss various current ethical, legal and social issues resulting from neuroscientific findings, including enhancement, brain reading, criminal responsibility, personhood, media representations and the commercial use of neuroscience.