Anphicon: Cognitive Enhancement and other Technologies of the Mind

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Date: 09 January - 10 January 2013
Venue: 9 January - The Watershed. 10 January - Centre for Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol
Time: 09:00 - 17:00

Recent studies have shown that an increasing number of students and professionals are turning to various pharmaceuticals to 'augment' or 'enhance' their cognitive performance. Supposedly cognitve enhancing drugs are readily available in a grey market for prescription medications, and pharmaceutical companies are working to develop drugs for the specific purpose of 'cognitive enhancement'. This conference explores the ethical/social-political and fundamental philosophical issues that are at stake in the expression 'cognitive enhancement' and the increasing prevalence of cognitive enhancing drugs in schools and workplaces.

Specifically, the conference will examine issues such as:

  • Justice and fairness in the technological alteration of intellectual and affective capacities
  • The importance of neurodiversity and whether it is threatened by 'cognitive enhancement'
  • Is cognition too narrow a frame to think the technological alteration of the mind? • How value loaded is the term enhancement?
  • What are we talking about enhancing when we talk about 'cognitive enhancement' and for what purposes?
  • What are the relations between cognition, emotion, memory and will? And how do these relations impact on the debate over 'cognitive enhancement'?

This conference is the first in a series of conferences co-organised by UWE Philosophy and the Centre for Ethics in Medicine, Bristol University under the rubric of 'Anphicon'. Find out more about this collaboration by visiting


9 January - The Watershed.

10 January - Centre for Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol


Book your place online.

Cost: £35 waged / £20 students/unwaged (proof required)
Contact: Darian Meacham

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