Interventionist Advisory Brain Devices, Aggression, and Crime Prevention

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Some novel brain devices are able to predict neural events, making it possible for the device to advise its user to engage in the appropriate countermeasures before the event takes place. Other devices can automatically discharge such countermeasures on its user’s behalf. In this paper, we consider some of the ethically questions that will arise if it becomes possible to combine such advisory and interventionist capabilities in a brain device to combat episodes of uncontrollable impulsive aggression. Specifically, if a device becomes available that can monitor and collect an offender’s neural data, give him behavioural advice based on this data, and discharge countermeasures unless the offender actively keeps it from doing so, should such an interventionist advisory brain device be mandated to some offenders? In the following, we critically examine a range of plausible reasons to oppose such use related respectively to the device’s capacity to monitor and collect an offender’s brain data, its advice-giving feature, and its ability to discharge aggression-hampering treatment absent offenders’ active dissent. We find that, surprisingly, none of the considered reasons can stand further scrutiny.
TidsskriftJournal of Cognition and Neuroethics
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)1-22
StatusUdgivet - 2021


  • Interventionist Advisory Brain Devices
  • Crime prevention
  • Explosive Aggression
  • Neurointerventions

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