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Ηθική Ενίσχυση, Ελευθερία και το Μηχάνημα του Θεού

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Δήμητρα Βαγενά
Δήμητρα Βαγενά

Abstract


Ένα από τα πλέον αναπτυσσόμενα επί μέρους πεδία των γνωσιακών επιστημών είναι η επιστήμη της ηθικής. Προηγμένες τεχνικές της νευροεπιστήμης, όπως η νευροαπεικόνιση, καθώς και περίπλοκες φαρμακολογικές, ψυχολογικές και οικονομικές πειραματικές έρευνες αρχίζουν να αποκαλύπτουν τα νευρολογικά και ψυχολογικά θεμέλια της ηθικής κρίσης και συμπεριφοράς. Οι έρευνες αυτές έχουν καταστεί αντικείμενο έντονων αντιπαραθέσεων. Ορισμένοι νευροεπιστήμονες τάσσονται υπέρ μιας ηθικής βασισμένης στις χημικές διεργασίες που συμβαίνουν στον εγκέφαλο (Gazzaniga 2005) και ισχυρίζονται ότι οι ηθικές αποφάσεις μας πρέπει να είναι συμβατές με τις γνώσεις μας για τον ανθρώπινο εγκέφαλο, ή ακόμη και να συνάγονται απ’ ευθείας από αυτές. Κάποιοι νευροεπιστήμονες έχουν ήδη ισχυρισθεί πως οι έρευνές τους έχουν δραματικές συνέπειες τόσο για την πρακτική άσκηση, όσο και για την ουσία της ηθικής. Υποστηρίζεται, φέρ’ ειπείν, πως τα πορίσματα της νευροεπιστήμης καταδεικνύουν ότι η πολιτική αντιπαράθεση διεξάγεται κυρίως σε συναισθηματικό επίπεδο (Westen 2007), ή πως τα πορίσματα αυτά αμφισβητούν την – συνηθισμένη στην ηθική σκέψη – επίκληση της διαίσθησης (Sunstein 2005, Singer 2005). Επιπλέον, έχει υποστηριχθεί ότι τέτοιες έρευνες δυναμιτίζουν παγιωμένες ηθικές αντιλήψεις αφήνοντας εκτεθειμένη την καντιανή ηθική ως «απλή φαντασιοκοπία» που βασίζεται σε αυθόρμητες διαισθητικές αντιδράσεις (gut reactions), και ότι παρέχουν στήριξη στον ωφελιμισμό (Singer 2005, Greene 2008). Ορισμένες ηθικές θέσεις έχουν κατακριθεί ως «νευρολογικά αβάσιμες» (Casebeer & Churchlaud 2003, Churchlaud 2011).

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