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Morality of a pill: tracing boundary-making in the discussion on cognitive enhancement in academia

[working paper]

Weingartz, Sarah; Reis Castro, Luisa

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Corporate Editor Universität Duisburg-Essen Campus Duisburg, Fak. für Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Institut für Soziologie
Abstract "From medical treatments to recreational purposes, cognitive enhancement increasingly plays a role for healthy individuals aiming to improve their intellectual or cognitive performance. Much attention has been paid on educational settings such as elementary, high-schools, and even undergraduate students, especially in the United States. Yet this paper focuses on the contemporary role, meaning and moral boundaries of cognitive enhancement placed in academia. Clear-cut and simple dichotomies of "normal and pathological" cognitive functioning, of "healthy and unhealthy" persons, and the value of "authentic and altered/fraud" working results ask for closer reflections. Hence, this paper explores the following questions: how do academics draw moral boundaries between accepted cognitive enhancers and non-accepted cognitive enhancers? How can the given arguments be characterized? This paper aims at advancing our understanding of moral boundary work in the discussion on cognitive enhancement in academia by studying the case of several master, PhD students and research members of the Maastricht University community in the Netherlands, as a study for qualitative research." (author's abstract)
Keywords ethics; ADHD; cognitive development; cognition; science; health; morality
Classification Sociology of Knowledge
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
City Duisburg
Page/Pages 30 p.
Series Working Papers kultur- und techniksoziologische Studien, 04/2011
ISSN 1866-3877
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications