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Neuroethics is a subdivision of bioethics that specifically addresses emerging ethical issues surrounding developments in neuroscience and neurotechnology, as well as reflections in the philosophy of mind. Ethical issues specific to neuroethics include among others neuroimaging, brain implants and brain-computer interfaces, cognitive and moral enhancement, and memory alteration. The role cognition plays in our understanding of human personhood is also explored within the realm of neuroethics.


  • Michael Sleasman, “Bioethics Past, Present, and Future: Important Signposts in Human Dignity” (An overview of bioethics and the breadth of issues it encompasses).
  • Susan Rouse, “Cognitive Enhancement in Education: The State of the Issue and A Literature Review.”
  • William Cheshire, Jr., “Grey Matters: Just Enhancement.”
  • Scott Rae, “How Much Brain Do I Need To Be Human?”
  • William Cheshire, Jr., “Grey Matters: Till We Have Minds.”
  • E. David Cook, “Neuroscience in Perspective: An Introduction to Ethical Considerations.”
  • William Cheshire, Jr., “Grey Matters: Neuroscience, Nuance, AND Neuroethics.”


Neuroethics (General)

  • Battro, Antonio M., Kurt W. Fischer, and Pierre J. Léna, eds. The Educated Brain: Essays in Neuroeducation. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Bernat, James L. Ethical Issues in Neurology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008.
  • Clausen, Jens and Neil Levy, eds. Handbook of Neuroethics. New York: Springer, 2015.
  • Farah, Martha J. Neuroethics: An Introduction with Readings. Basic Bioethics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010.
  • Illes, Judy, and B.J. Sahakian. Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Legrenzi, Paolo and Carlo Umilta. Neuromania: On the Limits of Brain Science. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • Levy, Neil. Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21st Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
  • Moffett, Shannon. The Three-pound Enigma: The Human Brain and the Quest to Unlock Its Mysteries. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, 2006.
  • Oakley, Barbara. Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother's Boyfriend. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2007.

Out of Print

  • Marcus, Steven J. Neuroethics: Mapping the Field. Washington, DC: Dana, 2004.
  • Sirius, R.U. True Mutations. Oakland, CA: Pollinator, 2007.

Scientific Perspectives

  • Gazzaniga, Michael S. The Ethical Brain: The Science of Our Moral Dilemmas. Washington, DC: Dana, 2005.
  • Glannon, Walter. Bioethics and the Brain. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • ———. Brain, Body, and Mind: Neuroethics with a Human Face. Oxford University Press, 2011.
  • ———, ed. Defining Right and Wrong in Brain Science: Essential Readings in Neuroethics. Washington, DC: Dana, 2007.
  • Iacoboni, Marco. Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with Others. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.
  • Kandel, Eric R. In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006.
  • Laureys, Steven, Olivia Gosseries, and Giulio Tononi, eds. The Neurology of Consciousness: Cognitive Science and Neuropathology. 2nd ed. Waltham, Mass.: Academic Press, 2016.
  • Metzinger, Thomas. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. Philadelphia: Basic Books, 2009.
  • Posner, Jerome B., Clifford B. Saper, Nicholas D. Schiff, and Fred Plum. Plum and Posner's Diagnosis of Stupor and Coma. 4th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Racine, Eric. Pragmatic Neuroethics: Improving Treatment and Understanding of the Mind-Brain. Basic Bioethics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010.
  • Roco, Mihail C., and William Sims, eds. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer, 2003.
  • Tancredi, Laurence. Hardwired Behavior: What Neuroscience Reveals about Morality. Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Philosophical Perspectives

  • Baer, John, James C. Kaufman, and Roy F. Baumeister, eds. Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will.New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Bailey, Ronald. Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution. Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2005.
  • Beauregard, Mario, and Denyse O’Leary. The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul. New York: HarperOne, 2007.
  • Bickle, John, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience. Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Churchland, Patricia S. Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality. Princeton University Press, 2011.
  • Gillett, Grant. Subjectivity and Being Somebody: Human Identity and Neuroethics. Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic, 2008.
  • Glannon, Walter, ed. Free Will and the Brain: Neuroscientific, Philosophical, and Legal Perspectives. Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • Gordijn, Bert. Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives in Neuroethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • Matthews, Debra J.H., Hilary Bok, and Peter V. Rabins, eds. Personal Identity and Fractured Selves: Perspectives from Philosophy, Ethics, and Neuroscience. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
  • Rose, Nikolas. The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-first Century. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006.
  • Ruse, Michael, ed. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Sanguineti, Juan Jose, Ariberto Acerbi, and Jose Angel Lombo, eds. Moral Behavior and Free Will: A Neurobiological and Philosophical Approach. Rome: IF Press, 2011.
  • Solymosi, Tibor and John R. Shook, eds. Neuroscience, Neurophilosophy and Pragmatism: Brains at Work in the World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  • Walter, Henrik. Neurophilosophy of Free Will: From Libertarian Illusions to a Concept of Natural Autonomy. Translated by Cynthia Klohr. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001.

Out of Print

  • Restak, Richard. The New Brain: How the Modern Age Is Rewiring Your Mind. Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2004.

Clinical and Policy

  • Ackerman, Sandra J. Hard Science, Hard Choices: Facts, Ethics, and Policies Guiding Brain Science Today. Washington, DC: Dana, 2006.
  • Blank, Robert H. Intervention in the Brain: Politics, Policy, and Ethics. Basic Bioethics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013.
  • Bush, Shane S. Ethical Decision Making in Clinical Neuropsychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Chatterjee, Anjan and Martha J. Farah. Neuroethics in Practice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Denney, Robert L., and James P. Sullivan. Clinical Neuropsychology in the Criminal Forensic Setting. New York: Guilford, 2008.
  • Giordano, James. Neurotechnology: Premises, Potential, and Problems. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, 2012.
  • Illes, Judy. Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice and Policy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Pardo, Michael S. and Dennis Patterson. Minds, Brains, and Law: The Conceptual Foundations of Law and Neuroscience. Oxford University Press, 2013.
  • Richmond, Sarah, Geraint Rees, and Sarah Edwards, eds. I Know What You’re Thinking: Brain Imaging and Mental Privacy. Oxford University Press, 2012.
  • Vincent, Nicole A. Neuroscience and Legal Responsibility. Oxford University Press, 2013.

For additional related material see the Emerging Technology Bibliography.

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