What is neuroethics? Empirical and theoretical neuroethics

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Neuroethics is a recently emerging field that deals with predominantly empirical and practical issues of ethics in neuroscience. In contrast, theoretical and methodological considerations have rather been neglected and thus what may be called theoretical neuroethics.

Recent findings

The review focuses on informed consent and moral judgment as examples of empirical neuroethics and norm–fact circularity and method-based neuroethics as issues of a theoretical neuroethics.

Summary

It is argued that we need to consider theoretical and methodological issues in order to develop neuroethics as a distinct discipline, which as such can be distinguished from both philosophy/ethics and neuroscience.

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