Cognitive performance enahncement

Head to head articles for and against the acceptability of people taking methylphenidate to enhance performance. The against column offers an interesting ethical argument:

Drug enhancements will be available disproportionately to those with financial means. If enhancements are helpful in getting ahead in a competitive world, then the haves would avail themselves of yet another advantage over the have nots. Clearly, many inequities in education, material goods, and social class, not to mention more fundamental inequities in health care, nutrition, shelter, and safety, already give the socioeconomically lucky disproportionate advantages. However, acknowledging the existence of disturbing inequities does not justify blithely adding more.

Matters of choice can evolve into forces of coercion. Implicit pressures to better one’s position in some perceived social order would find a natural conduit in cognitive enhancements. Such pressures increase in “winner take all” environments, in which more people compete for fewer and bigger prizes.

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