Reflection as a Deliberative and Distributed Practice: Assessing Neuro-Enhancement Technologies via Mutual Learning Exercises (MLEs)

Reflection as a Deliberative and Distributed Practice: Assessing Neuro-Enhancement Technologies... In 1968, Jürgen Habermas claimed that, in an advanced technological society, the emancipatory force of knowledge can only be regained by actively recovering the ‘forgotten experience of reflection’. In this article, we argue that, in the contemporary situation, critical reflection requires a deliberative ambiance, a process of mutual learning, a consciously organised process of deliberative and distributed reflection. And this especially applies, we argue, to critical reflection concerning a specific subset of technologies which are actually oriented towards optimising human cognition (neuro-enhancement). In order to create a deliberative ambiance, fostering critical upstream reflection on emerging technologies, we developed (in the context of a European 7th Framework Programme project on neuro-enhancement and responsible research and innovation, called NERRI) the concept of a mutual learning exercise (MLE). Building on a number of case studies, we analyse what an MLE involves, both practically and conceptually, focussing on key aspects such as ambiance and expertise, the role of ‘genres of the imagination’ and the profiles of various ‘subcultures of debate’. Ideally, an MLE becomes a contemporary version of the Socratic agora, providing a stage where multiple and sometimes unexpected voices and perspectives mutually challenge each other, in order to strength-en the societal robustness and responsiveness of emerg-ing technologies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png NanoEthics Springer Journals

Reflection as a Deliberative and Distributed Practice: Assessing Neuro-Enhancement Technologies via Mutual Learning Exercises (MLEs)

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by The Author(s)
Subject
Philosophy; Ethics; Nanotechnology; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Technology
ISSN
1871-4757
eISSN
1871-4765
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11569-017-0287-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In 1968, Jürgen Habermas claimed that, in an advanced technological society, the emancipatory force of knowledge can only be regained by actively recovering the ‘forgotten experience of reflection’. In this article, we argue that, in the contemporary situation, critical reflection requires a deliberative ambiance, a process of mutual learning, a consciously organised process of deliberative and distributed reflection. And this especially applies, we argue, to critical reflection concerning a specific subset of technologies which are actually oriented towards optimising human cognition (neuro-enhancement). In order to create a deliberative ambiance, fostering critical upstream reflection on emerging technologies, we developed (in the context of a European 7th Framework Programme project on neuro-enhancement and responsible research and innovation, called NERRI) the concept of a mutual learning exercise (MLE). Building on a number of case studies, we analyse what an MLE involves, both practically and conceptually, focussing on key aspects such as ambiance and expertise, the role of ‘genres of the imagination’ and the profiles of various ‘subcultures of debate’. Ideally, an MLE becomes a contemporary version of the Socratic agora, providing a stage where multiple and sometimes unexpected voices and perspectives mutually challenge each other, in order to strength-en the societal robustness and responsiveness of emerg-ing technologies.

Journal

NanoEthicsSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 24, 2017

References

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