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May 08 , 2010

Brain, Body, and Mind: Neuroethics with a Human Face


This book is a discussion of the most timely and contentious issues in the two branches of neuroethics: the neuroscience of ethics; and the ethics of neuroscience. Drawing upon recent work in psychiatry, neurology, and neurosurgery, it develops a phenomenologically inspired theory of neuroscience to explain the brain-mind relation. The idea that the mind is shaped not just by the brain but also by the body and how the human subject interacts with the environment has significant implications for free will, moral responsibility, and moral justification of actions. It also provides a better understanding of how different interventions in the brain can benefit or harm us. In addition, the book discusses brain imaging techniques to diagnose altered states of consciousness, deep-brain stimulation to treat neuropsychiatric disorders, and restorative neurosurgery for neurodegenerative diseases. It examines the medical and ethical trade-offs of these interventions in the brain when they produce both positive and negative physical and psychological effects, and how these trade-offs shape decisions by physicians and patients about whether to provide and undergo them.

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