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Cognitive Enhancers and Ethics

Eugene Russo's story "Are cognitive enhancers less ethical than eyeglasses?"1 raises some interesting points. A record-breaking athlete who tests positive for banned substances has his record nullified. The situation is slightly different in the intellectual field. Suppose that, over a period of months, a physicist took a cognitive enhancer, and during this time he developed The Grand Unified Theory, which united all the fundamental forces of nature. Furthermore, this theory was experimentally

Charles Todd

Eugene Russo's story "Are cognitive enhancers less ethical than eyeglasses?"1 raises some interesting points. A record-breaking athlete who tests positive for banned substances has his record nullified. The situation is slightly different in the intellectual field. Suppose that, over a period of months, a physicist took a cognitive enhancer, and during this time he developed The Grand Unified Theory, which united all the fundamental forces of nature. Furthermore, this theory was experimentally verified, and the scientist was awarded the Nobel Prize. During his acceptance speech, he revealed his use of cognitive enhancers during the development of his theory. Even if the physicist were subsequently disgraced or sanctioned for his actions, unlike the athlete's record, his theory could not be erased or nullified but would still stand as one of the great scientific achievements of humankind.

Charles W. Todd
1815 Eagle Summit Court
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

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