• From Nudges to Hacks: How The Behavioral, Cognitive, and Neuro Sciences Are Changing Our View of Free Will and Moral Agency

Part of the Spring 2012 Philosophy Colloquium Series

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
12:00pm
10th Floor Large Conference Room (10-100), 73 Tremont St

Hosted by Robb Eason. Recent developments within the behavioral, cognitive, and Neuro sciences have highlighted our susceptibility to a vast array of cognitive biases, some advantageous, some not. In the wake of our increasingly rich and sophisticated understanding of the mind, a host of technologies have been developed to exploit our cognitive biases. From so-called “mind-hacks” to “nudges,” agents, with increasing regularity, are adjusting their behaviors to actively promote the attainment of goals. And, perhaps more alarmingly, agents are, unwittingly, having their behaviors adjusted by third parties. Eason's talk analyzes the various ways we might think about attributing responsibility to agents whose (even praiseworthy) behavior is the result of the exploitation of their own innate cognitive biases.

Click here for a reading to prepare for the discussion: a chapter from Neil Levy's "Neuroethics" (Cambridge, 2007) that provides an introduction to some of the connections between recent findings in the BCN sciences and ways to think about freedom and responsibility.

Sponsored by the Philosophy Department. All are welcome!

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