Cognitive Enhancement and Personal Identity

  • Roberto Mordacci Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy
Keywords: cognitive enhancement, personal identity, technology


Enhancing cognition is a complex activity, for the sake of which humanity has developed a rich array of techniques and skills. We can distinguish between three categories: a) cognitive supports and education; b) neural cognitive enhancers: drugs and other ways to improve the functionality of cognitive neural networks; c) technological cognitive enhancers: implants, extended minds and technological supports variously integrated in the neural cognitive networks. Applying a version of the Parity Principle, I argue that there is no morally relevant difference in the three categories. What we want to preserve while using these techniques is not the biological status quo of the mind of persons, but rather personal identities. In this perspective, there can be no general objection to cognitive enhancement. Every technique, even very traditional ones, have their drawbacks, especially when they threaten to reduce the autonomy of agents in moulding their own personal identity.

How to Cite
Mordacci, R. (2018). Cognitive Enhancement and Personal Identity. HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, 7(26), 141-152. Retrieved from