Nanotech Database

Article Title:
The Mind and the Machine. On the Conceptual and Moral Implications of Brain-Machine Interaction

Schermer, Maartje

Journal Information:
Vol. 3, Num. 3


This paper focuses not just on the exciting science behind brain-machine interfaces and the promises it entails but the effects that these new technologies may have on our symbolic orderon the ways in which popular categories and concepts may change or be reinterpreted. The paper takes up such sticky issues as the difference between the human and machine and where that boundary need must lie, as well as the line between the mind and the body and how fluid a concept that might be. For all the interesting and life-altering advances that might be brought on by this new application of nanotechnology, there is also a significant question as to how brain-machine interfacing would change the first half of that term, possibly irrevocably. If nothing else, Schermer argues that ideas of what a person is and other ethical concerns need to be revisited in a nano-enabled world.