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Honoursmodule: The Neuro Society

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Lecturer(s)

Dr. Jolien Francken

Entry requirements 

For 2nd or 3rd year honours students only. 

Recommended prior knowledge

A brief introduction to basic neuroscience for students new to this field is covered by the textbook, so prior knowledge is not required.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course the student can:

  • take different perspectives (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences) with respect to neuroscientific findings
  • demonstrate knowledge of the main issues in neuroethics
  • critically reflect on neuroscientific findings and their relevance for society
  • analyze own and others' values with respect to neuroethical issues 
  • express clearly (talk and write) his/her own informed arguments and views about these issues

Content

The tremendous progress of neuroscience in the past two decades is re-shaping how we view ourselves. Promises include improved ability to predict and influence people's views and choices, as well as brain modification techniques to treat mental disorders, reduce criminal behavior and improve our ability to think, learn, and remember.

In this honours course we will explore how these scientific developments might impact ourselves and our (future) society. Do we have to eliminate concepts such as blame and accountability from criminal law? Do we want early treatment of children with ‘ADHD-brains’? Are we allowed to scan the brains of defendants to assess whether they lie during interrogation?

By taking different perspectives (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences), we will study and discuss various current ethical, legal and social issues resulting from neuroscientific findings, including enhancement, brain reading, criminal responsibility, personhood, media representations and the commercial use of neuroscience.

Class contents

  • Seminar
  • Fieldwork/excursion (if possible)
  • Presentation/symposium
  • Self-study
  • Working independently on e.g. a project or thesis

Assessment:

  • Essay 1: neuroethics in popular media  (30%)
  • Essay 2: final essay including case study in society (50%)
  • (Duo) Presentation (20%)
  • Class participation

Min/max participants

max.25

Schedule

Check Datanose for the exact information.

Study material

    • Book: Farah, M. (2010). Neuroethics: An Introduction with Readings. MIT Press.
    • Additional literature via Canvas
  • Cost

    Textbook via amazon.de 27 euro, via bol.com 23 euro.

    Film/book to watch/read for essay 1

Registration

Registration is possible for students participating in an Honours programme via an online registration form which will be made available on December 1, 10 am till December 5, 11 pm on this website. 

Placement will be at random and within two weeks students will hear whether they are placed for a course. 

There is NO guarantee for placement if you register after December 5, so make sure you register on time! 

For questions about registration please email to: Honours-iis@uva.nl 

 

Facts & Figures
Mode Honours programme
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in February