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Volume 30 • Number 1

January 2016



 

 

The Nature of the Emotions and the Ethics of Cosmetic Psychopharmacology


by Samuel Duncan


Peter Kramer's Listening to Prozac touched off a lively debate about what Kramer dubs "cosmetic psychopharmacology." That is using antidepressants or other drugs to change the emotional reactions of people without depression or other psychological disorders in ways they find desirable. Kramer's term is itself provocative. Even many of us who would not find using a drug to, say, regrow hair or lose weight all that morally problematic find the idea of using drugs to change our emotions suspect in some way. There seems to be some sort of in-principle difference between non-therapeutic psychopharmacology and other forms of enhancement, but it is hard to say exactly what it is.


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ISSN: 2152-0542