HT23 Week 11 Uehiro Seminar: Professor Julian Savulescu

The mystery of mental integrity

This is a co-authored paper with Hazem Zohny and Ilina Singh.

Abstract: The concept of mental integrity is currently a prominent topic in debates regarding the regulation of neurotechnologies. Technologies such as deep brain stimulation and brain-computer interfaces are believed to pose a unique threat to mental integrity, and some authors have advocated for a legal right to protect it. Despite this, there remains uncertainty about what mental integrity entails and why it is important. Various interpretations have been proposed, but the literature on the subject is inconclusive. We argue that the most plausible interpretation concerns neurotechnologies that work by bypassing our reasoning capacities, and do so specifically in a way that leaves us alienated from our values and mental lives. Unlike some commentators, we suggest that this interpretation narrows the scope of what constitutes a threat to mental integrity with respect to neurotechnologies.

Speaker: Professor Julian Savulescu

In-person Booking: We have limited seating capacity, so booking is required. Please RSVP to join in-person, email

In-person Venue: Oxford Uehiro Centre, Suite 1 Seminar Area, Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe’s Street, Oxford OX1 1PT (buzzer 1)

Zoom meeting option available: email for links