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The possibility of neurotechnological interference with our brain and mind raises questions about the moral rights that would protect against the (mis)use of these technologies. One such moral right that has received recent attention is the right to mental integrity. Though the metaphysical boundaries of the mind are a matter of live debate, most defences of this moral right seem to assume an internalist (brain-based) view of the mind. In this article, we will examine what an extended account of the mind might imply for the right to mental integrity and the protection it provides against neurotechnologies. We argue that, on an extended account of the mind, the scope of the right to mental integrity would expand significantly, implying that neurotechnologies would no longer pose a uniquely serious threat to the right. In addition, some neurotechnologies may even be protected by the right to mental integrity, as the technologies would becomepart ofthe mind. We conclude that adopting an extended account of the mind has significant implications for the right to mental integrity in terms of its protective scope and capacity to protect against neurotechnologies, demonstrating that metaphysical assumptions about the mind play an important role in determining the moral protection provided by the right.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Medical Ethics



Publication Date