Center for Neurophilosophy and Ethics of Neurosciences

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Neurophilosophy and Ethics of False Memories and False Beliefs

PhD Project of Urim Retkoceri

New ways of implanting false memories (roughly put, memories related to events that did not occur) using
neurobiological means have recently been developed. These new developments might be a promising
starting point for treatment of psychiatric disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorders but might
also harbor hidden risks.
This interdisciplinary research project analyzes philosophical and ethical aspects of memory
implantation, false memories and false beliefs. To adequately assess ethical implications memory
implantation might have, interplay between philosophy, neurobiology and cognitive psychology will be
needed. That is why neurobiological methods and paradigms regarding false memories are put under
philosophical scrutiny and already existing psychological ways of memory implantations are analyzed
with regard to what significance false memories might have for normative theories of belief. Insights
from philosophical discussions of neurobiological as well as psychological accounts are then combined
to enable an ethical evaluation of the use of memory implantation. Additionally, how false memories
might not only affect how we view our past but also how we imagine our future is researched.