© 2019

Shaping Children

Ethical and Social Questions that Arise when Enhancing the Young

  • Saskia K. Nagel
  • Focuses on neuroenhancement interventions for children and adolescents

  • Presents a broad perspective on the international scale of neuroenhancement

  • Discusses the practical implications for parenting, schooling, and policy-making


Part of the Advances in Neuroethics book series (AIN)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Saskia K. Nagel
    Pages 1-8
  3. Perspectives on the Specific Value of Childhood: Self-Control, Autonomy, and Naturalness

  4. Learning from Perspectives of the Publics

  5. Perspectives on Implications for Parenting, Education, and Policy

About this book


The volume offers a unique collection of articles on pediatric neuroenhancement from an international and multidisciplinary perspective. In recent years, the topic of “neuroenhancement” has become increasingly relevant in academia and practice, as well as among the public. While autonomous adults are free to choose neuroenhancement, in children it presents its own ethical, social, legal, and developmental issues. A plethora of potential (neurotechnological) enhancement agents are on the market. While the manifold issues surrounding the topic have been extensively discussed, there is little work on the specific questions that arise in children and adolescents. This book addresses this gap in the literature: Next to conceptual and normative work on autonomy and self-control, the collection explores the implications for parenting and schooling, and provides input for a discussion of public attitudes. It is a valuable resource for the different academic communities confronted with questions of how to evaluate and approach enhancement in children and is of interest to neuroethicists, scholars in applied ethics and neurology, psychiatrists and psychologists as well as scientists developing enhancement interventions for children.


neuroethics enhancement childhood and adolescence autonomy psychopharmacology policy-making

Editors and affiliations

  • Saskia K. Nagel
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Technology Center, RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

About the editors

Saskia Nagel is professor for Applied Ethics and Ethics of Technology at RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and Associate Professor for Philosophy and Ethics of Technology at University of Twente (Netherlands).

With a background in Cognitive Science and Philosophy, she develops approaches to individual and societal challenges in a technological culture, with a focus on the ethical, anthropological, and social consequences of scientific and technological progress. Her interdisciplinary research group explores how new human-technology-relations – as enabled by research in the fields of neuroscience, cognitive science, AI, or data science - influence human self-understanding and the understanding of moral values. She co-authored a position paper by the American Academy of Neurology endorsed by the Child Neurology Society and the American Neurological Association, on pediatric neuro-enhancement. Recent projects investigate questions of autonomy throughout life, responsibility, and trust. Saskia Nagel combines research in applied ethics with philosophy of mind and philosophy and ethics of technology and involves studies on the public understanding of sciences and technological advances.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals
Consumer Packaged Goods