Neurotechnologies, relational autonomy, and authenticity

Mary Jean Walker, Catriona Mackenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The ethical debate about neurotechnologies has been largely framed around their effects on authenticity. In this paper, we investigate the concept of authenticity and associated conceptions of the self. We develop a conception of authenticity that eschews problematic essentialist or existentialist views of the self and the assumption that the authentic self transcends socialization. In our view, authenticity is a condition for self-governance and can involve either endorsement or acknowledgment. Revisiting the debate about neurotechnologies, we show why framing the ethical debate in terms of authenticity is unhelpful and argue that these ethical concerns are better understood as concerns about autonomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-119
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Philosophy

User-Defined Keywords

  • Authenticity
  • Autonomy
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Neurotechnologies
  • Self-change
  • Self-governance


Dive into the research topics of 'Neurotechnologies, relational autonomy, and authenticity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this