Keeping Freedom in Mind
The Center for
Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE) is a network of scholars elaborating
the law, policy and ethics of freedom of thought. Our mission is
to develop social policies that will preserve and enhance freedom of
thought into the 21st century.
Growing knowledge in
the neurosciences, enhanced by exponential advances in pharmacology and
(technologies that make it possible to monitor and manipulate the brainís
electrochemistry) are rapidly moving brain research and clinical
applications beyond the scope of purely medical use.
The definitions of "medicine" and "mental
health" are expanding from treatment and prevention, to improvement and
The CCLE is dedicated to protecting and
advancing freedom of thought in the modern world of accelerating
neurotechnologies. Our paramount concern is to foster the unlimited
potential of the human mind and to protect freedom of thought.
The CCLE supports technological advances, and believes
that the application and regulation of new drugs and neurotechnologies are best channeled
by a renewed allegiance to the fundamental right to freedom of thought.
guiding principles are privacy, autonomy and choice:
What and how you think should be private unless you choose to share
it. The use of technologies such as brain imaging and scanning must
remain consensual and any information so revealed should remain
confidential. The right to privacy must be found to encompass the inner
domain of thought.
Self-determination over oneís own cognition is central to free will. Decisions concerning whether or how to change a personís thought
processes must remain the province of the individual as opposed to
government or industry.
The capabilities of the human mind should not be limited. So long
as people do not directly harm others, governments should not criminally
prohibit cognitive enhancement or the experience of any mental state.
The CCLE recognizes that these are extremely complex issues with no simple
solutions. We see our contribution as helping to negotiate the intersection
of law and science so that new neurotechnologies expand rather than reduce
freedom of thought.
What We Do
The CCLE supports social impact litigation that has the potential to broadly advance
cognitive liberty. We have filed legal briefs on the topic of cognitive
liberty in federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.
CCLE monitors developments in neurotechnology, cognitive sciences and the
law, to identify and offer guidance concerning those developments with a
potential to significantly impact freedom of thought. We produce reports
and professional testimony on complex freedom of thought issues currently
facing policy makers, industry, and the general public.
By raising awareness of emerging cognitive liberty issues, our outreach and
education campaigns empower people to meaningfully participate in public
discourse and the democratic process. We provide course content
to universities and professional schools in order to accelerate scholarly
discussion of cognitive liberty across a wide range of disciplines.