Cognition-Enhancing Drugs: Can We Say No?

Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Document Type Article


Normative analysis of cognition-enhancing drugs frequently weighs the liberty interests of drug users against egalitarian commitments to a "level playing field." Yet those who would refuse to engage in neuroenhancement may well find their liberty to do so limited in a society where such drugs are widespread. To the extent that unvarnished emotional responses are world-disclosive, neurocosmetic practices also threaten to provide a form of faulty data to their users. This essay examines under-appreciated liberty-based and epistemic rationales for regulating cognition-enhancing drugs.