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Conclusion

I have argued, contra Parens, that ambivalence is an obstacle for reasoned reflection in neuroethics, not the conclusion to which we ought to come. Ambivalence is uncomfortable; because it is so easily triggered by new technologies (and here I am in agreement with Parens), it sets the stage for confabulation and the tendency to rest content with arguments that allow us to resolve it, independently of their actual value. I suggest that we ought, where possible, to avoid the ambivalence that Parens celebrates. Doing so is, I concede, not easy. Moreover, it is very likely that any strategies we utilize to avoid triggering ambivalence will have costs of their own: they will bias deliberation in other ways. Nevertheless, I have suggested, the bias is likely to be smaller than is currently the case and our assessment correspondingly better justified.

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