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This chapter presents the case for recognising a slowly emerging human right that protects the human mind, the right to psychological or mental self-determination, along with some suggestions for a plausible construal. The human mind is an entity poorly protected by law and poorly understood by science: what it truly is, what it consists and what it is made of, the laws and dynamics by which it operates, and how it relates to the brain as its material substrate are among the last mysteries of science and metaphysics. People, however, are intimately familiar with many facets of their minds from personal experience, and they constantly interact with minds of others. In light of Descartes’ famous proposition cogito ergo sum, a thinking mind might well be the essence of being human. For legal purposes, a rough definition of the mind may suffice: it comprises all conscious and non-conscious mental states, events and processes, i.e. thoughts and beliefs, emotions and moods, as well as the underlying psychological mechanisms operating in the complex mental machinery.
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