Status: [[Bean]] ## Definition Cognitive autonomy is the freedom to choose what information to seek, when to seek it, how to process it and how to retain the capacity to make independent judgements. ## Proposition Cognitive autonomy is a fundamental human right; and in the [[Information Age]] second only to the Right to Life. The right to cognitive autonomy is the right to use one's mind without interference. It encompasses the right to free speech, expression and thought. ## Why? The ability to use independently use one's mind lies at the heart of why we put the individual at the centre of society; assert that individuals have rights; and therefore make the case for liberal democracy and free markets. To the extent that the mind cannot be used independently, the case for human rights, liberal democracy and free markets weaken. Therefore, cognitive autonomy is the basis for all other rights. ## Why is it important now? During the first two centuries of the Enlightenment era, cognitive autonomy was less of a concern -- free speech, expression and thought were sufficient to protect cognitive autonomy. In the [[Information Age]] due to networks, information cascades and the understanding of how the brain works, thought processes are constantly hijacked or hacked. Unless an individual unplugs from the network, cognition is influenced. Unplugging is nearly impossible in the information age. Thus cognitive autonomy must be proactively protected. ## How Working on this. Suggestions welcome. ## Comments Making the Right to Cognitive Autonomy a fundamental right in the Indian constitutional sense would mean that the State cannot influence a citizens' minds. This gets tricky. How can a State carry out any function without influencing minds? ## Related [[The Fundamental Conundrum of Information Warfare]]