Ethics as rule systems: The case of genetically engineered organisms

Inquiry 37 (1):65 – 84 (1994)
Like every major new technology, genetic engineering is affecting the hopes and fears of many people. The risks involved are perceived differently by different groups. One group regards genetic engineering as a simple extension of older techniques with no special risks, e.g. traditional breeding. This conservative denial of special risks is confronted with a different kind of conservatism from a group which, in the name of the preservation of nature, opposes any kind of genetic engineering. A third group, rooted in the liberal tradition, is prepared to accept the risks of genetic engineering as long as they are outweighed by prospective benefits. The liberal as well as the two conservative approaches, however, face serious difficulties in trying to develop a sound ethical argument concerning genetic engineering. In order to avoid these difficulties, an ethical approach focused on paradigmatic examples of good and evil is proposed. Such examples constitute rules of moral description, much as standards of measurement constitute rules of physical description. These rules are elaborated and interpreted in processes of social learning. In the present state of development of genetic engineering, such social learning requires appropriate institutional procedures
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/00201749408602340
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,217
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
John Rawls (2009). A Theory of Justice. In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy and Rhetoric. Oxford University Press 133-135.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

2 ( #741,735 of 1,932,483 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #456,120 of 1,932,483 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.