David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (1):1–16 (2006)
Is genetic information of special ethical significance? Does it require special regulation? There is considerable contemporary debate about this question (the genetic exceptionalism debate). Genetic information is an ambiguous term and, as an aid to avoiding conflation in the genetic exceptionalism debate, a detailed account is given of just how and why genetic information is ambiguous. Whilst ambiguity is a ubiquitous problem of communication, it is suggested that genetic information is ambiguous in a particular way, one that gives rise to the problem of significance creep (i.e., where claims about the significance of certain kinds of genetic information in one context influence our thinking about the significance of other kinds of genetic information in other contexts). A contextual and contrastive methodology is proposed: evaluating the significance of genetic information requires us to be sensitive to the polysemy of genetic information across contexts and then examine the contrast in significance (if any) of genetic, as opposed to nongenetic, information within contexts. This, in turn, suggests that a proper solution to the regulatory question requires us to pay more attention to how and why information, and its acquisition, possession and use, come to be of ethical significance
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Richard A. Spinello (2004). Property Rights in Genetic Information. Ethics and Information Technology 6 (1):29-42.
Judith Wagner DeCew (2004). Privacy and Policy for Genetic Research. Ethics and Information Technology 6 (1):5-14.
Frode Kjosavik (2007). From Symbolism to Information? – Decoding the Gene Code. Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):333-349.
B. M. Kious (2010). Genetic Nondiscrimination and Health Care as an Entitlement. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (2):86-100.
Angela Davey, Ainsley Newson & Peter O’Leary (2006). Communication of Genetic Information Within Families: The Case for Familial Comity. [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 3 (3):161-166.
Ludvig Beckman (2004). Are Genetic Self-Tests Dangerous? Assessing the Commercialization of Genetic Testing in Terms of Personal Autonomy. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (5-6):387-398.
V. Launis (2000). The Use of Genetic Test Information in Insurance: The Argument From Indistinguishability Reconsidered. Science and Engineering Ethics 6 (3):299-310.
Ainsley Newson (2004). The Nature and Significance of Behavioural Genetic Information. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (2):89-111.
Ruth Hannah Wilkinson (2010). Genetic Information: Important but Not “Exceptional. [REVIEW] Identity in the Information Society 3 (3):457-472.
Neil C. Manson (2006). What is Genetic Information, and Why is It Significant? A Contextual, Contrastive, Approach. Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (1):1-16.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads14 ( #131,892 of 1,689,872 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #111,786 of 1,689,872 )
How can I increase my downloads?