“Unfit for Life”: A Case Study of Protector-Protected Analogies in Recent Advocacy of Eugenics and Coercive Genetic Discrimination [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):177-189 (2011)
This paper utilizes Iris Marion Young’s critical, post-9/11 reading of Thomas Hobbes, as a theorist of authoritarian government grounded in fear of threat (Young 2003). Applying Young’s reading of Hobbes to the high-profile ethicist Julian Savulescu’s advocacy of genetic enhancement reveals an underlying unjust discrimination in Savulescu’s use of patriarchal protector–protected analogies between family and state. First, the paper shows how Savulescu’s concept of procreative beneficence, in which parents use genetic selection to have children who will have the best lives possible, is unjustly discriminatory against marginalized groups. Increasingly, however, he has invoked public security to justify genetic interventions. In recent speeches, Savulescu has argued a global state of emergency is developing due to a combination of the global environmental crisis, the threat of bioterrorism, and the failure of liberalism. To help deal with this emerging state of emergency, Savulescu advocates an unjustly discriminatory array of genetic-based governance practices, including detention and segregation
|Keywords||Eugenics Prejudice Coercion National security|
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References found in this work BETA
Giorgio Agamben (1998). Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford University Press.
Thomas Hobbes (2008). Leviathan, or, the Matter, Forme and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil. Touchstone.
Ingmar Persson & Julian Savulescu (2008). The Perils of Cognitive Enhancement and the Urgent Imperative to Enhance the Moral Character of Humanity. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):162-177.
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