David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):439-458 (2012)
There are many ways that biological theory can inform ethical discussions of genetic engineering and biomedical enhancement. In this essay, we highlight some of these potential contributions, and along the way provide a synthetic overview of the papers that comprise this special issue. We begin by comparing and contrasting genetic engineering with programs of selective breeding that led to the domestication of plants and animals, and we consider how genetic engineering differs from other contemporary biotechnologies such as embryo selection. We go on to consider the implications of genetic engineering for human nature, human evolution, and persistence of the human species. Finally, we question whether genetic interventions warrant the extraordinary ethical scrutiny they are often given, and we show how the misleading “genetic blueprint” metaphor has imposed a faulty structure on the enhancement debate. We conclude by considering the nature of biological development and the sobering limits it places on what genetic engineering can reasonably hope to achieve
|Keywords||Enhancement Evolution Genetic engineering Human nature Selection|
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References found in this work BETA
Nicholas Agar (2008). Liberal Eugenics: In Defence of Human Enhancement. John Wiley & Sons.
Allen E. Buchanan (2011). Beyond Humanity?: The Ethics of Biomedical Enhancement. Oxford University Press.
Charles Darwin (1963). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. New York, Heritage Press.
Francis Fukuyama (2002). 'Our Posthuman Future': Biotechnology as a Threat to Human Nature. fsgbooks.
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