David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Technology 25 (2):199-219 (2012)
Synthetic biology, an emerging field of science and technology, intends to make of the natural world a substrate for engineering practice. Drawing inspiration from conventional engineering disciplines, practitioners of synthetic biology hope to make biological systems standardized, calculable, modular, and predictably functional. This essay develops a Heideggerian reading of synthetic biology as a useful perspective with which to identify and explore key facets of this field, its knowledge, its practices, and its products. After overviews of synthetic biology and Heidegger’s account of technology, I discuss calculability, utility, function, setting-upon, and ordering, with the aim of discussing the manner in which synthetic biology works to render the biological world intelligible as something to be used, rather than something that is in and of itself. Having developed this Heideggerian reading, I proffer a number of corrections to his account that enable a more accurate, nuanced understanding of synthetic biology. Specifically, I discuss the notion of Ge-stell and submit that multiple systems of “enframing” may help to make Heidegger’s argument more robust. I suggest that synthetic biology may work to reveal the natural world as a standing-reserve of function.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(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
Martin Heidegger (1967). Being and Time. Oxford, Blackwell.
Martin Heidegger (2000). Introduction to Metaphysics. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
Martin Heidegger (1972). Poetry, Language, Thought. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 31 (1):117-123.
Martin Heidegger (1966/1969). Discourse on Thinking. New York, Harper & Row.
Citations of this work BETA
Vincent Blok & Bart Gremmen (2016). Ecological Innovation: Biomimicry as a New Way of Thinking and Acting Ecologically. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29 (2):203-217.
Similar books and articles
Maximilian Hörner, Nadine Reischmann & Wilfried Weber (2013). Synthetic Biology: Programming Cells for Biomedical Applications. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):490-502.
Pablo Schyfter (2012). Technological Biology? Things and Kinds in Synthetic Biology. Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):29-48.
Michel Morange (2013). Synthetic Biology: A Challenge to Mechanical Explanations in Biology? Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):543-553.
Maureen O'Malley, Alexander Powell, Jonathan Davies & Jane Calvert (2008). Knowledge-Making Distinctions in Synthetic Biology. Bioessays 30 (1):57-65.
Ute Deichmann, Michel Morange & Anthony S. Travis (2013). Editors' Introduction to Special Issue. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):470-472.
Amy Gutmann (2011). The Ethics of Synthetic Biology: Guiding Principles for Emerging Technologies. Hastings Center Report 41 (4):17-22.
Martin Mahner & Mario Bunge (2001). Function and Functionalism: A Synthetic Perspective. Philosophy of Science 68 (1):75-94.
Christophe Malaterre (2009). Can Synthetic Biology Shed Light on the Origin of Life? Biological Theory 4 (4):357-367.
John I. Glass (2013). Synthetic Genomics and the Construction of a Synthetic Bacterial Cell. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):473-489.
Gregory Linshiz, Alex Goldberg, Tania Konry & Nathan J. Hillson (2013). The Fusion of Biology, Computer Science, and Engineering: Towards Efficient and Successful Synthetic Biology. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 55 (4):503-520.
Ruth Mampuys & Frans W. A. Brom (2010). The Quiet Before the Storm: Anticipating Developments in Synthetic Biology. Poiesis and Praxis 7 (3):151-168.
John Basl (2012). Nothing Good Will Come From Giving Up on Aetiological Accounts of Teleology. Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):543-546.
T. Douglas & J. Savulescu (2010). Synthetic Biology and the Ethics of Knowledge. Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (11):687-693.
Anna Deplazes-Zemp (2012). The Conception of Life in Synthetic Biology. Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (4):757-774.
Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent (2009). Synthetic Biology As a Replica of Synthetic Chemistry? Uses and Misuses of History. Biological Theory 4 (4):314-318.
Added to index2011-11-04
Total downloads29 ( #129,900 of 1,789,821 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #196,844 of 1,789,821 )
How can I increase my downloads?