Rethinking Reprogenetics: Enhancing Ethical Analyses of Reprogenetic Technologies is a compact, rigorously argued volume that packs quite a punch. Inmaculada de Melo-Martin aims to provide a crucial corrective to the analyses of bioethicists who have taken to cheerleading the development and use of reprogenetic technologies.1 She argues that they should instead carefully evaluate the goals that particular nations want to achieve by means of reprogenetic technologies and consider whether there is warrant for the trust placed in social institutions to (...) address the unexpected consequences of the use of those technologies.To realize those two aims, de Melo-Martin incisively dissects bioethics analyses that... (shrink)
Listening to someone from some distance in a crowded room you may experience the following phenomenon: when looking at them speak, you may both hear and see where the source of the sounds is; but when your eyes are turned elsewhere, you may no longer be able to detect exactly where the voice must be coming from. With your eyes again fixed on the speaker, and the movement of her lips a clear sense of the source of the sound will (...) return. This ‘ventriloquist’ effect reflects the ways in which visual cognition can dominate auditory perception. And this phenomenological observation is one what you can verify or disconfirm in your own case just by the slightest reflection on what it is like for you to listen to someone with or without visual contact with them. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to set out some of the ontologies amongst which some forms of anti-realism must select. This provides the appropriate setting for presenting an alternative realist ontology. The argument is that the choice between the varieties of anti-realism and realism is inevitably a choice between ontologies.
‘Marital faithfulness’ refers to faithful love for a spouse or lover to whom one is committed, rather than the narrower idea of sexual fidelity. The distinction is clearly marked in traditional wedding vows. A commitment to love faithfully is central: ‘to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part… and thereto I plight [pledge] thee my troth [faithfulness]’. (...) Sexual fidelity is promised in a subordinate clause, symbolizing its supportive role in promoting love's constancy: ‘and, forsaking all other, keep thee only unto her/him.’. (shrink)
Does anyone ever survive his or her bodily death ? Could anyone? No speculative questions are older than these, or have been answered more frequently or more variously. None have been laid to rest more often, or — in our times — with more claimed decisiveness. Jay Rosenberg, for instance, no doubt speaks for many contemporary philosophers when he claims, in his recent book, to have ‘ demonstrated ’ that ‘ we cannot [even] make coherent sense of the supposed possibility (...) that a person's history might continue beyond that person's [bodily] death’. (shrink)
In ‘ The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy ’ Laurence Sterne writes: That of all the several ways of beginning a book which are now in practice throughout the known world, I am confident my own way of doing it is the best—I'm sure it is the most religious—for I begin with writing the first sentence—and trusting to Almighty God for the second.
Q: If necessity is the mother of invention, whence necessity? A. : The matrix of necessity in God-talk is religious experience, philosophically interpreted. The interpreters, theists and non-thesists, have indeed been inventive.
In Chapters 6 and 7 of Language, Truth and Poetry I attempted to solve the ancient problem of fictional reference by claiming that a fictional construct ‘points’ or refers to certain features of reality in rather the same way as an abstraction like ‘gravitation’ or ‘cruelty’ does. I now believe that this theory of mine is unsatisfactory; and I should like to propose a new solution to the problem.
The standard foil for recent theories of hope is the belief-desire analysis advocated by Hobbes, Day, Downie, and others. According to this analysis, to hope for S is no more and no less than to desire S while believing S is possible but not certain. Opponents of the belief-desire analysis argue that it fails to capture one or another distinctive feature or function of hope: that hope helps one resist the temptation to despair;2 that hope engages the sophisticated capacities of (...) human agency, such as planning;3 or that hope involves the imagination in ways desire need not.4 Here, I focus on the role of imagination in hope, and discuss its implications for hope’s relation to practical commitment or end-setting. (shrink)
Book Symposium on Andrew Feenberg’s Between Reason and Experience: Essays in Technology and Modernity Content Type Journal Article Pages 203-226 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0017-8 Authors Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Division of Medical Ethics, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA David B. Ingram, Loyola University Chicago, 6525 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60626, USA Sally Wyatt, e-Humanities Group, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) & Maastricht University, Cruquiusweg 31, 1019 AT Amsterdam, The Netherlands Yoko Arisaka, Forschungsinstitut für (...) Philosophie Hannover, Gerberstrasse 26, 30169 Hannover, Germany Andrew Feenberg, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University at Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3, Canada Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433 Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 2. (shrink)
Through a glass, darkly Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9633-2 Authors Inmaculada de Melo-Martín, Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College—Cornell University, 402 E. 67th Street, New York, NY 10065, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Rethinking Reprogenetics by Immaculada de Melo-Martin has at its heart a desire to spark discussion about the foundations of our right to reproduce. While many of the arguments are familiar in feminist ethics, de Melo-Martin's text is a useful addition in that she is focusing on the development and application of genetic technology toward reproductive ends, including the ends of transhumanism. Particularly, de Melo-Martin is skeptical about claims that genetic reproduction is a need or right deserving of social resources. This (...) is particularly an issue when genetic reproduction requires public resources to do it or as a consequence of it. She raises questions about whether the desire to have genetically related... (shrink)
Al centro dell'attenzione degli studiosi nell'ultimo ventennio per l'importanza della testimonianza storica, per il carattere peculiare delle strutture compositive, per varie sfaccettature dell'impostazione ideologica, l'opera di Michele Attaliata non disponeva di un'analisi complessiva né tantomeno di un'edizione critica condotta sulla base degli attuali criteri ecdotici e di una traduzione in una lingua moderna. Lacuna avvertita dai bizantinisti con maggiore evidenza, dal momento che per gli altri storici di primo piano dell'XI secolo, da Michele Psello a Giovanni Scilitza, ci si avvale (...) di strumenti critici agguerriti. Lacuna colmata dal poderoso lavoro di I. Pérez Martín che si presenta come un'edizione dell' Ίστοϱία di Attaliata, corredata da traduzione in spagnolo, commento, bibliografia, indici, tavole e preceduta da un'ampia introduzione. (shrink)
The lack of public support for climate change policies and refusals to vaccinate children are just two alarming illustrations of the impacts of dissent about scientific claims. Dissent can lead to confusion, false beliefs, and widespread public doubt about highly justified scientific evidence. Even more dangerously, it has begun to corrode the very authority of scientific consensus and knowledge. Deployed aggressively and to political ends, some dissent can intimidate scientists, stymie research, and lead both the public and policymakers to oppose (...) important public policies firmly rooted in science. -/- To criticize dissent is, however, a fraught exercise. Skepticism and fearless debate are key to the scientific process, making it both vital and incredibly difficult to characterize and identify dissent that is problematic in its approach and consequences. Indeed, as de Melo-Martín and Intemann show, the criteria commonly proposed as means of identifying inappropriate dissent are flawed and the strategies generally recommended to tackle such dissent are not only ineffective but could even make the situation worse. -/- The Fight Against Doubt proposes that progress on this front can best be achieved by enhancing the trustworthiness of the scientific community and by being more realistic about the limits of science when it comes to policymaking. It shows that a richer understanding of the context in which science operates is needed to disarm problematic dissent and those who deploy it. This, the authors argue, is the best way forward, rather than diagnosing the many instances of wrong-headed dissent. (shrink)
Inmaculada de Melo-Martín and Kristen Intemann consider whether, from the perspective of the argument from inductive risk, ethical and political values might be logically, epistemically, pragmatically, or ethically necessary in the “core” of scientific reasoning. In each case, they argue that there are significant conceptual problems. In this comment, employing regulatory uses of high-throughput toxicology at the US Environmental Protection Agency as a case study, I respond to some of their claims about the notion of “pragmatic necessity.” I (...) conclude that, while an inductive risk framework has some significant limitations, it is still conceptually and rhetorically valuable. (shrink)
Reprogenetic technologies, which combine the power of reproductive techniques with the tools of genetic science and technology, promise prospective parents a remarkable degree of control to pick and choose the likely characteristics of their offspring. Not only can they select embryos with or without particular genetically-related diseases and disabilities but also choose embryos with non-disease related traits such as sex. -/- Prominent authors such as Agar, Buchanan, DeGrazia, Green, Harris, Robertson, Savulescu, and Silver have flocked to the banner of reprogenetics. (...) For them, increased reproductive choice and reduced suffering through the elimination of genetic disease and disability are just the first step. They advocate use of these technologies to create beings who enjoy longer and healthier lives, possess greater intellectual capacities, and are capable of more refined emotional experiences. Indeed, Harris and Savulescu in particular take reprogenetic technologies to be so valuable to human beings that they have insisted that their use is not only morally permissible but morally required. -/- Rethinking Reprogenetics challenges this mainstream view with a contextualised, gender-attentive philosophical perspective. De Melo-Martín demonstrates that you do not have to be a Luddite, social conservative, or religious zealot to resist the siren song of reprogenetics. Pointing out the flawed nature of the arguments put forward by the technologies' proponents, Rethinking Reprogenetics reveals the problematic nature of the assumptions underpinning current evaluations of these technologies and offers a framework for a more critical and skeptical assessment. (shrink)