The Ethics of De-Extinction

NanoEthics 8 (2):165-178 (2014)

Abstract
“de-extinction” refers to the process of resurrecting extinct species by genetic methods. This science-fiction-sounding idea is in fact already in early processes of scientific implementation. Although this recent “revival of the dead” raises deep ethical questions, the ethics of de-extinction has barely received philosophical treatment. Rather than seeking a verdict for or against de-extinction, this paper attempts an overview and some novel analyses of the main ethical considerations. Five dimensions of the ethics of de-extinction are explored: (a) the possible contribution of de-extinction to promoting ecological values, (b) the deontological argument that we owe de-extinction to species we rendered extinct, (c) the question of “playing God” through de-extinction, (d) the utilitarian perspective, and (e) the role of aesthetic considerations in the ethics of de-extinction. A general feature arising from the paper’s discussion is that, due to de-extinction’s special character, it repeatedly tests the limits of our ethical notions
Keywords De-extinction  Environmental ethics  Bioconservation  Biodiversity  Species rights  Respect for life  Genetic engineering  Cloning
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DOI 10.1007/s11569-014-0201-2
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References found in this work BETA

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
The Morality of Freedom.Joseph Raz - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - Cambridge University Press.
Critique of the Power of Judgment.Immanuel Kant - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

De-Extinction and the Conception of Species.Leonard Finkelman - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):32.
Won’T Somebody Please Think of the Mammoths? De-Extinction and Animal Welfare.Heather Browning - 2018 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 31 (6):785-803.
Animals and Technoscience.Christopher Coenen - 2015 - NanoEthics 9 (1):1-4.

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