Biocentrism and Genetic Engineering

Environmental Values 4 (3):227-239 (1995)
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I consider the contribution that a biocentric perspective might make to the ethical debate concerning the practice of genetic engineering. I claim that genetic engineering itself raises novel ethical questions, and particularly so when confronted with biocentric sensibilities. I outline the nature of these questions and describe the biocentric basis for them. I suggest that fundamentalist opposition to projects of genetic engineering is unhelpful, but that biocentric claims should now be a feature of ethical consideration. I conclude, though, that while environmental ethicists can contribute powerfully to debates concerning the future of genetic engineering, the ultimate direction it takes is likely to be beyond their control.



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Andrew Dobson
Keele University