New Technologies, Old Distinctions

This essay presents an argument against human cloning. The thrust of the argument is that cloning is morally impermissible inasmuch as it violates thedignity of the clone who, as a person, is as yet an end in himself or herself. This violation of human dignity is made possible by a confusion between what Aristotledescribes as things that are “by nature” and things that are “by art.” By attempting to “make” a person, the technique of cloning superimposes the logic of artupon the domain of natural reproduction. Corresponding to the efficient, formal, and final causes in art are three specific ways in which the dignity of the clone isviolated. Notably, however, these same three violations of human dignity occur in the attitudes and practices of parents in natural reproduction, indicating that theproblem of cloning is but a symptom of a more deep-seated malaise
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Conference Proceedings  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 0065-7638
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc2004788
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