Blurred boundaries

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):259 – 289 (1997)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Since 1990 it has been illegal in Britain to create human/animal hybrids. But what is the objection to hybrids? A proposal based on a fear of blurring conceptual boundaries is offered; this fear also seems to underlie several other of our deep-seated taboos, such as incest and bestiality, which are often explained in other, quite inappropriate, ways. The new law shows that the boundary between the human and the animal is still thought of as crucial and untransgressable in modern Britain, yet it is not clear why; the world-views that in the past justified protecting this particular boundary are usually thought of as having been abandoned centuries ago. Thus it would seem that within our culture there are firmly entrenched taboos that are not readily justifiable from within that culture; the taboo against blurring the human/animal boundary is one such. This raises the question whether this human/animal boundary is one we should still want to protect in this way.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,261

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The boundaries of context and their significance.Guichun Guo - 2010 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (3):449-460.
Crossing boundaries.Ben Tilghman - 2006 - British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2):178-191.
Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):401-420.
Social boundary mechanisms.Charles Tilly - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (2):211-236.
Boundary.Achille C. Varzi - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


Added to PP

44 (#363,319)

6 months
13 (#200,551)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?