Heidegger and the Question Concerning Biotechnology

Journal of Philosophy of Life 2 (1):32-54 (2012)

Abstract

From the mid-thirties onwards, Martin Heidegger occasionally speculated about the future possibility of artificially producing human beings. What is at stake in biotechnology, Heidegger claims, is the imminent possibility of the destruction of the human essence. It is unclear, however, how Heidegger can substantiate such a claim given that he consistently denounced attempts to define human Dasein as a living being to which a higher capacity such as reason or language is added. This paper will argue that, in this sense, Heidegger took the radical challenge of biotechnology both too seriously and not seriously enough. Too seriously, because it is unclear why he would fear the annihilation of Dasein’s essence if he is convinced that this essence is not related to man’s biological equipment in the first place. Not seriously enough, because Heidegger at the same time remained convinced that even the most intrusive interventions in the human body will not be able to disrupt Dasein’s ontological essence

Download options

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 72,805

External links

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

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-10-31

Downloads
36 (#320,547)

6 months
1 (#386,031)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Nathan Van Camp
University of Antwerp

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Question of Being : Heidegger and Beyond.Peter Wolfendale - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
Neglecting the Question of Being: Heidegger's Argument Against Husserl.Ryan Hickerson - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (6):574 – 595.
How Not to Interpret the Advances of Biotechnology.Giridhari L. Pandit - 2005 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 12 (1):93-102.
Agricultural Biotechnology and the Future Benefits Argument.Jeffrey Burkhardt - 2001 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 14 (2):135-145.