The combination of breeding for increased production and the intensification of housing conditions have resulted in increased occurrence of behavioral, physiological, and immunological disorders. These disorders affect health and welfare of production animals negatively. For future livestock systems, it is important to consider how to manage and breed production animals. In this paper, we will focus on selective breeding of laying hens. Selective breeding should not only be defined in terms of production, but should also include traits related to animal (...) health and welfare. For this we like to introduce the concept of robustness. The concept of robustness includes individual traits of an animal that are relevant for health and welfare. Improving robustness by selective breeding will increase (or restore) the ability of animals to interact successfully with the environment and thereby to make them more able to adapt to an appropriate husbandry system. Application of robustness into a breeding goal will result in animals with improved health and welfare without affecting their integrity. Therefore, in order to be ethically acceptable, selective breeding in animal production should accept robustness as a breeding goal. (shrink)
Putting the ethical tools of philosophy to work, Ellen K. Feder seeks to clarify how we should understand "the problem" of intersex. Adults often report that medical interventions they underwent as children to "correct" atypical sex anatomies caused them physical and psychological harm. Proposing a philosophical framework for the treatment of children with intersex conditions—one that acknowledges the intertwined identities of parents, children, and their doctors—Feder presents a persuasive moral argument for collective responsibility to these children and their families.
Biologists, historians of biology, and philosophers of biology often ask what is it to be an individual, really. This book does not answer that question. Instead, it answers a much more interesting one: How do biologists individuate individuals? In answering that question, the authors explore why biologists individuate individuals, in what ways, and for what purposes. The cross-disciplinary, dialogical approach to answering metaphysical questions that is pursued in the volume may seem strange to metaphysicians who are not biologically focused, but (...) it is adroitly achieved by the editors. Scott Lidgard (a paleontologist and marine ecologist) and Lynn K. Nyhart (a historian of biology) orchestrate a dialogue among historians of biology, philosophers of biology, and practicing biologists over 10 chapters. These are followed by three reflective commentaries written to frame the different disciplinary perspectives and to highlight the historical, biological, and philosophical themes across the chapters. The result is a volume—in structure and in content—that has much to be generously commended. Biological individuality is a hotly discussed topic, but it is also part of a series of long-standing arguments within both the history and philosophy of biology (HPB) and metaphysics. Notable and fervent debates have centered on evolution and the units of selection, predominantly on Michael T. Ghiselin’s and David L. Hull’s notion of species as individuals, Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Darwinian individuals, and Ellen Clarke’s individuating mechanisms. Lately, it has encompassed non-Darwinian individuals, symbiotic associations like Thomas Pradeu’s immunological individuals, and John Dupré and Maureen A. O’Malley’s metabolic individuals.2 The present volume is curated in a way to introduce the reader to new research in HPB that articulates these debates as well as to introduce and engage in the study of further notions of biological individuality. But its aim is more than an introduction. As the subtitle suggests, it is also intended to give the reader insight into the working together of biologists, historians of biology, and philosophers of biology in figuring out how the notion of biological individuality is instantiated. As such, the problem-centered dialogue that results does more than talk through biological individuality. It shows how the different and often divergent goals of the authors’ disciplines shape not only how they think about individuality but how they communicate this thinking in reciprocal collaboration with others in different disciplines. … cont’d…. (shrink)
Ellen Feder's monograph is an attempt to think about the categories of race and gender together. She explains and then employs some critical tools derived from Foucault, in order to advance her main argument: that the institution of the family is the locus of the production of gender and race, and that gender is best understood as a function of a "disciplinary" power that operates within the family, while race is the function of a "regulatory" power acting upon the (...) family from outside. Her interdisciplinary work will be of interest to feminist philosophers and theorists because it plays into a recent expansion of interest in the family, as well as to literary scholars of Foucault, to scholars of race and race theory, and to other feminist scholars in political science, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. (shrink)
Following extensive examination of published and unpublished materials, we provide a history of the use of dexamethasone in pregnant women at risk of carrying a female fetus affected by congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). This intervention has been aimed at preventing development of ambiguous genitalia, the urogenital sinus, tomboyism, and lesbianism. We map out ethical problems in this history, including: misleading promotion to physicians and CAH-affected families; de facto experimentation without the necessary protections of approved research; troubling parallels to the history (...) of prenatal use of diethylstilbestrol (DES); and the use of medicine and public monies to attempt prevention of benign behavioral sex variations. Critical attention is directed at recent investigations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP); we argue that the weak and unsupported conclusions of these investigations indicate major gaps in the systems meant to protect subjects of high-risk medical research. (shrink)
Cheryl Chase has argued that “the problem” of intersex is one of “stigma and trauma, not gender,” as those focused on medical management would have it. Despite frequent references to shame in the critical literature, there has been surprisingly little analysis of shame, or of the disgust that provokes it. This paper investigates the function of disgust in the medical management of intersex and seeks to understand the consequences—material and moral—with respect to the shame it provokes.Conventional ethical approaches may not (...) provide quite the right tools to consider this affective dimension of the medical management of intersex, but we find in Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morality a framework that allows us a profound appreciation of its moral significance (Nietzsche 1887/1998). Understanding doctors' disgust—and the disgust that they promote in parents of those born with atypical anatomies—as a contemporary expression of ressentiment directs us to not focus on the bodies of those born with intersex conditions, which have been the privileged objects of attention both in medical practice and in criticisms of it, but moves us to consider instead the bodies of those whose responses constitute the motivating force for normalizing practices in the first place. (shrink)
: Even as feminist analyses have contributed in important ways to discussions of how gender is raced and race is gendered, there has been little in the way of comparative analysis of the specific mechanisms that are at work in the production of each. Feder argues that in Michel Foucault's analytics of power we find tools to understand the reproduction of whiteness as a complex interaction of distinctive expressions of power associated with these categories of difference.
The recent publication of Michel Foucault’s 1974-75 and 1975-76 lectures at the Collège de France provides an opportunity to reconsider the potential contribution of Foucault’s “analytics” of power for understanding the contemporary operation of race. Unlike the deployment of gender, which, I argue here, is best understood as a function of “disciplinary” power, the deployment of race is primarily a function of “biopower,” an expression of power that is bound up with the state apparatus. The announcement of the federal Violence (...) Initiative in the 1990s provides an illuminating example of the operation of this power, and the chiasmic function of discourse that Foucault famously termed “power/knowledge.”. (shrink)
In this paper, I apply Michel Foucault’s analysis of normalization to the 2006 announcement by the US and European Endocrinological Societies that variations on the term “hermaphrodite” and “intersex” would be replaced by the term, “Disorders of Sex Development” or DSD. I argue that the change should be understood as normalizing in a positive sense; rather than fighting for the demedicalization of conditions that have significant consequences for individuals’ health, this change can promote the transformation of the conceptualization of intersex (...) conditions from “disorders like no other” to “disorders like many others.” Understood in these terms, I conclude, medical attention to those with atypical anatomies should be recast from a preoccupation with “normal appearance” to the concern with human flourishing that is the proper object of medical attention. (shrink)
Even as feminist analyses have contributed in important ways to discussions of how gender is raced and race is gendered, there has been little in the way of comparative analysis of the specific mechanisms that are at work in the production of each. Feder argues that in Michel Foucault's analytics of power we find tools to understand the reproduction of whiteness as a complex interaction of distinctive expressions of power associated with these categories of difference.
Ladelle McWhorter's Bodies and Pleasures provides an unusual and important reading of Michel Foucault's later work. This response is an effort to introduce McWhorter's project and to describe the challenge it presents to engage in askesis, the transformative exercise of thinking, which McWhorter's work itself exemplifies.
Apology is arguably the central act of the reparative work required after wrongdoing. The analysis by Claudia Card of complicity in collectively perpetrated evils moves one to ask whether apology ought to be requested of persons culpably complicit in institutional evils. To better appreciate the benefits of and barriers to apologies offered by culpably complicit wrongdoers, this article examines doctors’ complicity in a practice that meets Card's definition of an evil, namely, the non-medically necessary, nonconsensual “normalizing” interventions performed on babies (...) born with intersex anatomies. It argues that in this instance the complicity of doctors is culpable on Card's terms, and that their culpable complicity grounds rightful demands for them to apologize. (shrink)