Genetic Prospects: Essays on Biotechnology, Ethics, and Public Policy (Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy Studies)
- Publish Date: 2003-09-27
- Binding: Paperback
While the collapse of the Soviet Union has diminished the force of George Orwell's 1984, the other great dystopian tract of the twentieth century, Alduous Huxley's Brave New World, is timelier than ever. The ongoing process of genetic science may well revolutionize medicine and human reproduction, and it may end by giving us the ability to transform the human species itself. This new power has raised hopes that we will solve a range of genetically based problems that afflict us. It has also evoked fears that we are on the verge of a 'post human' future in which precious but necessary norms regulating individual and social life will be set aside. Will we have the moral and political wisdom to avoid the pitfalls in using new biotechnologies? Genetic Prospects considers the resources from which the needed norms and maxims might be drawn, scrutinizing carefully the contributions of common sense, religion, and moral sentiment. Taken together, the essays in this volume apply philosophical analysis to address three kinds of questions: What are the implications of genetic science for our understanding of nature? What might it influence in our conception of human nature? What challenges does genetic science poses for specific issues of private conduct or public policy?