Leonardo’s Choice: Genetic Technologies and Animals

Springer Science & Business Media
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Leonardo’s Choice: Genetic Technologies and Animals is an edited collection of twelve essays and one dialogue focusing on the profound affect the use of animals in biotechnology is having on both humans and other species. Communicating crucial understandings of the integrated nature of the human and non-human world, these essays, unlike the majority of discussions of biotechnology, take seriously the impact of these technologies on animals themselves. This collection’s central questions revolve around the disassociation Western ideas of creative freedom have from the impacts those ideas and practices have on the non-human world.

This transdisciplinary collection includes perspectives from the disciplines of philosophy, cultural theory, art and literary theory, history and theory of science, environmental studies, law, landscape architecture, history, and geography. Included authors span three continents and four countries.

Included essays contribute significantly to a growing scholarship surrounding "the question of the animal" emanating from philosophical, cultural and activist discourses. Its authors’ are at the forefront of the growing number of theorists and practioners across the disciplines concerned with the impact of new technologies on the more-than-human world.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Sep 18, 2009
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9789048124794
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / General
Science / Life Sciences / Genetics & Genomics
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Advances in genetics research, largely, though not entirely, spawned by the Human Genome Project, have led to a broad array of new technologies that promise to revolutionize life as we have known it. Medicine and agriculture are already starting to utilize new technologies to greatly improve disease prevention and treatment and food production. Yet, these improvements often raise ethical questions that are not easy to untangle. Some have gone as far to as to argue that certain applications, such as embryonic stem cell research, threaten the very fiber of our moral compass. While the application of scientific advances to better humankind has always raised thorny ethical issues, the ethical impact of genetic advances arguably reaches a new height because the applicability of advances is exceptionally broad, deep, and potentially irreversible. To utilize such technologies could mean saving thousands of lives, but where and how do we draw the line?

Here, Barash sheds light on the actual ethical concerns surrounding various types of genetic technologies, introducing readers to the competing issues at stake in the arguments about the scientific application of the new technologies available and those on the horizon. She begins by illustrating the history of genetic advances, their societal applications, and the ethical issues that have arisen from those applications. Using case studies and examples throughout, she walks readers through the various considerations involved in a variety of areas related to the application of genetic technologies currently available and possible in the future. Covering topics ranging from stem cell research to genetically modified food, genetic mapping to cloning, this book offers a thoughtful approach to the complex issues at play in the various fields of genetic technologies.

Recent advances in techniques and understanding in the fields of genetics, embryology and reproductive biology have opened up new ways to treat a wide range of medical problems. They range from new options for infertility treatment and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to stem-cell-based therapies for debilitating diseases. Since all these approaches involve the manipulation of human gametes, embryos or embryonic cells, and could also permit more contentious uses, they have stimulated a controversial debate as to what aims are desirable and to what extent experiments on human embryos are morally permissible, if permissible at all. The situation is further complicated by the fact that scientific projects are increasingly realized through international co-operation and that patients are increasingly ready to seek morally contentious medical treatment wherever it is available and thus to bypass national legislation. In view of this situation the Europäische Akademie assembled a temporary interdisciplinary project group in which scientists from universities and non-university research organizations in Europe working on the relevant subjects were brought together and charged with establishing a knowledge base and providing suggestions for long-term solutions that would be acceptable for society. Presented here are the results of this project, ranging from a discussion of the theoretical and practical possibilities in human-embryo experimentation and its alternatives in research on adult stem cells, a comparison of the situations and prospects of regulation of embryo research in Europe, a survey of European public attitudes, and a philosophical analysis of the arguments and argumentative strategies used in the debate.
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