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Biocentrism and Genetic Engineering

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Abstract:

I consider the contribution that a biocentric perspective might make to the ethical debate concerning the practice of genetic engineering. I claim that genetic engineering itself raises novel ethical questions, and particularly so when confronted with biocentric sensibilities. I outline the nature of these questions and describe the biocentric basis for them. I suggest that fundamentalist opposition to projects of genetic engineering is unhelpful, but that biocentric claims should now be a feature of ethical consideration. I conclude, though, that while environmental ethicists can contribute powerfully to debates concerning the future of genetic engineering, the ultimate direction it takes is likely to be beyond their control.

Keywords: biocentrism; environmental ethics; genetic engineering; species

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/096327195776679501

Publication date: August 1, 1995

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2014) of 1.056.
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