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Nature
nature imageFrom genetically modified foods to assisted reproduction, an increasing number of social debates feature what might be called “moral views about nature” – claims that nature or a natural state of affairs possesses some special value that should be weighed in moral decision-making and protected in public policy. These views take a variety of forms and arguably do not involve any clear understanding of what “nature” is. Yet they have enduring power in everyday discussion and, recently, wider acceptance in the scholarly literature, giving them increasing clout in a range of contemporary social and policy debates.
From the Hastings Center

Projects

The Ideal of Nature: Appeals to Nature in Debates about Biotechnology and the Environment

Purpose A comparative study of how ideas about nature are invoked in contemporary moral and policy debates about medical biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology, and the environment. Three kinds of questions are central to the investigation: how “nature” is understood, whether

Bioethics Forum

Proof that I Like Penises

Alice Dreger

Bioethics Forum

Lavish Dwarf Entertainment

Alice Dreger

Hastings Center Report

Breasts, Wombs, and the Body Politic

By Hilde Lindemann
In Mass Hysteria: Medicine, Culture, and Mothers’ Bodies, Rebecca Kukla argues that about two and a half centuries ago, maternal bodies were transformed “from private, almost furtive matters into vivid centers of public management, surveillance, celebration, approbation, and regulation.”

Hastings Center Report

Whereto Transhumanism? The Literature Reaches a Critical Mass

By Nicholas Agar
Transhumanism is, according to its proselytizers, the “intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.” A decent transhumanist literature has now been amassed. Those amassing it include the philosopher Nick Bostrom, of the Future of Humanity Institute; James Hughes, of the World Transhumanist Association; Gregory Stock, author of Redesigning Humans; the science journalist Ronald Bailey; and Simon Young, who combines advocacy of transhumanism with composing and playing the piano.

Bioethics Forum

Beatie’s Story

Gregory E. Kaebnick

Bioethics Forum

The Medicine Show

Carl Elliott

Bioethics Forum

Racial Alchemy: Bioethics and the Skin Tone Gene

Osagie K. Obasogie

Bioethics Forum

Human Nature and the Nature of Sports

Gregory E. Kaebnick