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Appeals to Nature in Debates about Biotechnology and the Environment

Principal Investigator: Gregory E. Kaebnick
Funder: National Endowment for the Humanities

Kaebnick led 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 and how moral claims about nature can be justified, and whether and how moral claims about nature may legitimately affect public policy. The project produced a book, The Ideal of Nature, Gregory E. Kaebnick, ed. (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011).