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Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing$
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Erik Parens and Josephine Johnston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190940362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190940362.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 November 2019

Bioethics Contra Biopower

Bioethics Contra Biopower

Ecological Humanism and Flourishing Life

(p.247) 17 Bioethics Contra Biopower
Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing

Bruce Jennings

Oxford University Press

This chapter engages two issues as they bear on genomic editing and the effects of biotechnology on human well-being: (1) how technology influences a reductionistic and manipulative understanding of biopower and biopolitics, fundamentally at odds with the worldview of bioethical humanism; and (2) how the reconceptualization of human flourishing in capability theories of justice bears on the ethics of biotechnology. The argument of this chapter appeals to a relational or “ecological” humanism that will assist bioethics in developing a critique of the technologies and knowledges of molecular reductionism. In the perspective of relational humanism, human beings are empowered as subjects of value and agents of self-realization, and mutual relations of interdependence and solidarity are affirmed. Along these lines, a reframed debate concerning the governance of biopower and the promotion of just human flourishing in an age of biotechnology can take place.

Keywords:   bioethics, biopolitics, biopower, biotechnology, capability theory, flourishing, gene engineering, humanism, liberalism, reductionism, solidarity

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