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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 October 2019

Bioethics Contra Biopower

Bioethics Contra Biopower

Ecological Humanism and Flourishing Life

Chapter:
(p.247) 17 Bioethics Contra Biopower
Source:
Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing
Author(s):

Bruce Jennings

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190940362.003.0018

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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