Document Detail

Putting concerns about nature in context: the case of agricultural biotechnology.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17951890     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Concerns about nature are playing increasingly prominent roles in a variety of social debates, including medical biotechnology, environmental protection, and agricultural biotechnology. These concerns are often simply rejected as incoherent: critics argue that there is no good account for how natural states of affairs can have moral value, and that the concept of "nature" is too multifarious and vague to be deployed in moral argument anyway. When these concerns are defended, they are frequently formulated as strong claims that make implausible ontological commitments and that ignore the linkages between these different debates. Agricultural biotechnology provides an especially challenging case study for evaluating concerns about nature. I offer a qualified defense that recognizes these concerns as conceptually linked, attends to social context at appropriate points, and overcomes the charges of incoherence. This defense supports a restrained treatment of concerns about nature in public policy: public policy can neither endorse nor dismiss them. In the case of agricultural biotechnology, this stance probably mandates some form of labeling.
Gregory E Kaebnick
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Perspectives in biology and medicine     Volume:  50     ISSN:  0031-5982     ISO Abbreviation:  Perspect. Biol. Med.     Publication Date:  2007  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-10-22     Completed Date:  2008-01-24     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401132     Medline TA:  Perspect Biol Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  572-84     Citation Subset:  IM    
The Hastings Center, 21 Malcolm Gordon Drive, Garrison, NY 10524, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Conservation of Natural Resources*
Food Supply
Policy Making
United States

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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