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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 32, Issue Supplement, 2007
Ethics and the Life Sciences

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  • Issue: Supplement

Displaying: 1-10 of 29 documents


1. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
Frederick Adams Introduction
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animals
2. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
Catherine M. Klein Creation and Use of Transgenic Animals in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Research: Animal Welfare and Ethical Concerns
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The creation of transgenic animals has application in the following areas of pharmaceutical and biomedical research: the production of biopharmaceuticals for human use; the production of organs for xenotransplantation; and the generation of animal models for human genetic diseases. Nuclear transfer technology offers a more precise and efficient way of performing genetic modification and creating transgenic animals than the more traditional method of pronuclear microinjection. This paper will review nuclear transfer as ameans of producing transgenic animals; introduce advantages nuclear transfer technology offers in the field of animal transgenesis; and highlight some of the animal welfare issues and ethical concerns raised by the generation and use of transgenic animals in the aforementioned fields of study. Finally, the influence of objectifying language and terminology used to describe transgenic animals will be considered, and the impact of phrases such as “living bioreactor” and “spare part supplier” examined.
3. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
Roger Wertheimer The Relevance of Speciesism to Life Sciences Practices
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Animal protectionists condemn speciesism for motivating the practices protectionists condemn. This misconceives both speciesism and the morality condoning those practices. Actually, animal protectionists can be and generally are speciesists. The specifically speciesist aspects of people’s beliefs are in principle compatible with all but the most radical protectionist proposals. Humanity’s speciesism is an inclusivist ideal encompassing all human beings, not an exclusionary ethos opposing moral concern for nonhumans. Anti-speciesist rhetoric is akin to anti-racist rhetoric that condemned racists for regarding people as moral inferiors because of their skincolor. Actually, racists never thought that skin color is itself a reason for discounting someone’s interests, just as humans have never thought that only a human can be a proper object of moral concern. Some speciesists have great concern for animal suffering; some don’t. Animal protectionists have yet to show that a lack of concern is due to some false assumptions.
4. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
David Detmer Vegetarianism, Traditional Morality, and Moral Conservatism
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“Moral vegetarianism,” the doctrine that it is immoral to eat meat, is widely dismissed as eccentric. But I argue that moral vegetarianism is thoroughly conservative—it follows directly from two basic moral principles that nearly everyone already accepts. One is that it is morally wrong to cause unnecessary pain. The other is that if it is wrong in one case to do X, then it will also be wrong to do so in another, unless the two cases differ in some morally relevant respect. Since everyone agrees that it is wrong to kill humans for food,this principle entails that defenders of meat eating must find some morally relevant difference between eating humans and eating other animals if they are to justify their practice. I argue that this burden cannot be met. Finally, I offer four arguments against the claim that the moral permissibility of eating meat is intuitively evident.
5. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
Nathan Nobis A Rational Defense of Animal Experimentation
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Many people involved in the life sciences and related fields and industries routinely cause mice, rats, dogs, cats, primates and other non-human animals to experience pain, suffering, and an early death, harming these animals greatly and not for their own benefit. Harms, however, require moral justification, reasons that pass critical scrutiny. Animal experimenters and dissectors might suspect that strong moral justification has been given for this kind of treatment of animals. I survey some recent attempts to provide such a justification and show that they do not succeed: they provide no rational defense of animal experimentation and related activities. Thus, the need for a rational defense of animal experimentation remains.
6. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
Robert Streiffer At the Edge of Humanity: Human Stem Cells, Chimeras, and Moral Status
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Experiments involving the transplantation of human stem cells and their derivatives into early fetal or embryonic nonhuman animals raise novel ethical issues due to their possible implications for enhancing the moral status of the chimeric individual. Although status-enhancing research is not necessarily objectionable from the perspective of the chimeric individual, there are grounds for objecting to it in the conditions in which it is likely to occur. Translating this ethical conclusion into a policy recommendation, however, iscomplicated by the fact that substantial empirical and ethical uncertainties remain about which transplants, if any, would significantly enhance the chimeric individual’s moral status. Considerations of moral status justify either an early-termination policy on chimeric embryos, or, in the absence of such a policy, restrictions on the introduction of pluripotent human stem cells into early-stage developing animals, pending the resolution of those uncertainties.
environment
7. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
Steve Vanderheiden Climate Change and the Challenge of Moral Responsibility
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The phenomenon of anthropogenic climate change—in which weather patterns and attendant ecological disruption result from increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere through human activities—challenges several conventional assumptions regarding moral responsibility. Multifarious individual acts and choices contribute (often imperceptibly) to the causal chain that is expected to produce profound and lasting harm unless significant mitigation efforts begin soon. Attributing responsibility for such harmful consequences is complicated by what Derek Parfit terms “mistakes in moral mathematics,” or failures to correctly assess the various individual contributions to collectively produced harm. Combined with the difficulties in attributingresponsibility to agents for spatially and temporally distant harmful effects and that of holding agents culpable for effects (resulting from socially-acceptable acts) about which they may be ignorant, this paper attempts to sort out several ethical problems surrounding the identification of responsible parties contributing to climate change.
8. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
Gerald J. Kauffman Perspectives on Ethics and Water Policy in Delaware
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Water is a finite resource held in common by the community yet coveted by individuals and special interests. The water management field is filled with disputes about water allocation, rights, and pollution. Environmental ethics is a basis for equitable water policy making in Delaware. The resource allocation dilemma is examined in relation to conflicting objectives imposed by a market economy between individual self-interests and community environmental well being. Two forms of water law are practiced in the USA—eastern riparianrights and western prior appropriation. Both forms seek an ethical balance to resolve conflicts and protect individual water rights while protecting downstream users (the common good). Delaware Valley case studies discuss how environmental ethics can help the water policy specialist make difficult decisions during conflicts. Surveys polls indicate that 81 percent have values supportive of a balance between the economy and environment, or pro-environment, indicating that an environmental ethic is central to decisions concerning water policy.
food
9. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
Matthew Lister Well-ordered Science: The Case of GM Crops
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The debate over the use of genetically-modified (GM) crops is one where the heat to light ratio is often quite low. Both proponents and opponents of GM crops often resort more to rhetoric than argument. This paper attempts to use Philip Kitcher’s idea of a “well-ordered science” to bring coherence to the debate. While I cannot, of course, here decide when and where, if at all, GM crops should be used I do show how Kitcher’s approach provides a useful framework in which to evaluate the desirability of using GM crops. At the least Kitcher’s approach allows us to see that the current state of research in to, and use of, GM crops is very far from the ideal of a well-ordered science and gives us a goal to work towards if we wish to achieve a more well-ordered agricultural policy.
10. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 32 > Issue: Supplement
Jennifer Welchman Frankenfood, or, Fear and Loathing at the Grocery Store
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Genetically modified food crops have been called ‘frankenfoods’ since 1992. Although some might dismiss the phenomena as clever marketing by anti-GM groups, of no philosophic interest, its resonance with the general public suggests otherwise. I argue that examination of the intersection of popular conceptions of monsters, nature, and food at which ‘frankenfood’ stands reveals significant and disturbing trends in our relationship to organic nature of interest to moral and social philosophy and to environmental ethics.