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The Finitude of Nature: Rethinking the Ethics of Biotechnology
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy (2001)
  • Helen A Fielding, The University of Western Ontario
In order to open new possibilities for bioethics, I argue we need to rethink our concept of nature. The established cognitive framework determines in advance how new technologies will become visible. Indeed, in this dualistic approach of metaphysics, nature is posited as limitless, as material endowed with force which causes us to lose the sense of nature as arising out of itself, of having limits, an end. In contrast, drawing upon the example of hte gender assignment and construction of intersexed infants, I want to suggest for bioethics an understanding of nature that arises not from our scientific explorations, but rather form attending to our situated perceptual encounters with the world which underlie such experimention; these encounters are too easily overlooked, and yet they are crucial for opening up new ways of thinking.
  • biotechnology,
  • Merleau-Ponty,
  • Heidegger,
  • Nature,
  • Intersexuality,
  • physis,
  • bioethics
Publication Date
October, 2001
Citation Information
Helen A Fielding. "The Finitude of Nature: Rethinking the Ethics of Biotechnology" Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy Vol. 4 Iss. 3 (2001)
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