Habermas on human cloning: The debate on the future of the species

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Jürgen Habermas's recent book Die Zukunft der menschlichen Natur (2001) is discussed. Particular attention is paid to the central argument concerning the adverse effects the general acceptance of cloning and pre-implantation genetic diagnostics (PGD) would have on the moral and political self-understanding of present and future generations. The argument turns to a critique of Habermas's central arguments against PGD, and develops at least two arguments that are in harmony with his general defense of procedural democracy and deontological morality. Appeal is made to Peter Singer and John Rawls to develop arguments that do not reject either PGD or genetic engineering and that are nonetheless in full compliance with the spirit of political modernity, as it is defended and defined by Habermas. The conclusion calls for less moralizing and more political-economic critique of the biotechnologies unleashed by the information revolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-743
Number of pages23
JournalPhilosophy & Social Criticism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


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