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Cloning And Corporeality

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Chapter Summary

Hans Jonas?s paper has, to date, withstood the test of time: it is regularly cited in contemporary discussions of cloning to produce children, and, even when it is not, some semblance of the critique it develops often is. To be sure Jonas?s critique has provoked criticism. This chapter retrieves whatever wisdom is to be found in Jonas?s earlier reflections. Jonas pleads for the recognition of what he calls a ?right to ignorance? as ?a condition for the possibility of authentic action?. Precisely, ?the ethical command?, he writes, is ?to respect the right of each human life to find its own way and be a surprise to it?. In the bioethics literature, this right is often assimilated to what Joel Feinberg has called ?the child?s right to an open future?. The chapter considers several objections to this critique of cloning, a critique that is not quite Jonas?s, but derived from his.

Keywords: bioethics; cloning; Hans Jonas; human life; Joel Feinberg



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