Article/Publication Details

New Forms of Life? Philosophical Reflections on Synthetic Biology

(Original title: Nové formy života? Filozofické reflexie syntetickej biológie)
Filozofia, 2018, vol. 73, No 6, pp. 437-448.
Language: Slovak
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Abstract

The contribution´s focus is primarily on ontological and anthropological issues which appear in a new research field, namely synthetic biology. Since one of the objectives of the latter is creating new forms of life, it is the criteria for defining the ontological status of synthetically created organisms as well as for differentiating between complex living organisms and artifacts that become prominent. Attention is paid also to the question to what extent the new information unveiled by synthetic biology could bring about a change of the anthropological concept of a human being or his/her self-understanding. The interpretations of a human being are based not only on cultural-historical, but also on scientific knowledge. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider the consequences of new scientific knowledge for the anthropological concept of a human being. In conclusion the article shows the possible practical applications of synthetic biology as well as possible related threats.

Keywords

Artifact Living organism, Bottom-up approach, Functional unity, Homo creator, Homo faber genomicus, Synthetic biology, Top-down approach, Whole

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