Gene Drives as Interventions into Nature: the Coproduction of Ontology and Morality in the Gene Drive Debate

NanoEthics 17 (1):1-25 (2023)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Gene drives are potentially ontologically and morally disruptive technologies. The potential to shape evolutionary processes and to eradicate (e.g. malaria-transmitting or invasive) populations raises ontological questions about evolution, nature, and wilderness. The transformative promises and perils of gene drives also raise pressing ethical and political concerns. The aim of this article is to arrive at a better understanding of the gene drive debate by analysing how ontological and moral assumptions are coproduced in this debate. Combining philosophical analysis with a critical reading of the gene drive literature and an ethnographic study of two leading research groups, the article explores the hypothesis that the development of and debate about gene drives are characterized by a particular intervention-oriented mode of coproduction. Based on the results of this exploration, we highlight the need for a broadening of the perspective on gene drives in which empirical, moral, and ontological concerns are addressed explicitly in their interplay rather than in (disciplinary) isolation from each other.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,122

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Should We Engineer Species in Order to Save Them?Ronald Sandler - 2019 - Environmental Ethics 41 (3):221-236.
CRISPR and the Ethics of Gene Drive in Mosquitoes.Tina Rulli - 2018 - In David Boonin, Katrina L. Sifferd, Tyler K. Fagan, Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Michael Huemer, Daniel Wodak, Derk Pereboom, Stephen J. Morse, Sarah Tyson, Mark Zelcer, Garrett VanPelt, Devin Casey, Philip E. Devine, David K. Chan, Maarten Boudry, Christopher Freiman, Hrishikesh Joshi, Shelley Wilcox, Jason Brennan, Eric Wiland, Ryan Muldoon, Mark Alfano, Philip Robichaud, Kevin Timpe, David Livingstone Smith, Francis J. Beckwith, Dan Hooley, Russell Blackford, John Corvino, Corey McCall, Dan Demetriou, Ajume Wingo, Michael Shermer, Ole Martin Moen, Aksel Braanen Sterri, Teresa Blankmeyer Burke, Jeppe von Platz, John Thrasher, Mary Hawkesworth, William MacAskill, Daniel Halliday, Janine O’Flynn, Yoaav Isaacs, Jason Iuliano, Claire Pickard, Arvin M. Gouw, Tina Rulli, Justin Caouette, Allen Habib, Brian D. Earp, Andrew Vierra, Subrena E. Smith, Danielle M. Wenner, Lisa Diependaele, Sigrid Sterckx, G. Owen Schaefer, Markus K. Labude, Harisan Unais Nasir, Udo Schuklenk, Benjamin Zolf & Woolwine (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy. Springer Verlag. pp. 509-521.
Understanding Public Debate on Nanotechnologies.Rene von Schomberg (ed.) - 2010 - Publications Office of the European Union.


Added to PP

18 (#747,034)

6 months
8 (#209,681)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?