Scientific Responsibility

Global Bioethics 17 (1):93-98 (2004)
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Nowadays, special attention is given to the hazards associated with genetic engineering and new inventions in biotechnology, and in fear of severe consequences, researchers, institutions and governments are required to act responsibly. The term “responsibility” may be defined in numerous ways. The definition considered in this paper, is one we believe is in common use: “Generally speaking, a person has a special responsibility for a particular outcome if they knowingly brought it about and it would not exist if not for what they did”. This concept of moral responsibility rests on what we term the three ‘I's’: individual, intentional and informed. Responsibility is individual in the sense that it must be directed towards someone. A second requirement of moral responsibility presupposes the ability to do otherwise, i.e. it presupposes each human being as an intentional actor, capable of acting according to his/her own free will. In order for someone to be responsible for their actions, the choice between alternatives must be informed. The article focus' on these three aspects of responsibility in order to reveal how difficult it is to apply and make sense of this definition with regard to new inventions in science.



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Equality and Partiality.Thomas Nagel - 1991 - New York, US: OUP Usa. Edited by Louis P. Pojman & Robert Westmoreland.
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