Monday, January 09, 2012

Distributive Justice and Genetics in ELS (updated and expanded version)

An expanded and updated version of my entry "Distributive Justice and Genetics" in Wiley's Encyclopedia of Life Sciences has been accepted for publication and is now forthcoming.

The abstract:

What will the demands of distributive justice be in the postgenetic revolutionary world? Will genetic inheritance be regarded as socially distributed goods? This may seem a more reasonable position to assert as biotechnology progresses further toward human genetic manipulation. Advances in human genetics raise a number of unique considerations for theories of justice, ranging from the realization of egalitarian ideals and the therapy/enhancement distinction to the scope and limits of reproductive freedom. As new empirical discoveries are made concerning the environmental and natural determinants of human welfare, theories of justice must re-conceptualize what the demands of justice are and how society can fairly distribute the natural and social goods which influence the life prospects of humans.

Keywords: distributive justice; equality; genes; John Rawls; natural lottery of life; reproductive freedom