•  153
    The adoration of a map: Reflections on a genome metaphor
    Genomics, Society and Policy 5 (3): 29-43. 2009.
  •  8
    CSG Next : Self-Evaluation Report
    with G. Van der Starre, M. Radstake, and Frans van Dam
  •  1
    The Language of God: a Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Francis Collins (review)
    Genomics, Society and Policy 2 (3): 136-141. 2006.
  •  9
    “Nature” is one of the most challenging concepts in philosophy, and notoriously difficult to define. In ancient Greece, two strategies for coming to terms with nature were developed. On the one hand, nature was seen as a perfect geometrical order, analysable with the help of geometry and deductive reasoning. On the other hand, a more Dionysian view emerged, stressing nature’s unpredictability, capriciousness and fluidity. This view was exemplified by De Rerum Natura, a philosophical masterpiece …Read more
  •  10
    Metaphors in Invasion Biology: Implications for Risk Assessment and Management of Non-Native Species
    with Laura N. H. Verbrugge, Rob S. E. W. Leuven, and Hub A. E. Zwart
    Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (3): 273-284. 2016.
    Metaphors for describing the introduction, impacts, and management of non-native species are numerous and often quite outspoken. Policy-makers have adopted increasingly disputed metaphorical terms from scientific discourse. We performed a critical analysis of the use of strong metaphors in reporting scientific findings to policy-makers. Our analysis shows that perceptions of harm, invasiveness or nativeness are dynamic and inevitably display multiple narratives in science, policy or management. …Read more
  •  27
    In this paper, I will reread the history of molecular genetics from a psychoanalytical angle, analysing it as a case history. Building on the developmental theories of Freud and his followers, I will distinguish four stages, namely: (1) oedipal childhood, notably the epoch of model building (1943–1953); (2) the latency period, with a focus on the development of basic skills (1953–1989); (3) adolescence, exemplified by the Human Genome Project, with its fierce conflicts, great expectations and gr…Read more
  •  19
    Is Dandelion Rubber More Natural? Naturalness, Biotechnology and the Transition Towards a Bio-Based Society
    with Lotte Krabbenborg and Jochem Zwier
    Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (2): 313-334. 2015.
    In the unfolding debate on the prospects, challenges and viability of the imminent transition towards a ‘Bio-Based Society’ or ‘Bio-based Economy’—i.e. the replacement of fossil fuels by biomass as a basic resource for the production of energy, materials and food, ‘big’ concepts tend to play an important role, such as, for instance, ‘sustainability’, ‘global justice’ and ‘naturalness’. The latter concept is, perhaps, the most challenging and intriguing one. In public debates concerning biotechno…Read more
  •  16
    Reflection as a Deliberative and Distributed Practice: Assessing Neuro-Enhancement Technologies via Mutual Learning Exercises
    with Jonna Brenninkmeijer, Peter Eduard, Lotte Krabbenborg, Sheena Laursen, Gema Revuelta, and Winnie Toonders
    NanoEthics 11 (2): 127-138. 2017.
    In 1968, Jürgen Habermas claimed that, in an advanced technological society, the emancipatory force of knowledge can only be regained by actively recovering the ‘forgotten experience of reflection’. In this article, we argue that, in the contemporary situation, critical reflection requires a deliberative ambiance, a process of mutual learning, a consciously organised process of deliberative and distributed reflection. And this especially applies, we argue, to critical reflection concerning a spe…Read more
  •  22
    From ELSA to responsible research and Promisomics
    with Ruth Chadwick
    Life Sciences, Society and Policy 9 (1): 1-3. 2013.
  •  18
    Psychoanalysis and bioethics: a Lacanian approach to bioethical discourse
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 19 (4): 605-621. 2016.
    This article aims to develop a Lacanian approach to bioethics. Point of departure is the fact that both psychoanalysis and bioethics are practices of language, combining diagnostics with therapy. Subsequently, I will point out how Lacanian linguistics may help us to elucidate the dynamics of both psychoanalytical and bioethical discourse, using the movie One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone as key examples. Next, I will explain the ‘topology’ of the bioethical landscap…Read more
  •  27
    On decoding and rewriting genomes: a psychoanalytical reading of a scientific revolution (review)
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (3): 337-346. 2012.
    In various documents the view emerges that contemporary biotechnosciences are currently experiencing a scientific revolution: a massive increase of pace, scale and scope. A significant part of the research endeavours involved in this scientific upheaval is devoted to understanding and, if possible, ameliorating humankind: from our genomes up to our bodies and brains. New developments in contemporary technosciences, such as synthetic biology and other genomics and “post-genomics” fields, tend to …Read more
  •  41
    The Human Genome Project is regarded by many as one of the major scientific achievements in recent science history, a large-scale endeavour that is changing the way in which biomedical research is done and expected, moreover, to yield considerable benefit for society. Thus, since the completion of the human genome sequencing effort, a debate has emerged over the question whether this effort merits to be awarded a Nobel Prize and if so, who should be the one to receive it, as no more than three i…Read more
  •  18
    Comparative epistemology: Contours of a research program
    Acta Biotheoretica 53 (2): 77-92. 2005.
    This article addresses the question whether and how literary documents can be used to further our understanding of a number of key issues on the agenda of the philosophy of biology such as “complexity” and “reductionism”. Kant already granted a certain respectability to aesthetical experiences of nature in his third Critique. Subsequently, the philosophical movement known as phenomenology often used literary sources and literary techniques to criticize and question mainstream laboratory science.…Read more
  •  24
    What role does the wild duck play in Ibsen 's famous drama? I argue that, besides mirroring the fate of the human cast members, the duck is acting as animal subject in a quasi-experiment, conducted in a private setting. Analysed from this perspective, the play allows us to discern the epistemological and ethical dimensions of the new scientific animal practice emerging precesely at that time. Ibsen 's play stages the clash between a scientific and a romantic understanding of animals that still c…Read more
  •  8
    Genomics and identity: the bioinformatisation of human life (review)
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (2): 125-136. 2009.
    The genomics “revolution” is spreading. Originating in the molecular life sciences, it initially affected a number of biomedical research fields such as cancer genomics and clinical genetics. Now, however, a new “wave” of genomic bioinformation is transforming a widening array of disciplines, including those that address the social, historical and cultural dimensions of human life. Increasingly, bioinformation is affecting “human sciences” such as psychiatry, psychology, brain research, behaviou…Read more
  •  54
    As the technosciences, including genomics, develop into a global phenomenon, the question inevitably emerges whether and to what extent bioethics can and should become a globalised phenomenon as well. Could we somehow articulate a set of core principles or values that ought to be respected worldwide and that could serve as a universal guide or blueprint for bioethical regulations for embedding biotechnologies in various countries? This article considers one universal declaration, the UNESCO Decl…Read more
  • Technocratie en onbehagen. De plaats van de ethiek in het werk van Michel Foucault
    Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 58 (3): 592-593. 1996.
  •  12
    Bioethical discourse on organ donation covers a wide range of topics, from informed consent procedures and scarcity issues up to ‘transplant tourism’ and ‘organ trade’. This paper presents a ‘depth ethics’ approach, notably focussing on the tensions, conflicts and ambiguities concerning the status of the human body. These will be addressed from a psychoanalytical angle. First, I will outline Lacan’s view on embodiment as such. Subsequently, I will argue that, for organ recipients, the donor orga…Read more
  •  28
    Genomics and the Ark An Ecocentric Perspective on Human History
    with Bart Penders
    Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 54 (2): 217-231. 2011.
    In 1990 the Human Genome Project (HGP) was launched as an important historical marker, a pivotal contribution to the time-old quest for human self-knowledge. However, when in 2001 two major publications heralded its completion, it seemed difficult to make out how the desire for self-knowledge had really been furthered by this endeavor (IHGSC 2001; Venter et al. 2001). In various ways mankind seems to stand out from other organisms as a unique type of living entity, developing a critical perspect…Read more
  •  1156
    Then, all of a sudden, its vulnerability is revealed - and this is the experience of laughter. Moral criticism is preceded by laughter.
  • Boude bewoordingen. De historische fenomenologie
    with Jan Hendrik
    Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 65 (4): 759-760. 2003.
  •  30
    Challenges of macro-ethics: Bioethics and the transformation of knowledge production (review)
    Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 5 (4): 283-293. 2008.
    One interesting aspect of the Hwang-case has been the way in which this affair was assessed by academic journals such as Nature. Initially, Hwang’s success was regarded as evidence for the detrimental effects of research ethics, slowing down the pace of research in Western countries. Eventually, however, Hwang’s debacle was seen as evidence for the importance of ethics in the life sciences. Ironically, it was concluded that the West maintains its prominence in science (as a global endeavour) pre…Read more
  •  17
    From ‘Hard’ Neuro-Tools to ‘Soft’ Neuro-Toys? Refocussing the Neuro-Enhancement Debate
    with Jonna Brenninkmeijer
    Neuroethics 10 (3): 337-348. 2017.
    Since the 1990’s, the debate concerning the ethical, legal and societal aspects of ‘neuro-enhancement’ has evolved into a massive discourse, both in the public realm and in the academic arena. This ethical debate, however, tends to repeat the same sets of arguments over and over again. Normative disagreements between transhumanists and bioconservatives on invasive or radical brain stimulators, and uncertainties regarding the use and effectivity of nootropic pharmaceuticals dominate the field. Bu…Read more
  •  13
    “Extimate” Technologies and Techno-Cultural Discontent
    Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 21 (1): 24-54. 2017.
    According to a chorus of authors, the human life-world is currently invaded by an avalanche of high-tech devices referred to as “emerging,” ”intimate,” or ”NBIC” technologies: a new type of contrivances or gadgets designed to optimize cognitive or sensory performance and / or to enable mood management. Rather than manipulating objects in the outside world, they are designed to influence human bodies and brains more directly, and on a molecular scale. In this paper, these devices will be framed a…Read more
  •  57
    Throughout the 20th century, philosophers have criticized the scientific understanding of the human body. Instead of presenting the body as a meaningful unity or Gestalt, it is regarded as a complex mechanism and described in quasi-mechanistic terms. In a phenomenological approach, a more intimate experience of the body is presented. This approach, however, is questioned by Jacques Lacan. According to Lacan, three basic possibilities of experiencing the body are to be distinguished: the symbolic…Read more