•  2
    During the past decades, our image of Homo neanderthalensis has changed dramatically. Initially, Neanderthals were seen as primitive brutes. Increasingly, however, Neanderthals are regarded as basically human. New discoveries and technologies have led to an avalanche of data, and as a result of that it becomes increasingly difficult to pinpoint what the difference between modern humans and Neanderthals really is. And yet, the persistent quest for a minimal difference which separates them from us…Read more
  •  1
    In the Netherlands, the poet Herman Gorter is mostly known as the author of the neo-romantic poem May and the “sensitivistic” Poems, but internationally he became famous as a propagandist of radical Marxism: the author of influential brochures and of an “open letter” to comrade W.I. Lenin in 1920. During the 1890s, Gorter became increasingly dissatisfied with his poetry, considering it as ego-centric, disinterested and “bourgeois”, unconnected with what was happening in the real world. He wanted…Read more
  •  2
    This paper subjects Dan Brown’s most recent novel Origin to a philosophical reading. Origin is regarded as a literary window into contemporary technoscience, inviting us to explore its transformative momentum and disruptive impact, focusing on the cultural significance of artificial intelligence and computer science: on the way in which established world-views are challenged by the incessant wave of scientific discoveries made possible by super-computation. While initially focusing on the tensio…Read more
  •  1
    Bottom Up Ethics - Neuroenhancement in Education and Employment
    with Márton Varju, Vincent Torre, Helge Torgersen, Winnie Toonders, Han Somsen, Ilina Singh, Simone Seyringer, Júlio Santos, Judit Sándor, Núria Saladié, Gema Revuelta, Alexandre Quintanilha, Salvör Nordal, Anna Meijknecht, Sheena Laursen, Nicole Kronberger, Christian Hofmaier, Elisabeth Hildt, Juergen Hampel, Peter Eduard, Rui Cunha, Agnes Allansdottir, George Gaskell, and Imre Bard
    Neuroethics 11 (3): 309-322. 2018.
    Neuroenhancement involves the use of neurotechnologies to improve cognitive, affective or behavioural functioning, where these are not judged to be clinically impaired. Questions about enhancement have become one of the key topics of neuroethics over the past decade. The current study draws on in-depth public engagement activities in ten European countries giving a bottom-up perspective on the ethics and desirability of enhancement. This informed the design of an online contrastive vignette expe…Read more
  •  2
    Much has been said about the need for improving the current definitions of scientific authorship, but an aspect that is often overlooked is how to formulate and communicate these definitions to ensure that they are comprehensible and useful for researchers, notably researchers active in international research consortia. In light of a rapid increase in international collaborations within natural sciences, this article uses authorship of this branch of sciences as an example and provides suggestio…Read more
  •  9
    Enter CRISPR: Jennifer Doudna's Autobiographical Assessment of the Science and Ethics of CRISPR/Cas9
    Ethics in Biology, Engineering and Medicine: An International Journal 9 (1): 59-76. 2018.
  •  10
    Concern for and interest in research integrity has increased significantly during recent decades, both in academic and in policy discourse. Both in terms of diagnostics and in terms of therapy, the tendency in integrity discourse has been to focus on strategies of individualisation. Other contributions to the integrity debate, however, focus more explicitly on environmental factors, e.g. on the quality and resilience of research ecosystems, on institutional rather than individual responsibilitie…Read more
  •  5
    Concern for and interest in research integrity has increased significantly during recent decades, both in academic and in policy discourse. Both in terms of diagnostics and in terms of therapy, the tendency in integrity discourse has been to focus on strategies of individualisation. Other contributions to the integrity debate, however, focus more explicitly on environmental factors, e.g. on the quality and resilience of research ecosystems, on institutional rather than individual responsibilitie…Read more
  •  5
    The Synthetic Cell as a Techno-scientific Mandala
    International Journal of Jungian Studies. forthcoming.
    This paper analyses the technoscientific objective of building a synthetic cell from a Jungian perspective. After decades of fragmentation and specialisation, the synthetic cell symbolises a turn towards restored wholeness, both at the object pole and at the subject pole. From a Jungian perspective, it is no coincidence that visual representations of synthetic cells often reflect an archetypal, mandala-like structure. As a symbol of restored unity, the synthetic cell mandala compensates for tech…Read more
  •  5
    In recent years, Nietzsche’s views on science attracted a considerable amount of scholarly attention. Overall, his attitude towards science tends to be one of suspicion, or ambivalence at least. My article addresses the “Nietzsche and science” theme from a slightly different perspective, raising a somewhat different type of question, more pragmatic if you like, namely: how to be a Nietzschean philosopher of science today? What would the methodological contours of a Nietzschean approach to presen…Read more
  •  42
    The resurgence of nature-speak
    Health Care Analysis 2 (3): 221-226. 1994.
    In contemporary bioethics, two vocabularies can be distinguished:person-speak andnature-speak. The first is built around the claim that a person's moral decisions are to be respected, while the other stands on the claim that moral decisions should comply with standards for human behaviour conveyed by nature. While most bioethicists have obtained a thorough mastery ofperson-speak, they are considerably less well-versed innature-speak. Apparently, the latter has lost much of its former ability to …Read more
  •  23
    Next. Michael Crichton. New York: Harper Collins, 2006 (review)
    Genomics, Society and Policy 3 (3): 48-51. 2007.
    Michael Crichton‟s latest novel Next (2006) is his third about genomics. Yet, whereas Jurassic Park (and its sequel The lost world) contained stories about sequencing, reconstructing and revivifying the genomes of (extinct) animals, Next analyses the impact of genomics in the biomedical sphere: its consequences for human life (health, labour, sexuality, family life). Gene patenting, and the philosophy of genetic determinism that inspired and legitimised this practice, is at the root of most of t…Read more
  •  28
    Contemporary ethical discourse on animals is influenced partly by a scientific and partly by an anthropomorphic understanding of them. Apparently, we have deprived ourselves of the possibility of a more profound acquaintance with them. In this contribution it is claimed that all ethical theories or statements regarding the moral significance of animals are grounded in an ontological assessment of the animal's way of being. In the course of history, several answers have been put forward to the qu…Read more
  •  14
    The Art of Living with NZT and ICT: Dialectics of an Artistic Case Study
    Foundations of Science 22 (2): 353-356. 2017.
    I wholeheartedly sympathize conceptually with Coeckelbergh’s paper. The dialectical relationship between vulnerability and technology constitutes the core of Hegel’s Master and Slave. Yet, the empirical dimension is underdeveloped and Coeckelbergh’s ideas could profit from exposure to case studies. Building on a movie/novel devoted to vulnerability coping and living with ICT, I challenge the claim that modern heroism entails overcoming vulnerability with the help of enhancement and computers
  •  5
    This article addresses the question whether skiing as a nature sport enables practitioners to develop a rapport with nature, or rather estranges and insulates them from their mountainous ambiance. To address this question, I analyse a recent skiing movie from a psychoanalytical perspective and from a neuro-scientific perspective. I conclude that Jean-Paul Sartre’s classical but egocentric account of his skiing experiences disavows the technicity involved in contemporary skiing as a sportive prac…Read more
  •  28
    This paper addresses the cultural impact of genomics and the Human Genome Project on human self-understanding. Notably, it addresses the claim made by Francis Collins that the genome is the language of God and the claim made by Max Delbrück that Aristotle must be credited with having predicted DNA as the soul that organises bio-matter. From a continental philosophical perspective I will argue that human existence results from a dialectical interaction between two types of texts: the language of …Read more
  •  19
    Adapt or perish? Assessing the recent shift in the European research funding arena from ‘ELSA’ to ‘RRI’
    with Arjan van Rooij and Laurens Landeweerd
    Life Sciences, Society and Policy 10 (1): 1-19. 2014.
    Two decades ago, in 1994, in the context of the 4th EU Framework Programme, ELSA was introduced as a label for developing and funding research into the ethical, legal and social aspects of emerging sciences and technologies. Currently, particularly in the context of EU funding initiatives such as Horizon2020, a new label has been forged, namely Responsible Research and Innovation. What is implied in this metonymy, this semantic shift? What is so new about RRI in comparison to ELSA? First of all,…Read more
  •  8
    1900 was a remarkable year for science. Several ground-breaking events took place, in physics, biology and psychology. Planck introduced the quantum concept, the work of Mendel was rediscovered, and Sigmund Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams . These events heralded the emergence of completely new areas of inquiry, all of which greatly affected the intellectual landscape of the 20 th century, namely quantum physics, genetics and psychoanalysis. What do these developments have in common?…Read more
  •  50
    Rationing in The Netherlands: The liberal and the communitarian perspective (review)
    Health Care Analysis 1 (1): 53-56. 1993.
    In the discussion on rationing health care in The Netherlands, a fundamental tension emerges between two ethical perspectives: liberalism and communitarianism. A Dutch government committee recently issued a report opting for a community-oriented approach. This approach proves less communitarian as compared to the views on rationing elaborated by Callahan. Moreover, the community-oriented approach is conceptualised in such a way that it seems compatible with some basic aspects of the liberal acco…Read more
  •  17
    The Moral Significance of our Biological Nature
    Ethical Perspectives 1 (2): 71-78. 1994.
    In the previous article the hermeneutical approach to ethics was outlined. In my presentation, I would like to illustrate further the methodological consequences of this approach by using two points in contemporary applied ethics. The question is: to what extent is the hermeneutical approach casuistically applicable. We start with the presupposition that the hermeneutical approach does not offer answers to the question of current applied ethics — namely, to the question of what is or is not acce…Read more
  •  12
    Tainted Food and the Icarus Complex: Psychoanalysing Consumer Discontent from Oyster Middens to Oryx and Crake
    Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (2): 255-275. 2015.
    In hyper-modern society, food has become a source of endemic discontent. Many food products are seen as ‘tainted’; literally, figuratively or both. A psychoanalytic approach, I will argue, may help us to come to terms with our alimentary predicaments. What I envision is a ‘depth ethics’ focusing on some of the latent tensions, conflicts and ambiguities at work in the current food debate. First, I will outline some promising leads provided by two prominent psychoanalytic authors, namely Sigmund F…Read more
  •  16
    Consensus formation as a basic strategy in ethics
    In H. Ten Have & Bert Gordijn (eds.), Bioethics in a European Perspective, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 8--281. 2001.
  •  17
    In Genesis we are told that God gathered the waters into one place, in order to let the dry land appear, which He called earth, while the waters were called seas. In the Netherlands, this process took more than a single day, and it was the work of man. Gradually, a cultivated landscape emerged out of diffuse nature. In the course of centuries, the Dutch determined the conditions that allowed different aspects of nature to present themselves. This process is described as a moral geography in the …Read more
  •  145
    The adoration of a map: Reflections on a genome metaphor
    Genomics, Society and Policy 5 (3): 29-43. 2009.
  •  7
    CSG Next : Self-Evaluation Report
    with G. Van der Starre, M. Radstake, and Frans van Dam