•  1119
    Then, all of a sudden, its vulnerability is revealed - and this is the experience of laughter. Moral criticism is preceded by laughter.
  •  266
    This monograph contributes to the scientific misconduct debate from an oblique perspective, by analysing seven novels devoted to this issue, namely: Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis (1925), The affair by C.P. Snow (1960), Cantor’s Dilemma by Carl Djerassi (1989), Perlmann’s Silence by Pascal Mercier (1995), Intuition by Allegra Goodman (2006), Solar by Ian McEwan (2010) and Derailment by Diederik Stapel (2012). Scientific misconduct, i.e. fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, but also other ques…Read more
  •  146
    The adoration of a map: Reflections on a genome metaphor
    Genomics, Society and Policy 5 (3): 29-43. 2009.
  •  141
    A short history of food ethics
    Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 12 (2): 113-126. 2000.
    Moral concern with food intake is as old asmorality itself. In the course of history, however,several ways of critically examining practices of foodproduction and food intake have been developed.Whereas ancient Greek food ethics concentrated on theproblem of temperance, and ancient Jewish ethics onthe distinction between legitimate and illicit foodproducts, early Christian morality simply refused toattach any moral significance to food intake. Yet,during the middle ages food became one of thepri…Read more
  •  127
    This paper indicates how continental philosophy may contribute to a diagnostics of contemporary life sciences research, as part of a “diagnostics of the present”. First, I describe various options for an oblique reading of emerging scientific discourse, bent on uncovering the basic “philosophemes” of science. Subsequently, I outline a number of radical transformations occurring both at the object-pole and at the subject-pole of the current knowledge relationship, namely the technification of the…Read more
  •  107
    Vampires, Viruses and Verbalisation: Bram Stoker’s Dracula as a genealogical window into fin-de-siècle science
    Janus Head: Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts 16 (2): 14-53. 2018.
    This paper considers Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, published in 1897, as a window into techno-scientific and sociocultural developments of the fin-de-siècle era, ranging from blood transfusion and virology up to communication technology and brain research, but focusing on the birth of psychoanalysis in 1897, the year of publication. Stoker’s literary classic heralds a new style of scientific thinking, foreshadowing important aspects of post-1900 culture. Dracula reflects a number of scientific ev…Read more
  •  74
    Dr Stockmann, the principal character in Henrik Ibsen's A Public Enemy, is a classic example of a whistle-blower who, upon detecting and disclosing a serious case of environmental pollution, quickly finds himself transformed from a public benefactor into a political outcast by those in power. If we submit the play to a 'second reading', however, it becomes clear that the ethical intricacies of whistle-blowing are interwoven with epistemological issues. Basically, the play is about the complex ta…Read more
  •  68
    In de jaren vijftig raakte Michel Foucault gefascineerd door de fenomenologische psychologie. Vanaf de jaren zestig echter presenteert hij zichzelf als een ‘structuralist’ die slechts anonieme talige en architectonische structuren wil analyseren en die met nadruk wil afzien van elke interesse in de mens als individu of als subject. De psycholoog in hemzelf wordt als het ware hartstochtelijk verdrongen. Toch is er ook in het geval van Foucault sprake van een onvermijdelijke terugkeer van het verd…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
  •  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
  •  51
    Boundaries, barriers and bridges. Philosopical fieldwork in Derewan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
    with F. W. J. Keulartz
    Https://Www.Academia.Edu/304352/Boundaries_barriers_and_bridges._Philosophical_fieldwork_in_Derawan_Indonesia_. 2004.
  •  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
  •  44
    Biotechnology and naturalness in the genomics era: Plotting a timetable for the biotechnology debate (review)
    Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22 (6): 505-529. 2009.
    Debates on the role of biotechnology in food production are beset with notorious ambiguities. This already applies to the term “biotechnology” itself. Does it refer to the use and modification of living organisms in general, or rather to a specific set of technologies developed quite recently in the form of bioengineering and genetic modification? No less ambiguous are discussions concerning the question to what extent biotechnology must be regarded as “unnatural.” In this article it will be arg…Read more
  •  43
    Working with Research Integrity—Guidance for Research Performing Organisations: The Bonn PRINTEGER Statement
    with Ellen-Marie Forsberg, Frank O. Anthun, Sharon Bailey, Giles Birchley, Henriette Bout, Carlo Casonato, Gloria González Fuster, Bert Heinrichs, Serge Horbach, Ingrid Skjæggestad Jacobsen, Jacques Janssen, Matthias Kaiser, Inge Lerouge, Barend van der Meulen, Sarah de Rijcke, Thomas Saretzki, Margit Sutrop, Marta Tazewell, Krista Varantola, Knut Jørgen Vie, and Mira Zöller
    Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (4): 1023-1034. 2018.
    This document presents the Bonn PRINTEGER Consensus Statement: Working with Research Integrity—Guidance for research performing organisations. The aim of the statement is to complement existing instruments by focusing specifically on institutional responsibilities for strengthening integrity. It takes into account the daily challenges and organisational contexts of most researchers. The statement intends to make research integrity challenges recognisable from the work-floor perspective, providin…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
  •  40
    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
  •  39
    Limitless is a movie (released in 2011) as well as a novel (published in 2001) about a tormented author who (plagued by a writer’s block) becomes an early user of an experimental designer drug. The wonder drug makes him highly productive overnight and even allows him to make a fortune on the stock market. At the height of his career, however, the detrimental side-effects become increasingly noticeable. In this article, Limitless is analysed from two perspectives. First of all, building on the vi…Read more
  •  38
    Woyzeck and the birth of the human research subject
    Bioethica Forum 6 (3): 97-104. 2013.
    In various writings Michel Foucault has shown how, in the beginning of the 19th century, in settings such as army barracks, psychiatric hospitals and penitentiary institutions, the modern human sciences were ‹born› as an ensemble of disciplines (medical biology, psychiatry, psychology, criminology, and the like) From the beginning, the nature-nurture de- bate has been one of its key disputes. Are human individuals malleable by environmental factors (such as psychiatric treatments or disciplinary…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
  •  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
  •  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
  •  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
  •  27
    Metaphors allow us to come to terms with abstract and complex information, by comparing it to something which is structured, familiar and concrete. Although modern science is “iconoclastic”, as Gaston Bachelard phrases it, scientists are at the same time prolific producers of metaphoric images themselves. Synthetic biology is an outstanding example of a technoscientific discourse replete with metaphors, including textual metaphors such as the “Morse code” of life, the “barcode” of life and the “…Read more
  •  26
    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
  •  26
    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
  •  24
    What Is Nature?
    Teaching Philosophy 37 (3): 379-398. 2014.
  •  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
  •  24
    Reply to Udo schuklenk
    with Mairi Levitt
    Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 7 (1): 89-90. 2010.
  •  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