Skip to main content

Elegant Variations

December 20, 2016

Richard Rorty constructs a vision of the ideal citizen and the ideal society on the basis of three basic concepts: ethnocentrism, liberalism, and irony. This article critically examines his understanding of these three concepts and how he interrelates them. I will argue that Rorty’s political philosophy is lacking in internal coherence due to the strong … Read more

Enhancing Cognition in the Intellectually Intact

December 20, 2016

As science learns more about how the brain works, and fails to work, the possibility for developing “cognition enhancers” becomes more plausible. And the demand for drugs that can help us think faster, remember more, and focus more keenly has already been demonstrated by the market success of drugs like Ritalin, which tames the attention … Read more

Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) Program, National Center for Human Genome Research, National Institutes of Health

December 20, 2016

The Program and the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of human genome research is a branch of the National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NCHGR is responsible, in conjunction with the Office of Health and Environment at the Department of Energy (DOE), for administration and … Read more

Developing and Delivering New Medical Technologies

December 20, 2016

The articles in this issue illuminate psychosocial issues raised by the development and delivery of new medical technologies. Five kinds of questions surface repeatedly: questions about a technology’s purpose(s), the value judgments it presumes, the locus of its control, the external forces that drive it, and its long-term social risks. These questions take the discussion … Read more

Recommendations on Predictive Testing for Germ Line P53 Mutations Among Cancer-Prone Individuals

December 20, 2016

Almost every form of cancer in humans has been reported to aggregate in families. These familial clusters can be due to inheritance of a mutated cancer-susceptibility gene, though other explanations include chance association and shared exposures to environmental carcinogens. In recent years, the chromosomal locations of some cancer-predisposing genes have been mapped by the new … Read more

Germ-Line Gene Therapy and the Clinical Ethos of Medical Genetics

December 20, 2016

Although the ability to perform gene therapy in human germ-line cells is still hypothetical, the rate of progress in molecular and cell biology suggests that it will only be a matter of time before reliable clinical techniques will be within reach. Three sets of arguments are commonly advanced against developing those techniques, respectively pointing to … Read more

Subtracting Injury From Insult

December 20, 2016

The emergence of implantable drug delivery systems will allow us to produce the effects of psychosurgery and surgical sterilization without their irreversible invasions of bodily integrity. However, this clinical advantage does not resolve the most important ethical problems these surgeries face, and may even obscure them when they arise in the practice of drug implantation.