Results for 'Synthetic biology'

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  1. Synthetic Biology and Biofuels.Catherine Kendig - 2014 - In Paul B. Thompson & David M. Kaplan (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Springer.
    Synthetic biology is a field of research that concentrates on the design, construction, and modification of new biomolecular parts and metabolic pathways using engineering techniques and computational models. By employing knowledge of operational pathways from engineering and mathematics such as circuits, oscillators, and digital logic gates, it uses these to understand, model, rewire, and reprogram biological networks and modules. Standard biological parts with known functions are catalogued in a number of registries (e.g. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Registry of (...)
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  2. Synthetic Biology and Synthetic Knowledge.Christophe Malaterre - 2013 - Biological Theory (8):346–356.
    Probably the most distinctive feature of synthetic biology is its being “synthetic” in some sense or another. For some, synthesis plays a unique role in the production of knowledge that is most distinct from that played by analysis: it is claimed to deliver knowledge that would otherwise not be attained. In this contribution, my aim is to explore how synthetic biology delivers knowledge via synthesis, and to assess the extent to which this knowledge is distinctly (...)
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  3. Can Synthetic Biology Shed Light on the Origin of Life?Christophe Malaterre - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (4):357-367.
    It is a most commonly accepted hypothesis that life originated from inanimate matter, somehow being a synthetic product of organic aggregates, and as such, a result of some sort of prebiotic synthetic biology. In the past decades, the newly formed scientific discipline of synthetic biology has set ambitious goals by pursuing the complete design and production of genetic circuits, entire genomes or even whole organisms. In this paper, I argue that synthetic biology might (...)
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  4. Synthetic Biology and the Ethics of Knowledge.T. Douglas & J. Savulescu - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (11):687-693.
    Synthetic biologists aim to generate biological organisms according to rational design principles. Their work may have many beneficial applications, but it also raises potentially serious ethical concerns. In this article, we consider what attention the discipline demands from bioethicists. We argue that the most important issue for ethicists to examine is the risk that knowledge from synthetic biology will be misused, for example, in biological terrorism or warfare. To adequately address this concern, bioethics will need to broaden (...)
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  5. This is the Synthetic Biology That Is. [REVIEW]Daniel Liu - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:89-93.
    Review of: Sophia Roosth, Synthetic: How Life Got Made (University of Chicago Press, 2017); and Andrew S. Balmer, Katie Bulpin, and Susan Molyneux-Hodgson, Synthetic Biology: A Sociology of Changing Practices (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).
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  6. The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their functionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adaptations, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In particular, the (...)
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  7. The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their func- tionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adapta- tions, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In (...)
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  8.  71
    (Un)Easily Possible Synthetic Biology.Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers - 2022 - Philosophy of Science:1-14.
    Synthetic biology has a strong modal dimension that is part and parcel of its engineering agenda. In turning hypothetical biological designs into actual synthetic constructs, synthetic biologists reach towards potential biology instead of concentrating on naturally evolved organisms. We analyze synthetic biology’s goal of making biology easier to engineer through the combinatorial theory of possibility, which reduces possibility to combinations of individuals and their attributes in the actual world. While the last decades (...)
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  9.  65
    Interactive Models in Synthetic Biology: Exploring Biological and Cognitive Inter-Identities.Leonardo Bich - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    The aim of this article is to investigate the relevance and implications of synthetic models for the study of the interactive dimension of minimal life and cognition, by taking into consideration how the use of artificial systems may contribute to an understanding of the way in which interactions may affect or even contribute to shape biological identities. To do so, this article analyzes experimental work in synthetic biology on different types of interactions between artificial and natural systems, (...)
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  10. Dreaming of a Universal Biology: Synthetic Biology and the Origins of Life.Massimiliano Simons - 2021 - Hyle: International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry 27:91-116.
    Synthetic biology aims to synthesize novel biological systems or redesign existing ones. The field has raised numerous philosophical questions, but most especially what is novel to this field. In this article I argue for a novel take, since the dominant ways to understand synthetic biology’s specificity each face problems. Inspired by the examination of the work of a number of chemists, I argue that synthetic biology differentiates itself by a new regime of articulation, i.e. (...)
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  11. Engineers of Life? A Critical Examination of the Concept of Life in the Debate on Synthetic Biology.Johannes Steizinger - 2016 - In Georg Toepfer & Margret Engelhard (eds.), : Ambivalences of Creating Life – Societal and Philosophical Dimensions of Synthetic Biology. Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 275−292.
    The concept of life plays a crucial role in the debate on synthetic biology. The first part of this chapter outlines the controversial debate on the status of the concept of life in current science and philosophy. Against this background, synthetic biology and the discourse on its scientific and societal consequences is revealed as an exception. Here, the concept of life is not only used as buzzword but also discussed theoretically and links the ethical aspects with (...)
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  12.  81
    Mathematization in Synthetic Biology: Analogies, Templates, and Fictions.Andrea Loettgers & Tarja Knuuttila - 2017 - In Martin Carrier & Johannes Lenhard (eds.), Mathematics as a Tool. Tracing New Roles of Mathematics in the Sciences. Springer Verlag.
    In his famous article “The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences” Eugen Wigner argues for a unique tie between mathematics and physics, invoking even religious language: “The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve”. The possible existence of such a unique match between mathematics and physics has been extensively discussed by philosophers and historians of mathematics. Whatever the merits (...)
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  13. The End and Rebirth of Nature? From Politics of Nature to Synthetic Biology.Massimiliano Simons - 2016 - Philosophica -- Revista Do Departamento de Filosofia da Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa 47:109-124.
    In this article, two different claims about nature are discussed. On the one hand, environmental philosophy has forced us to reflect on our position within nature. We are not the masters of nature as was claimed before. On the other hand there are the recent developments within synthetic biology. It claims that, now at last, we can be the masters of nature we have never been before. The question is then raised how these two claims must be related (...)
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  14. Artificial Multipandemic as the Most Plausible and Dangerous Global Catastrophic Risk Connected with Bioweapons and Synthetic Biology.Alexey Turchin, Brian Patrick Green & David Denkenberger - manuscript
    Pandemics have been suggested as global risks many times, but it has been shown that the probability of human extinction due to one pandemic is small, as it will not be able to affect and kill all people, but likely only half, even in the worst cases. Assuming that the probability of the worst pandemic to kill a person is 0.5, and assuming linear interaction between different pandemics, 30 strong pandemics running simultaneously will kill everyone. Such situations cannot happen naturally, (...)
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  15. Autopoiesis Concepts for Chemical Origins of Life and Synthetic Biology [Stenogram of the Popular Lecture on the Foreign Bibliographic Seminar].Olle Gradoff - 2017 - European Journal of Molecular Biotechnology 5 (2):80-88.
    The monograph (Luisi P.L. "The Emergence of Life: From Chemical Origins to Synthetic Biology", 2010, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York etc., 315 p.) is a well-written, informative book providing a novel view on the interrelation between the abiogenesis as the natural origin of life and synthetic biology as the artificial synthesis of life. This concept is specially known as autopoiesis. As its name implies, it is a correlate of self-organization, but this word has quite a (...)
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  16. Design Methodologies and the Limits of the Engineering-Dominated Conception of Synthetic Biology.Tero Ijäs - 2018 - Acta Biotheoretica 67 (1):1-18.
    Synthetic biology is described as a new field of biotechnology that models itself on engineering sciences. However, this view of synthetic biology as an engineering field has received criticism, and both biologists and philosophers have argued for a more nuanced and heterogeneous understanding of the field. This paper elaborates the heterogeneity of synthetic biology by clarifying the role of design and the variability of design methodologies in synthetic biology. I focus on two (...)
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  17. Varieties of Noise: Analogical Reasoning in Synthetic Biology.Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 48:76-88.
    The picture of synthetic biology as a kind of engineering science has largely created the public understanding of this novel field, covering both its promises and risks. In this paper, we will argue that the actual situation is more nuanced and complex. Synthetic biology is a highly interdisciplinary field of research located at the interface of physics, chemistry, biology, and computational science. All of these fields provide concepts, metaphors, mathematical tools, and models, which are typically (...)
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  18. From Buzz to Burst—Critical Remarks on the Term ‘Life’ and Its Ethical Implications in Synthetic Biology.Michael Funk, Johannes Steizinger, Daniel Falkner & Tobias Eichinger - 2019 - NanoEthics 13 (3):173-198.
    In this paper, we examine the use of the term ‘life’ in the debates within and about synthetic biology. We review different positions within these debates, focusing on the historical background, the constructive epistemology of laboratory research and the pros and cons of metaphorical speech. We argue that ‘life’ is used as buzzword, as folk concept, and as theoretical concept in inhomogeneous ways. Extending beyond the review of the significant literature, we also argue that ‘life’ can be understood (...)
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  19. The Good of Non-Sentient Entities: Organisms, Artifacts, and Synthetic Biology.John Basl & Ronald Sandler - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):697-705.
    Synthetic organisms are at the same time organisms and artifacts. In this paper we aim to determine whether such entities have a good of their own, and so are candidates for being directly morally considerable. We argue that the good of non-sentient organisms is grounded in an etiological account of teleology, on which non-sentient organisms can come to be teleologically organized on the basis of their natural selection etiology. After defending this account of teleology, we argue that there are (...)
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  20. Gregory E. Kaebnick and Thomas H. Murray, Eds., Synthetic Biology and Morality: Artificial Life and the Bounds of Nature: The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2013, 214 Pp. ISBN: 978-0-262-01939-2, $21.00. [REVIEW]Mahesh Ananth - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (1):241-248.
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  21.  48
    Synthetic Fictions: Turning Imagined Biological Systems Into Concrete Ones.Tarja Knuuttila & Rami Koskinen - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8233-8250.
    The recent discussion of fictional models has focused on imagination, implicitly considering fictions as something nonconcrete. We present two cases from synthetic biology that can be viewed as concrete fictions. Both minimal cells and alternative genetic systems are modal in nature: they, as well as their abstract cousins, can be used to study unactualized possibilia. We approach these synthetic constructs through Vaihinger’s notion of a semi-fiction and Goodman’s notion of semifactuality. Our study highlights the relative existence of (...)
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  22. From Biological to Synthetic Neurorobotics Approaches to Understanding the Structure Essential to Consciousness (Part 3).Jeffrey White - 2017 - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 17 (1):11-22.
    This third paper locates the synthetic neurorobotics research reviewed in the second paper in terms of themes introduced in the first paper. It begins with biological non-reductionism as understood by Searle. It emphasizes the role of synthetic neurorobotics studies in accessing the dynamic structure essential to consciousness with a focus on system criticality and self, develops a distinction between simulated and formal consciousness based on this emphasis, reviews Tani and colleagues' work in light of this distinction, and ends (...)
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  23. From Biological to Synthetic Neurorobotics Approaches to Understanding the Structure Essential to Consciousness (Part 2).Jun Tani & Jeff White - 2016 - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 2 (16):29-41.
    We have been left with a big challenge, to articulate consciousness and also to prove it in an artificial agent against a biological standard. After introducing Boltuc’s h-consciousness in the last paper, we briefly reviewed some salient neurology in order to sketch less of a standard than a series of targets for artificial consciousness, “most-consciousness” and “myth-consciousness.” With these targets on the horizon, we began reviewing the research program pursued by Jun Tani and colleagues in the isolation of the formal (...)
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  24. From Biological to Synthetic Neurorobotics Approaches to Understanding the Structure Essential to Consciousness, Part 1.Jeffrey White - 2016 - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 1 (16):13-23.
    Direct neurological and especially imaging-driven investigations into the structures essential to naturally occurring cognitive systems in their development and operation have motivated broadening interest in the potential for artificial consciousness modeled on these systems. This first paper in a series of three begins with a brief review of Boltuc’s (2009) “brain-based” thesis on the prospect of artificial consciousness, focusing on his formulation of h-consciousness. We then explore some of the implications of brain research on the structure of consciousness, finding limitations (...)
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  25.  65
    From Primal Scenes to Synthetic Cells.Hub Zwart - 2019 - eLife 8.
    Synthetic cells spark intriguing questions about the nature of life. Projects such as BaSyC (‘Building a Synthetic Cell’) aim to build an entity that mimics how living cells work from basic components. But what kind of entity would a synthetic cell really be? I assess this question from a philosophical perspective, and show how early fictional narratives of artificial life – such as the laboratory scene in Goethe’s Faust – can help us to understand the challenges faced (...)
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  26.  72
    Scientific Iconoclasm and Active Imagination: Synthetic Cells as Techo-Schientific Mandalas.Hub Zwart - 2018 - Life Sciences, Society and Policy 14 (1):1-17.
    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 “book” of life. This paper (...)
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  27. Ownership and Commodifiability of Synthetic and Natural Organs.Philip J. Nickel - manuscript
    The arrival of synthetic organs may mean we need to reconsider principles of ownership of such items. One possible ownership criterion is the boundary between the organ’s being outside or inside the body. What is outside of my body, even if it is a natural organ made of my cells, may belong to a company or research institution. Yet when it is placed in me, it belongs to me. In the future, we should also keep an eye on how (...)
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  28. FRUSTRATION: PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PREREQUISITES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SYNTHETIC CELL.Antoine Danchin & Agnieszka Sekowska - 2008 - In Martin G. Hicks and Carsten Kettner (ed.), Proceedings of the International Beilstein Symposium on Systems Chemistry May 26th – 30th, 2008 Bozen, Italy. Beilstein Institute. pp. 1-19.
    To construct a synthetic cell we need to understand the rules that permit life. A central idea in modern biology is that in addition to the four entities making reality, matter, energy, space and time, a fifth one, information, plays a central role. As a consequence of this central importance of the management of information, the bacterial cell is organised as a Turing machine, where the machine, with its compartments defining an inside and an outside and its metabolism, (...)
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  29. Are Synthetic Genomes Parts of a Genetic Lineage?Gunnar Babcock - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):995-1011.
    Biologists are nearing the creation of the first fully synthetic eukaryotic genome. Does this mean that we still soon be able to create genomes that are parts of an existing genetic lineage? If so, it might be possible to bring back extinct species. But do genomes that are synthetically assembled, no matter how similar they are to native genomes, really belong to the genetic lineage on which they were modelled? This article will argue that they are situated within the (...)
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  30.  26
    Fake Cells and the Aura of Life: A Philosophical Diagnostic of Synthetic Life.Daphne Broeks, Yogi Hendlin & Hub Zwart - 2022 - Endeavour 46.
    Synthetic biology is often seen as the engineering turn in biology. Philosophically speaking, entities created by synthetic biology, from synthetic cells to xenobots, challenge the ontological divide between the organic and inorganic, as well as between the natural and the artificial. Entities such as synthetic cells can be seen as hybrid or transitory objects, or neo–things. However, what has remained philosophically underexplored so far is the impact these hybrid neo–things will have on (our (...)
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  31. An Organisational Approach to Biological Communication.Ramiro Frick, Leonardo Bich & Alvaro Moreno - 2019 - Acta Biotheoretica (2):103-128.
    This paper aims to provide a philosophical and theoretical account of biological communication grounded in the notion of organisation. The organisational approach characterises living systems as organised in such a way that they are capable to self-produce and self-maintain while in constant interaction with the environment. To apply this theoretical framework to the study of biological communication, we focus on a specific approach, based on the notion of influence, according to which communication takes place when a signal emitted by a (...)
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  32. Information of the Chassis and Information of the Program in Synthetic Cells.Antoine Danchin - 2009 - Systems and Synthetic Biology 3:125-134.
    Synthetic biology aims at reconstructing life to put to the test the limits of our understanding. It is based on premises similar to those which permitted invention of computers, where a machine, which reproduces over time, runs a program, which replicates. The underlying heuristics explored here is that an authentic category of reality, information, must be coupled with the standard categories, matter, energy, space and time to account for what life is. The use of this still elusive category (...)
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  33. How Biological Technology Should Inform the Causal Selection Debate.Janella Baxter - 2019 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 11.
    Waters’s (2007) actual difference making and Weber’s (2013, 2017) biological normality approaches to causal selection have received many criticisms, some of which miss their target. Disagreement about whether Waters’s and Weber’s views succeed in providing criteria that uniquely singles out the gene as explanatorily significant in biology has led philosophers to overlook a prior problem. Before one can address whether Waters’s and Weber’s views successfully account for the explanatory significance of genes, one must ask whether either view satisfactorily meets (...)
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  34.  56
    Biological Control Variously Materialized: Modeling, Experimentation and Exploration in Multiple Media.Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (4):468-492.
    This paper examines two parallel discussions of scientific modeling which have invoked experimentation in addressing the role of models in scientific inquiry. One side discusses the experimental character of models, whereas the other focuses on their exploratory uses. Although both relate modeling to experimentation, they do so differently. The former has considered the similarities and differences between models and experiments, addressing, in particular, the epistemic value of materiality. By contrast, the focus on exploratory modeling has highlighted the various kinds of (...)
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  35. Transfer of Personality to Synthetic Human ("Mind Uploading") and the Social Construction of Identity.John Danaher & Sim Bamford - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (11-12):6-30.
    Humans have long wondered whether they can survive the death of their physical bodies. Some people now look to technology as a means by which this might occur, using terms such 'whole brain emulation', 'mind uploading', and 'substrate independent minds' to describe a set of hypothetical procedures for transferring or emulating the functioning of a human mind on a synthetic substrate. There has been much debate about the philosophical implications of such procedures for personal survival. Most participants to that (...)
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  36. Is Defining Life Pointless? Operational Definitions at the Frontiers of Biology.Leonardo Bich & Sara Green - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    Despite numerous and increasing attempts to define what life is, there is no consensus on necessary and sufficient conditions for life. Accordingly, some scholars have questioned the value of definitions of life and encouraged scientists and philosophers alike to discard the project. As an alternative to this pessimistic conclusion, we argue that critically rethinking the nature and uses of definitions can provide new insights into the epistemic roles of definitions of life for different research practices. This paper examines the possible (...)
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  37. Design Under Randomness: How Variation Affects the Engineering of Biological Systems.Tero Ijäs - 2018 - Biological Theory 13 (3):153-163.
    Synthetic biology offers a powerful method to design and construct biological devices for human purposes. Two prominent design methodologies are currently used. Rational design adapts the design methodology of traditional engineering sciences, such as mechanical engineering. Directed evolution, in contrast, models its design principles after natural evolution, as it attempts to design and improve systems by guiding them to evolve in a certain direction. Previous work has argued that the primary difference between these two is the way they (...)
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  38. Anticipation and the Artificial: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Synthetic Life. [REVIEW]Mihai Nadin - 2010 - AI and Society 25 (1):103-118.
    If complexity is a necessary but not sufficient premise for the existence and expression of the living, anticipation is the distinguishing characteristic of what is alive. Anticipation is at work even at levels of existence where we cannot refer to intelligence. The prospect of artificially generating aesthetic artifacts and ethical constructs of relevance to a world in which the natural and the artificial are coexistent cannot be subsumed as yet another product of scientific and technological advancement. Beyond the artificial, the (...)
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  39. Is It Really so Easy to Model Biological Evolution in Terms of Design-Free Cumulative Selection?Peter Punin - manuscript
    Abstract: Without directly taking sides in the design/anti-design debate, this paper defends the following position: the assertion that biological evolution “is” design-free presupposes the possibility to model biological evolution in a design-free way. Certainly, there are design-free models of evolution based on cumulative selection. But “to model” is a verb denoting “modeling” as the process leading to a model. So any modeling – trivially – needs “previous human design.” Nevertheless, contrary to other scientific activities which legitimately consider models while ignoring (...)
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  40. Grounding Knowledge and Normative Valuation in Agent-Based Action and Scientific Commitment.Catherine Elizabeth Kendig - 2018 - In Hauke Riesch, Nathan Emmerich & Steven Wainwright (eds.), Philosophies and Sociologies of Bioethics: Crossing the Divides. Cham, Switzerland: pp. 41-64.
    Philosophical investigation in synthetic biology has focused on the knowledge-seeking questions pursued, the kind of engineering techniques used, and on the ethical impact of the products produced. However, little work has been done to investigate the processes by which these epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical forms of inquiry arise in the course of synthetic biology research. An attempt at this work relying on a particular area of synthetic biology will be the aim of this chapter. (...)
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  41.  38
    Metabolism Instead of Machine: Towards an Ontology of Hybrids.Julia Rijssenbeek, Vincent Blok & Zoë Robaey - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (3):1-23.
    The emerging field of synthetic biology aims to engineer novel biological entities. The envisioned future bio-based economy builds largely on “cell factories”: organisms that have been metabolically engineered to sustainably produce substances for human ends. In this paper, we argue that synthetic biology’s goal of creating efficient production vessels for industrial applications implies a set of ontological assumptions according to which living organisms are machines. Traditionally, a machine is understood as a technological, isolated and controllable production (...)
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  42. On Decoding and Rewriting Genomes: A Psychoanalytical Reading of a Scientific Revolution.Hub Zwart - 2012 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (3):337-346.
    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 blur the distinctions between prevention, therapy and enhancement. An (...)
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  43. Metaphysics, Function and the Engineering of Life: The Problem of Vitalism.Charles T. Wolfe, Bohang Chen & Cécilia Bognon-Küss - 2018 - Kairos 20 (1):113-140.
    Vitalism was long viewed as the most grotesque view in biological theory: appeals to a mysterious life-force, Romantic insistence on the autonomy of life, or worse, a metaphysics of an entirely living universe. In the early twentieth century, attempts were made to present a revised, lighter version that was not weighted down by revisionary metaphysics: “organicism”. And mainstream philosophers of science criticized Driesch and Bergson’s “neovitalism” as a too-strong ontological commitment to the existence of certain entities or “forces”, over and (...)
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  44. What is Proof of Concept Research and How Does It Generate Epistemic and Ethical Categories for Future Scientific Practice?Catherine Elizabeth Kendig - 2016 - Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (3):735-753.
    “Proof of concept” is a phrase frequently used in descriptions of research sought in program announcements, in experimental studies, and in the marketing of new technologies. It is often coupled with either a short definition or none at all, its meaning assumed to be fully understood. This is problematic. As a phrase with potential implications for research and technology, its assumed meaning requires some analysis to avoid it becoming a descriptive category that refers to all things scientifically exciting. I provide (...)
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  45. A Functional Naturalism.Anthony Nguyen - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):295-313.
    I provide two arguments against value-free naturalism. Both are based on considerations concerning biological teleology. Value-free naturalism is the thesis that both (1) everything is, at least in principle, under the purview of the sciences and (2) all scientific facts are purely non-evaluative. First, I advance a counterexample to any analysis on which natural selection is necessary to biological teleology. This should concern the value-free naturalist, since most value-free analyses of biological teleology appeal to natural selection. My counterexample is unique (...)
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  46. Jean-François Lyotard and Postmodern Technoscience.Massimiliano Simons - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (2):1-19.
    Often associated with themes in political philosophy and aesthetics, the work of Jean-François Lyotard is most known for his infamous definition of the postmodern in his best-known book, La condition postmoderne, as incredulity towards metanarratives. The claim of this article is that this famous claim of Lyotard is actually embedded in a philosophy of technology, one that is, moreover, still relevant for understanding present technoscience. The first part of the article therefore sketches Lyotard’s philosophy of technology, mainly by correcting three (...)
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  47.  78
    Playing God: Symbolic Arguments Against Technology.Massimiliano Simons - 2022 - NanoEthics 16 (2):151-165.
    In ethical reflections on new technologies, a specific type of argument often pops up, which criticizes scientists for “playing God” with these new technological possibilities. The first part of this article is an examination of how these arguments have been interpreted in the literature. Subsequently, this article aims to reinterpret these arguments as symbolic arguments: they are grounded not so much in a set of ontological or empirical claims, but concern symbolic classificatory schemes that ground our value judgments in the (...)
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  48. Omnipresent Maxwell’s Demons Orchestrate Information Management in Living Cells.Antoine Danchin Gregory Boel, Olivier Danot, Victor de Lorenzo & Antoine Danchin - 2019 - Microbial Biotechnology 12 (2):210-242.
    The development of synthetic biology calls for accurate understanding of the critical functions that allow construction and operation of a living cell. Besides coding for ubiquitous structures, minimal genomes encode a wealth of functions that dissipate energy in an unanticipated way. Analysis of these functions shows that they are meant to manage information under conditions when discrimination of substrates in a noisy background is preferred over a simple recognition process. We show here that many of these functions, including (...)
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  49. Nothing Good Will Come From Giving Up on Aetiological Accounts of Teleology.John Basl - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):543-546.
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  50. On the Authenticity of De-Extinct Organisms, and the Genesis Argument.Douglas Campbell - 2017 - Animal Studies Journal 6 (1):61-79.
    Are the methods of synthetic biology capable of recreating authentic living members of an extinct species? An analogy with the restoration of destroyed natural landscapes suggests not. The restored version of a natural landscape will typically lack much of the aesthetic value of the original landscape because of the different historical processes that created it—processes that involved human intentions and actions, rather than natural forces acting over millennia. By the same token, it would appear that synthetically recreated versions (...)
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